Ranch Advisory helps Colorado Client Design Grazing Strategy on Newly-Purchased Property
Posted on: May 09, 2014
A long-time Colorado client recently purchased a new ranch, and they seek to improve rangeland health, wildlife habitat, and livestock production on this new property. The ranch has known seaon-long grazing for many years, and appeared to be underperforming during a recent assessment. Ranch Advisory is helping design the new grazing strategy, and well as helping to track improvements in rangeland health. Some photos of the property follow.
This photo shows a pasture that burned in a 2008 wildfire. Since that fire, the pasture has known season-long grazing and high stocking rates in the active growing season, which produced the excessive bare ground and low plant vigor seen in the photo. New managers will reduce the grazing duration to roughly 10% of what it has been, and the the number of uninterrupted growth days between grazing events will more than quadruple. Stock densities will increase by more than triple. This action will speed the healing of this pasture, and will improve rangeland health.
This photo shows a riparian bottom that was managed for season-long grazing for many years. Plant vigor on this bottom was low, and the small channel appeared to be wide with shallow water. The new grazing management strategy will greatly shorten the grazing duration and lengthen the recovery period between grazings. This riparian area should respond quickly to the new strategy, and it's ability to provide forage and cover for a variety of wildlife species should increase. Further, in time, the meadow should produce extra forage for livestock.