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The Art And Science Of Grazing

Author: Sarah Flack
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 1603586113
Size: 68.71 MB
Format: PDF
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Grazing management might seem simple: just put livestock in a pasture and let them eat their fill. However, as Sarah Flack explains in The Art and Science of Grazing, the pasture/livestock relationship is incredibly complex. If a farmer doesn’t pay close attention to how the animals are grazing, the resulting poorly managed grazing system can be harmful to the health of the livestock, pasture plants, and soils. Well-managed pastures can instead create healthier animals, a diverse and resilient pasture ecosystem, and other benefits. Flack delves deeply below the surface of “let the cows eat grass,” demonstrating that grazing management is a sophisticated science that requires mastery of plant and animal physiology, animal behavior, and ecology. She also shows readers that applying grazing management science on a working farm is an art form that calls on grass farmers to be careful observers, excellent planners and record-keepers, skillful interpreters of their observations, and creative troubleshooters. The Art and Science of Grazing will allow farmers to gain a solid understanding of the key principles of grazing management so they can both design and manage successful grazing systems. The book’s unique approach presents information first from the perspective of pasture plants, and then from the livestock perspective—helping farmers understand both plant and animal needs before setting up a grazing system. This book is an essential guide for ruminant farmers who want to be able to create grazing systems that meet the needs of their livestock, pasture plants, soils, and the larger ecosystem. The book discusses all the practical details that are critical for sustained success: how to set up a new system or improve existing systems; acreage calculations; paddock layout; fence and drinking water access; lanes and other grazing infrastructure; managing livestock movement and flow; soil fertility; seeding and reseeding pastures; and more. The author includes descriptions of real grazing systems working well on dairy, beef, goat, and sheep farms in different regions of North America. The book covers pasture requirements specific to organic farming, but will be of use to both organic and non-organic farms.

The Independent Farmstead

Author: Beth Dougherty
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 1603586229
Size: 45.60 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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With in-depth information on electric fencing, watering, and husbandry for ruminants, poultry, and pigs, plus butchering, dairying, and more If we work hard, we sleep well. Twenty years ago, when authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased the land they would come to name the Sow s Ear, the state of Ohio designated it not suitable for agriculture. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food. Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture management. Pioneered by such luminaries as Allan Savory, Greg Judy, and Joel Salatin, the tenets of holistic grazing employed mostly by larger-scale commercial operations have been adapted by the Doughertys to fit their family s needs. In The Independent Farmstead, The Sow s Ear model for regenerating the land and growing food the best you ever tasted is elucidated for others to use and build upon. In witty and welcoming style, The Independent Farmstead covers everything from choosing a species of ruminant and incorporating it into a grass-based system to innovative electric fencing and watering systems, to what to do with all of the milk, meat, and, yes, manure that the self-sustaining farm produces. Within these pages, the Doughertys discuss how to: Find and improve poor, waste, or abused land and develop its natural water resources; Select and purchase the appropriate ruminant for regenerating your farmstead; Apply fencing strategies and pasture management basics; Implement basic, uncomplicated food processing, including large and small animal butchering and cheese making; and Integrate grass, gardens, and livestock to minimize or eliminate the need for off-farm inputs. As the Doughertys write, more and more people today are feeling the desire for clean, affordable food, unmodified, unprocessed, and unmedicated and the security of local food sourcing for ourselves and our children. The Independent Farmstead is a must-have resource for those who count themselves as part of this movement: both new and prospective farmers and homesteaders, and those who are interested in switching to grass-based systems. Best of all it s the kind of rare how-to book that the authors themselves view not as a compendium of one-size-fits-all instructions but as the beginning of a conversation, one that is utterly informative, sincere, and inspiring. "

Grass Productivity An Introduction To Rational Grazing

Author: Dr. Robert C. Worstell
Publisher: Lulu.com
ISBN: 1312832843
Size: 26.95 MB
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SIMPLE questions often help us to understand problems better; and I think it indispensable, at the beginning of this work, to ask a question which appears simple in the extreme: "What is grazing?" The answer is generally as follows: "Causing grass to be eaten by an animal." That is correct! But here is another answer which, to my mind, is more realistic: "Causing the grass and the animal to meet." Since this book is almost exclusively concerned with grazing by cattle, I propose the following definition to the reader, requesting him to allow it to become well impressed upon his mind: Grazing is the meeting of cow and grass. It is by satisfying as far as possible the demands of both parties that we will arrive at a rational grazing, which will provide us with maximum productivity on the part of the grass while at the same time allowing the cow to give optimum performance. [From the Introduction]

