Montana Ranch’s Riparian Grazing Program Shows Improvement
Posted on: Aug 14, 2013
A Montana ranch altered its grazing program with Ranch Advisory's assistance in 2010 from season-long grazing to a multi-pasture planned grazing approach. Since then, benefits to the riparian areas in this sub-irrigated bottom continue to be seen. The first photo was taken in 2010 and shows a steep, eroding stream bank. The second photo was taken in July 2013 just after the pasture had been grazed. While cattle trailed along the bank, new vegetation on that bank shows the bank has clearly stabilized. No erosion has been seen here since 2010.
Creating such improvement is dependent upon proper management of major grazing variables. The old and new grazing variables are described below:
Grazing duration: Old: 140 days. New: About 9 days.
Recovery days between grazing events: Old: None. New: 95 days.
Timing of grazings: Old: Season-long grazing. New: May be varied based on growing conditions.
Stock density: Old: 0.2 head per acre. New: 1 head per acre.
Stocking rate: The stocking rate has not changed.
Proper management of these variables has produced strong improvements in the riparian area. Look for more photos later as this project area is re-evaluated again.