Benefits of Bale Grazing

Neil Dennis from Saskatchewan Canada has been experimenting with high stock density for many years and has noticed some interest phenomena over the year. Neil’s stock density is approximately 800 head /acre or 500,000 pounds per acre. He has experimented with bale grazing to increase organic matter and has fed as much as 8.5 tons/acre for a “deep massage.”

Increased soil carbon due to bale grazing on right

The cost for this treatment at $100/ton for first cut brome/alfalfa is $850/acre. Neil says it takes about 18 minutes to set up a ¼ mile of fence to get that stock density. He’s found that he has a 20-30% improved utilization with higher stock density. He started out with 1-2% organic matter but has built it to 5-6% organic matter in the areas where he does his “deep massage.” Benefits? He’s improved his forage production from 40 Animal Days per Acre to 120. His investments are paying off. To read more stories about what people are doing with Holistic Management, subscribe to HMI’s IN PRACTICE journal


  1. Frank Aragona says:

    Good work here. Exciting to see solid measurements in organic matter fluctuations being tracked. Does he monitor this himself via a local soils lab, or does somebody come and do the sampling for him?

    • I believe he has someone local doing the sampling and sending off to the local lab. He mentioned that he just had Peter Donovan up there to do some soil testing as part of the Carbon Challenge.

  2. I am curious, what is the scale of that photograph, i.e. how deep is that organic section on the left and right?

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