Holistic Management: Herbivores, Hats, and Hope

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cows
 

Grazing animals bad, undisturbed grass good. That's how we personally thought regeneration worked, five years ago. And we were not alone. You could be forgiven for thinking that any and all grazing animals (particularly of the introduced kind) have no role whatsoever to play in regenerating pastures, soils and land, simply because we know how much damage badly-managed grazing and animal management can do. And we as a society do love a good bit of polarity, especially when it comes to nature. Perhaps it's our quest for simplicity. At the same time, we inherently know that an ecosystem cannot be simplified down to a set of polar opposites.

However we frequently farm the land and expect it to give back without much thought or consideration for the complexity within the pastures, the biological relationships, the edge effects, the soil. The results of this approach speak for themselves – widespread desertification, aridity, loss of topsoil, salinification and the introduction of a catastrophe of chemicals and hormones into the food chain, which our grandchildren will not be the last to bear the legacy of Read More…