South Africa is currently going through a really dry period, and in order to conserve the farm land a few suggestions for stabilizing the grazing habits of the farmers herds have been made.
Regular monitoring of the vegetation in your fields is a necessary task in order to allow plants time to regrow, flower, reproduce and seed. Rotation is a great monitoring method, as the practice of swapping pastures will give the previously grazed pastures rest periods.
These periods should be long enough for the right plants to regrow and reseed.
Methods of observation such as baseline monitoring are good for helping farmers keep track of when to rotate their crops or plants. Rotation can also give seeds that reseed annually a good chance to scatter and grow. Rotation can also benefit your livestock through lowering stress levels, as each time your herds are rotated it will reset the tension levels amongst the animals.
Another added benefit of this method is that it increases both your soil fertility as well as the drought resistance due to the increase of forage matter which slows down the water flow when the rains do come. This also helps to get rid of plants that are unwelcome because of their high water intake.
Smaller animals such as goats take up a sixth of the normal suggested feed amount, and can be rotated pretty regularly. The whole reason behind rotational grazing is to protect the herd from nutritional and energy deficiencies – it is imperative to avoid nutritional deficiencies during periods of drought. These smaller animals can assist farmers through grazing as it readies the soil for reseeding.
Rotational grazing should be super flexible in order to fit in with the unpredictable weather occurrences. Along with this, you should ensure that you have a feed bank with sufficient feed stock to ensure that your breeding herd can survive months of poor veld quality.
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