A new web article from Texas AgriLife explains how a research study shows that holistic planned grazing (called adaptive multi-paddock grazing in the study) enhances water infiltration and retention while protecting water quality. In fact, water runoff was as much as 39% lower with holistic planned grazing than heavy continuous grazing.
The study was funded by the Dixon Water Foundation and is titled “Evaluating the ranch and watershed scale impacts of using traditional and adaptive multi-paddock grazing on runoff, sediment and nutrient losses in North Texas, USA.” The full journal article can be found at https://bit.ly/2mCiqdl. The study was conducted by Dr. Srinivasulu Ale, a geospatial hydrology associate professor; Dr. Richard Teague, rangeland ecology and management scientist; Dr. Jaehak Jeong, associate professor at Temple; and Dr. Jong-Yoon Park.
Researchers used the Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender, or APEX, model to evaluate the influence of continuous and multi-paddock grazing practices on runoff, sediment and nutrient losses at both the ranch- and watershed-scales. They found that the holistic planed grazing increased water infiltration which lead to greater soil moisture and decreased runoff, which also led to improved water quality and more sustainable rangelands.
Also of interest was the nitrogen and phosphorus losses that occur with water runoff that can affect water quality. The simulated surface runoff results when changing from a baseline of holistic planned grazing increased by as much as 158% from 1980-2013. Researchers noted that grazing management has a much larger impact on the amount of surface runoff and subsurface flow than any other hydrologic component.
So whether your goal is increased water retention, improved rangeland production, reducing nutrient loss, or decreasing risks of flooding, holistic planned grazing can make a significant difference to your landscape and your business.
To learn more about holistic planned grazing, download our free e-book.
To see the results from holistic planned grazing, watch the Getting Results on the Land with Holistic Management video.
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