Mob grazing, good for the grass, good for the land and good for our cows.
Back in 2009 we attended a PASA Conference in the USA and were introduced to the concept of Mob or High Density Grazing. Blown away by the idea of using our animals to manage the land and the evidence produced by one of the speakers, Greg Judy, we returned home filled with enthusiasm and ready to try something new.
Mob Graziers are a cross between organic and permaculture farmers. They attempt to manage they grazing patterns of their livestock so that it mimics those of the vast herds of wild ruminants grazing the African plains. The results are incredible, significant increase in organic matter in the top soil, deep rooting grass and other meadow species that break compaction layers and aerate the soils. Probably the most incredible effect is the awakening of the seed banks dormant in meadows that have been seeded with short term commercial leys – thats grass seeds, predominantly Rye grasses, that have fairly short lives.
This concept is followed by a small but growing number of livestock farmers in the UK and now its getting attention, with Dr Liz Genever from EBLEX presenting the speakers at a series of events and Farmers Weekly writing about it.
At Trenderway we have been grazing our cattle using electric fencing to control the grazing density since 2009. We have not used any mineral inputs (fertiliser) or reseeded and do not intend to. Our cattle stay out all winter and are fed entirely on grass, with occasional “treats”. They are healthy, evidenced by our Herdsure status, and happy too.