Our cattle are always on the move. Our farm is divided in about 16 sections which we can further subdivide with temporary fences when necessary to create what we call paddocks. This style of grazing accomplishes many things. Here are a few reasons why it is so important in producing grass-finished beef:
- Cattle nutrition is greatest when they are not forced to graze low on the plant, but instead only have to graze the tops of the grass. Most of the carbohydrates, sugars and other nutrition are located in the top half of the plant. And that’s what we want our cattle eating, especially when we’re trying to finish them.
- Soil health is maximized by grazing for a short period then resting the paddock for a long period. When a plant is grazed, it prunes off roots in the soil to match the vegetation above the surface. These roots then add organic matter to the soil which brings us to our next point.
- Carbon sequestration is maximized when grass is kept in a growing, vegetative state. By constantly moving cattle onto a paddock them removing them the grass is stimulated to keep growing. Anytime a plant is growing it is capturing carbon (CO2) and making oxygen through photosynthesis. So by responsibly raising animals on grass as nature intended, we can capture a primary greenhouse gas and deposit it back in the soil.
If you like the sound of all this, consider starting a Pickup Location to bring grass-based protein to your household and community.