Managed Intensive Rotational Grazing (MIRG), also known as cell grazing, mob stocking, holistic managed planned grazing and possibly other terms as well. There’s lots of different names for it and each method is slightly different, but whatever you call it, the idea is to split up your land into the smallest size paddocks you can manage and move your animals as frequently as possible. The opposite is called continuous grazing, where the livestock have access to all the land all the time. The disadvantage of continuous grazing is that cattle will tend to nibble at the green tips of the grass they prefer, so the roots have to continuously contract to produce more leaf. Eventually the plant will die unless it is given a chance to recover and re-grow deeper roots.
|grass roots depending on grazing period and recovery time|
Rotational grazing allows the grass to recover. If its done properly, the cattle should eat most (but not all) of the available forage in the time they have in the area, and trample the rest. They will spread their manure over the area and then be moved away from their manure (and the parasites that can breed in the manure), to a fresh pasture.
The greatest benefit is realised the more frequently the animals are moved and the smaller the paddock size, but even splitting a property into a few large paddocks will make a difference to the ability of the pasture to regenerate. This method can also be used to graze forage in sections rather than letting the cattle have all the forage all at once. This ensures more even grazing and less wastage.
|our forage sorghum after the rain|
|Move the fence away from the water|
|Options for paddock with no water source, moving the fence around a gate|
Have you tried intensive grazing? How do you make it work at your place? What is stopping you using it more intensively? Any questions?