Reversing the Effects of Climate Change Through Managed Grazing

Climate change is a serious issue that must be addressed. Various industries are now looking for ways to reverse the disastrous consequences of this phenomenon., which include more droughts and intense heat waves, altered rainfall patterns, and rising sea levels.

In the farming sector, experts have discovered managed grazing as a potential solution against barren patches of land.

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Image source: Climate.nasa.gov

Overgrazing has been a problem in the past. Unmanaged pastures contributed to desertification in many parts of the world. Biologist Allan Savory suggested that a viable way to stop overgrazing is through holistic management of livestock. Contrary to common belief, large herds should graze barren grasslands. This will give the land a protective layer that binds the carbon in the ground while allowing it to return to its healthy state.

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Image source: Phys.org

Aside from preserving the land, grass-eating animals will also become healthier. Managed grazing can help in returning the earth to the normal levels of greenhouse gas emissions. If farms adapt to a managed grazing system, they will contribute to keeping future generations safe from the adverse effects of environmental damage.

Geoffrey Morell values naturally grown livestock. Livestock grow up healthier when raised the natural way, making them a better source of nutrients for the community. People can purchase his organic meat and dairy products in his farm, P.A. Bowen Farmstead, and other select farmer’s markets. Visit this website for more information.

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Conserving Resources: How Farmers can Save on Water

Water is a crucial element in both raising livestock and growing crops. In fact, farms are some of the largest water consumers. A principal need on most farms is the animals’ water supply and for irrigation to water a wide range of crops. Ensuring a reliable and sufficient flow of water into these areas is key to achieving food security and meeting sanitary requirements.

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Image source: noble.org

However, because of global warming, droughts are becoming more frequent and unusually strong weather changes are increasingly turning into a norm. The reservoirs are now getting less stable, and freshwater shortages are becoming more severe—even in tropical regions. All these contribute to poor yields, low-quality agricultural output, and even famine for hogs, cattle, and poultry. If enough time passes, farms will soon wither and die out. With these, it is high time that farmers start employing practices that would not only save his plants and animals but the freshwater water supply itself as well.

One way the farmer can conserve water is through the removal of phreatophytes. Examples of phreatophytes are Russian olive, tamarisk, willows, and cottonwood. These plants consume a significant amount of the soil’s moisture. By removing them, more water will be available for the more important crops. The U.S. Geological Survey also suggests the use of low-energy spray irrigation. It involves gently spraying water very close to the ground. With this method, irrigation efficiency would jump from 60 percent to 90 percent as compared to that with traditional spray irrigation.

When it comes to raising animals, however, limiting the amount of water the animals drink is not the way to go. Conservation practices are needed to help in maintaining ample supply. These include paying attention when filling tubs or tanks, diverting wash water from a clean-in-place (CIP) system to a storage tank, fixing leaks, and rinsing small equipment in a sink or bucket, rather than with running water.

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Image source: helloelgin.co.za

Geoffrey Morell focuses on growing organic species and in making farms, particularly those that raise livestock, more sustainable. For more insights into responsible farming, click here.

Why Rotational Grazing Makes Sense

Rotational grazing is a practice that has been put in place because it has proven a very economical option for cattle-raising farmers. On the surface it is the ultimate way to feed cattle which are managed for human consumption, but rotational grazing has been quite a revelation in that it has served other purposes.

Image source: transterraform.com

Proper management of grazing would entail that cattle be raised on specific areas within the pasture, called paddocks. This has resulted in a systematic renewal of nutrients from the soil. In other words, this kind of grazing involves alternating between periods of rest and availability on the turf.

There is a thickening effect on grass when it is grazed to a certain height and it is induced to grow laterally and take root. The growth becomes more dense and the grass independently finds its way to vacant top soil so that it could expand its foothold.

Rotation ensures manageable growth. While the cows are fed, the grass is grown neither too high and nor too low, leaving it generally free of unwanted elements like other small animals and insects.

When cows eat, they also produce manure, which is a very potent fertilizer. The genius of this is that it is built in as a manure management tool in the rotational grazing system.

This is clearly a win-win situation for grass and cattle. Grass is managed well as it spreads evenly throughout the pasture, as the farmer gets to enjoy a growing real estate that can accommodate more cows.

Image source: agric.wa.gov.au

Geoffrey Morell raises livestock in P.A. Bowen Farmstead, which is known for having the most relevant rotational grazing practices. To know more about the farm, visit this website.

Keeping The Pasture Healthy With Managed Grazing

Managing where and when livestock graze will be a huge boost in grass-fed, natural-raised livestock farming. Well-managed practices provide the best possible nutrients to the animals and builds a better habitat and ecosystem for them.

Image source: grainews.ca

There are various managed grazing methods currently being implemented, some of which are continuous grazing, high-density low-frequency grazing or mob-grazing, low-density high-frequency grazing, and strip grazing. All of these involve dividing the pasture into at least two sub-pastures, also known as paddocks, where livestock come and go to graze.

One of the most popular forms of managed grazing is rotational or deferred grazing. The process is done by leading a herd of animals to a paddock, where the available forage is consumed. After the sub-pasture is grazed off, the animals are transferred to a fresh one so that each product can have a rest period and have its forage regrown.

