Resting from Grazing
This a land management tool that seems easy to understand. It is simply the removal of stock from the land so the grasses and other vegetation can regrow for the next grazing.
There are a few things for land managers to think about when planning their property`s grazing arrangements.
How many mobs do the stock need to be in?
Do native and feral animals graze the land as well?
What varieties of edible plants need to be planned for?
What rest period is ideal for each of the edible species at different times of the year?
How many paddocks are available?
With all these factors in mind a grazing and rest (from grazing) plan can be attempted.
The ideal is to graze plants for as short a period as possible, leaving all plants evenly grazed, then to have all plants regrow to the stage that all the root reserves have been replenished before grazing the next time.
The ideal is also to not overrest the plant so that the nutritional value has declined and the plants regenerative ability has not diminished.
In reality, the greater the variety of plants, the greater variations of ideal rest periods to allow for. Lets say there are 3 main grass species, with ideal rest periods of 30, 40, & 45 days. The planned rest period should then be for 45 days to ensure all plants are not overgrazed. But the animals tend to graze one species over another for varying reasons. and if all plants are not grazed, then the less desirable plants are over rested. In fact, most pastures have overgrazed and overrested plants in the same pasture.
The land manager has to juggle all this and compensating stock numbers to get the best health and production from the plants on his property without causing any harm.
What happens when plants are overrested