Grazing Principles

Overgrazing is a Function of Time

  • It happens to individual plants, not pastures
  • IDEAL – Graze, Manure, Trample Every Plant, and then Allow Recovery

Recovery Time – Is the Length of Time Needed for Desired Plants to Recover

  • Slow Growth = Slow Recovery
  • Fast Growth = Fast Recovery
  • Slow Growth = Slow Moves
  • Fast Growth = Fast Moves

If You Stay Too Long in a Fast Growth Period – Overgrazing can Occur in as Little as 3 Days

More Paddocks 

  • Allows for Full Canopy and Root Recovery
  • More Flexibility
  • Greater Stock Density
  • More Even Utilization/Trampling/Fertilization
  • Temporary Electric Fence Increases Paddocks without Additional Infrastructure 

Recovery Period

The Recovery Period is the Number of Days Between Grazings

Image Credit: Colorado Sate University
Colorado Sate University
  • The Recovery Period is the Single Most Important Point in Planned Grazing. It is Essential that Plants Have Been Fully Recovered from the Previous Grazing Before Being Grazed a Second Time.
  • Recovery Time may be Shortened Slightly by Leaving More Leaf or Solar Panels Behind

Increased Stock Density with Short Duration  Grazing  

  • Can Help to Reduce Invasive Plants
  • Can Help Increase Water Infiltration and Water Storage
  • Can Help Increase Mycorrhizal Fungi and Earth Worms
  • Can Help Increase Dung Beetles
  • Can help Increase Animal Performance
  • Can Help Provide Stock Piled Forage
  • Can Help Produce a Uniform Distribution of Grazing Animals
Illustration by Heidi Nutra of Conservation Research
Illustration by Heidi Nutra of Conservation Research
  • Can Help Increase the Diversity of the Above Ground and Below Ground Biological Community

Control Time – The Key to Regenerative Agriculture

How to Control Time

  • Portable Electric Fence
  • Permanent High Tensile One Wire Electric Fence
  • Herding and Placing Animals with Horse or ATV
  • eSheperd – Smart Collar with GPS Virtual Fence
  • Herding and Placing Animals with Drones

One of the easiest and inexpensive ways to control time is with the use of portable electric fence


How Electric Fence Works

How Electric Fence Works

The energizer fence terminal (positive) is connected to the fence wires. 

The energizer terminal (negative) is connected to the ground rod.

An animal standing on the ground and touching the electric wire will complete the circuit and get a shock.

Electric fence is safe. Animals remember a short sharp but safe shock. 

Electric fence is easy to install.

Because your animals learn to avoid an electric fence, the fence will last longer and stay in good condition.

Electric fences are at least 50% cheaper.

There are two types of energizers:

  • Mains powered – these are energizer units which are plugged into a mains power supply.
  • Battery/Solar powered – these are energizer units which can be left out in your paddock and require a battery to run them. Two batteries can be rotated on a regular basis or a solar panel can be an effective means of continuously charging your battery.

Steps to Good Grounding

  • Grounding is perhaps the most neglected component of many fence systems. We recommend three ground rods, 6’ deep and spaced 10’ apart for every 3 joules of Energizer.  Never attach copper to steel. Electrolysis can occur and result in corrosion which weakens shocking power. Use galvanized ground wire and grounding rods to avoid this problem.
     
    Consider that most energizers use galvanized or stainless-steel terminals – not copper. Think of your ground system as an antenna that gathers electricity to deliver the shock to the animal.  A hose clamp holding a piece of copper wire to a rusty t-post has been the weakest link of many electric fence systems. 
  • Test your ground rods by using a fault finder. If you are losing more than 200 volts on the round rod, use more ground rods. You can often hear a ticking sound on the ground rod, indicating a poor ground.

 Uses for Temporary Fence

Temporary Fence Between Two Herds of Cattle
Temporary Fence Between Two Herds of Cattle
Fence off Riparian Areas
Fence off Riparian Areas 
Fence a Road Out or Make a Temporary Boundary
Fence a Road Out or Make a Temporary Boundary
Make a Small Paddock Next to a Corral the Day Before Shipping
Make a Small Paddock Next to a Corral the Day Before Shipping
Increase Stock Density with Smaller Paddocks
Increase Stock Density with Smaller Paddocks
Provides the ability to Leave Lots of Leaf or Solar Panels Behind for Faster Recovery
Provides the ability to Leave Lots of Leaf or Solar Panels Behind for Faster Recovery
Increase Stock Density on Invasive Plant Species, like Timothy or Crested Wheat
Increase Stock Density on Invasive Plant Species, like Timothy or Crested Wheat 

If you have any uses with your Power Grazer product you’ve found to be helpful, please share them with us!