The rotation schedule is formulated considering herd size, paddock size, and number of paddocks. Also taken into account is the desirable residue height of the species, the forage, and the weather.

The deferred grazing method is the preference of many pasture farmers because it provides an environment where the soil can have optimum fertility courtesy of the even distribution of manure. It also takes advantage of deserted and defoliated pastures by replenishing them with nutrient stores.

Image source: canadiancattlemen.ca

Geoffrey Morell applies the best managed grazing methods in his farm, P.A. Bowen Farmstead to ensure his livestock are grown healthily. For more information on farming techniques, visit this website.

Revolutionary Practices In Farming

Farming covers a very broad spectrum, including the advancements, milestones, and breakthroughs on the livestock-raising side of the industry. Nowadays, farmers and ranchers are being supported by large groups of people with different expertise in raising animals. A variety of techniques and methods have been developed throughout the years to yield the best and healthiest animals. Here are three of these practices.

Image source: lubbockonline.com

Antibiotics

Using antibiotics correctly has become a primary focus of farm owners. Veterinarians have now more than ever, taken an active role in the raising of livestock. The key here though is to use antibiotics responsibly. Over-usage of antibiotics has been proven to increase the resistance of bad bacteria in the body.

Housing

Studies have suggested that the type of housing where farm animals are located impacts greatly on the quality and quantity of meat and dairy products. Take dairy cows as an example. Farm owners have now provided them with comfortable living quarters, installing soft mattresses, and even water beds to rest on. Quarters also have cooling systems as well such as fans and sprinklers. All these allow cows to produce more milk.

Biotechnology

What once was science fiction is now a reality. Scientists have continuously developed biotechnology to help farm owners. Crops today can live through droughts and flooding, which means farm animals still have food supplies during these and most of the harsh seasons.

Image source: fwi.co.uk

Geoffrey Morell is an advocate of healthy eating. He co-founded the P.A. Bowen Farmstead with Sally Fallon Morell. All of the livestock are pasture-fed to get the highest quality meat and dairy products. To learn more about farming techniques, visit this blog.

The Importance Of Soy-free Poultry Feed

Poultry producers are also concerned that soy is a common GMO food. It could have been genetically modified to be resistant so herbicide. Even if soy in feeds helps in accelerating the growth of the chickens, a sizable part of the population tends to suffer from Vitamin E and iron deficiencies. Some also suffer from the adverse effects of manganese, which depletes their and thus increases the death rates in poultry farms.

Image source: Grassfedtraditions.com

Soy contains plant-based estrogens called isoflavones, and these come out in the fat and yolks of soy-fed animals. These estrogens are feminizing, cause hormone disruption and also disrupt thyroid function.

Going soy-free could encourage farmers to wean themselves from government subsidy and find their own poultry feed supplier. Thirty percent of poultry feeds are composed of soy and finding a replacement could be costly.

Despite this, a healthy and ethical way to raise chickens is to pasture them. Raising them to be exclusively grass-fed is possible but not enough. Healthy chickens can also be fed oats, dried alfalfa, and corn. Raising them in a pasture also gives them access to worms and insects that are their natural food. With the right alternatives, it’s possible to completely replace soy with better ingredients that would guarantee the right amount of nutrition for facilitating normal poultry growth.

Image source: Wikimedia.org

Geoffrey Morell co-founded the Weston A. Price Foundation back in 1999, a nonprofit organization that specializes in researches for better meat and dairy products. In 2009, he acquired a 95-acre property and turned it into a farm that raises pasture-fed livestock and organically grown species. P.A. Bowen Farmstead provides the community with naturally grown and pasture-fed livestock and poultry products. For more information about Geoffrey’s projects, visit this page.

Weighing in On the Advantages of Pasture-based Farming

Does pasture-fed beef live up to its marketing hype?

From both an ethical and a dietary perspective, yes. Pasture raising has displayed significant advantages in farming.

Pasture-based farming is widely considered a step up from conventional farming methods by animal welfare activists who believe battery farming to be cruel and unethical due to the appalling conditions animals are forced to live in.

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Image source: humaneitarian.org

Factory farms are cramped and unsanitary and do not allow animals to behave as they would naturally. Such situation leads to breeders utilizing hormones and excessive antibiotics. In contrast, pastures are comparatively cleaner, thus making the spread of communicable diseases less likely, and allows animals to live out their lives. Antibiotic use is significantly reduced and often limited to when an animal needs veterinary attention.

Moreover, pastures have less of an issue disposing of the animals’ wastes. The wastes in the pasture are allowed to decompose to maintain its fertility.

The diet and behavior of the animals also result in a significant difference in the nutritional content of the meat, milk, and eggs derived from the animals. The meat from pasture-raised cattle, for instance, has less overall fat but has a higher percentage of omega-3 and other beneficial fatty acids, with pasture-fed meat having a more balanced ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s.

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Image source: eatwild.com

Due to regional and breed variations, the meat of grass-fed animals would taste slightly different but often comes with herbaceous, mineral-rich flavor frequently absent from factory-farm raised animals.

Geoffrey Morell‘s P.A. Bowen Farmstead raises livestock in pastures, producing high quality meat and dairy products for consumers. For more information, visit the farm’s website.