Silvopasture

Author: Steve Gabriel
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 1603587314
Size: 62.67 MB
Format: PDF
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A system for regenerating land, storing carbon, and creating climate resilience The concept of silvopasture challenges our notions of both modern agriculture and land use. For centuries, European settlers of North America have engaged in practices that separate the field from the forest, and even the food from the animal. Silvopasture systems integrate trees, animals, and forages in a whole-system approach that offers a number of benefits to the farmer and the environment. Such a system not only offers the promise of ecological regeneration of the land, but also an economical livelihood and even the ability to farm extensively while buffering the effects of a changing climate: increased rainfall, longer droughts, and more intense storm events. Silvopasture, however, involves more than just allowing animals into the woodlot. It is intentional, steeped in careful observation skills and flexible to the dynamics of such a complex ecology. It requires a farmer who understands grassland ecology, forestry, and animal husbandry. The farmer needn't be an expert in all of these disciplines, but familiar enough with them to make decisions on a wide variety of time scales. A silvopasture system will inevitably look different from year to year, and careful design coupled with creativity and visioning for the future are all part of the equation. In this book, farmer Steve Gabriel offers examples of diverse current systems that include: A black locust plantation for fence posts coupled with summer grazing pastures for cattle in central New York; Oxen and pigs used to clear forested land in New Hampshire to create space for new market gardens and orchards; Turkeys used for controlling pests and fertilization on a cider orchard and asparagus farm in New York; and Sheep that graze the understory of hybrid chestnut and hickory trees at a nut nursery in Minnesota. All of these examples share common goals, components, and philosophies. The systems may take several years to establish, but the long-term benefits include healthier animals and soils, greater yields, and the capacity to sequester atmospheric carbon better than forests or grasslands alone. For all these reasons and more, Silvopasture offers farmers an innovative and ecological alternative to conventional grazing practice.

Cows Save The Planet

Author: Judith Schwartz
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 1603584331
Size: 11.40 MB
Format: PDF
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In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems—climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity—there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face. In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, since certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil—"green water"—in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility. Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.

Defending Beef

Author: Nicolette Hahn Niman
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 1603585362
Size: 63.43 MB
Format: PDF
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For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists that livestock--goats, sheep, and others, but especially cattle--are Public Enemy Number One. They erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization bolstered the credibility of this notion with its 2007 report that declared livestock to be the single largest contributor to human-generated climate-change emissions. But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly. In her new book, Defending Beef, environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for the Earth. The impact of grazing can be either negative or positive, depending on how livestock are managed. In fact, with proper oversight livestock can actually play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by performing the same functions as the natural herbivores that once roamed and grazed there. She shows how dispersed, grass-based, smaller-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production. And while no single book could definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth's growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world's future food system looks like, livestock can and must be part of the solution.

The Art And Science Of Shepherding

Author: Michel Meuret
Publisher: Acres USA
ISBN: 9781601730695
Size: 59.13 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This in-depth, multi-authored work originally published in France takes readers deep into traditional world of shepherds. Far from a nostalgic glimpse into a romanticized lifestyle, this book teaches how this sophisticated art and set of tangible skills has application in modern, North American range/livestock management. Through academic study and analysis and in-depth interviews with master shepherds readers will be amazed by the deep connection between the nutritional need for animals to feed, the powers of observation used by the shepherds to effectively care for and manage large herds, and how the traditional moving of the animals is more fitting to many landscapes than even the most progressive rotational grazing and moveable fencing systems. The compilation carries enough weight to dazzle the most ardent student and enough real-world know-how to equip the 21st-century herdsman with new insights and philosophies.

Grass Fed Nation

Author: Graham Harvey
Publisher: Icon Books
ISBN: 1785780778
Size: 65.74 MB
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For years we’ve been told that traditional foods are unhealthy because of their saturated fat content. In place of grass-fed meat, grass-fed dairy products, and eggs from hens running on pasture, we now mostly eat grain-fed meat and processed factory foods – and we’ve witnessed an epidemic of disease, from type-2 diabetes to heart disease and cancer. Modern agriculture has locked us into an unhealthy, vicious circle, with degraded foods pouring from an overstretched, impoverished landscape. There’s a simple remedy: the grass-fed movement. We can make sure that the meat, dairy foods and eggs we buy come from animals grazing on or running in pasture, as they always used to. This will also put life back into our soils and wildlife back onto our farmland. Graham Harvey, agricultural advisor to BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, lays out all the arguments for grass-fed food – why it’s good for us, and why it’s good for the planet.

Grass Soil Hope

Author: Courtney White
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 160358546X
Size: 56.27 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress, and economic instability? The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals. Scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet’s soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible? Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long-term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy. Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low-tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food. In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil then we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.

Holistic Management

Author: Allan Savory
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 155963488X
Size: 49.14 MB
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This work shows that on the most fundamental level, environmental problems are cuased by human management decisions rather than the commonly blamed culprits of environmental degradation, overpopulation, poor farming practices and lack of financial support.