the art and science of grazing how grass farmers can create sustainable systems for healthy animals and farm ecosystems

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The Art And Science Of Grazing

Author : Sarah Flack
ISBN : 9781603586115
Genre : Grazing
File Size : 57. 23 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Grazing management might seem simple: just put livestock in a pasture and let them eat their fill. However, as Sarah Flack explains in The Art and Science of Grazing, the pasture/livestock relationship is incredibly complex. If a farmer doesn’t pay close attention to how the animals are grazing, the resulting poorly managed grazing system can be harmful to the health of the livestock, pasture plants, and soils. Well-managed pastures can instead create healthier animals, a diverse and resilient pasture ecosystem, and other benefits. Flack delves deeply below the surface of “let the cows eat grass,” demonstrating that grazing management is a sophisticated science that requires mastery of plant and animal physiology, animal behavior, and ecology. She also shows readers that applying grazing management science on a working farm is an art form that calls on grass farmers to be careful observers, excellent planners and record-keepers, skillful interpreters of their observations, and creative troubleshooters. The Art and Science of Grazing will allow farmers to gain a solid understanding of the key principles of grazing management so they can both design and manage successful grazing systems. The book’s unique approach presents information first from the perspective of pasture plants, and then from the livestock perspective—helping farmers understand both plant and animal needs before setting up a grazing system. This book is an essential guide for ruminant farmers who want to be able to create grazing systems that meet the needs of their livestock, pasture plants, soils, and the larger ecosystem. The book discusses all the practical details that are critical for sustained success: how to set up a new system or improve existing systems; acreage calculations; paddock layout; fence and drinking water access; lanes and other grazing infrastructure; managing livestock movement and flow; soil fertility; seeding and reseeding pastures; and more. The author includes descriptions of real grazing systems working well on dairy, beef, goat, and sheep farms in different regions of North America. The book covers pasture requirements specific to organic farming, but will be of use to both organic and non-organic farms.

The Independent Farmstead

Author : Beth Dougherty
ISBN : 9781603586221
Genre : Organic farming
File Size : 40. 49 MB
Format : PDF
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With in-depth information on electric fencing, watering, and husbandry for ruminants, poultry, and pigs, plus butchering, dairying, and more If we work hard, we sleep well. Twenty years ago, when authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased the land they would come to name the Sow s Ear, the state of Ohio designated it not suitable for agriculture. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food. Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture management. Pioneered by such luminaries as Allan Savory, Greg Judy, and Joel Salatin, the tenets of holistic grazing employed mostly by larger-scale commercial operations have been adapted by the Doughertys to fit their family s needs. In The Independent Farmstead, The Sow s Ear model for regenerating the land and growing food the best you ever tasted is elucidated for others to use and build upon. In witty and welcoming style, The Independent Farmstead covers everything from choosing a species of ruminant and incorporating it into a grass-based system to innovative electric fencing and watering systems, to what to do with all of the milk, meat, and, yes, manure that the self-sustaining farm produces. Within these pages, the Doughertys discuss how to: Find and improve poor, waste, or abused land and develop its natural water resources; Select and purchase the appropriate ruminant for regenerating your farmstead; Apply fencing strategies and pasture management basics; Implement basic, uncomplicated food processing, including large and small animal butchering and cheese making; and Integrate grass, gardens, and livestock to minimize or eliminate the need for off-farm inputs. As the Doughertys write, more and more people today are feeling the desire for clean, affordable food, unmodified, unprocessed, and unmedicated and the security of local food sourcing for ourselves and our children. The Independent Farmstead is a must-have resource for those who count themselves as part of this movement: both new and prospective farmers and homesteaders, and those who are interested in switching to grass-based systems. Best of all it s the kind of rare how-to book that the authors themselves view not as a compendium of one-size-fits-all instructions but as the beginning of a conversation, one that is utterly informative, sincere, and inspiring. "

Greener Pastures On Your Side Of The Fence

Author : Bill Murphy
ISBN : WISC:89094252012
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 63. 61 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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Tired of cash flows that leave little money in your pocket? If you're feeding livestock in confinement rather than on pasture, you're working too hard and spending too much money. Your permanent pasture is a valuable resource that up till now has been wasted. Forget about how pastures are. Think of how they could be if they were managed with the same amount of attention that you give to your other crops. Voisin management intensive grazing takes into account the needs of both animals and plants, rather than animals alone. Its use can at least double or triple your pasture's productivity. This book explains why and how to use management intensive grazing, and what to expect from its use. It shows a way to simplify your farm operation, reduce its labor needs, increase its productivity, and improve your quality of life.

Holistic Management

Author : Allan Savory
ISBN : 9781610917438
Genre : Nature
File Size : 85. 33 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Fossil fuels and livestock grazing are often targeted as major culprits behind climate change and desertification. But Allan Savory, cofounder of the Savory Institute, begs to differ. The bigger problem, he warns, is our mismanagement of resources. Livestock grazing is not the problem; it's how we graze livestock. If we don't change the way we approach land management, irreparable harm from climate change could continue long after we replace fossil fuels with environmentally benign energy sources. Holistic management is a systems-thinking approach for managing resources developed by Savory decades ago after observing the devastation of desertification in his native Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Properly managed livestock are key to restoring the world's grassland soils, the major sink for atmospheric carbon, and minimizing the most damaging impacts on humans and the natural world. This book updates Savory's paradigm-changing vision for reversing desertification, stemming the loss of biodiversity, eliminating fundamental causes of human impoverishment throughout the world, and climate change. Reorganized chapters make it easier for readers to understand the framework for Holistic Management and the four key insights that underlie it. New color photographs showcase before-and-after examples of land restored by livestock. This long-anticipated new edition is written for new generations of ranchers, farmers, eco- and social entrepreneurs, and development professionals working to address global environmental and social degradation. It offers new hope that a sustainable future for humankind and the world we depend on is within reach.

The Carbon Farming Solution

Author : Eric Toensmeier
ISBN : 9781603585712
Genre : Science
File Size : 83. 10 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
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Agriculture is rightly blamed as a major culprit of our climate crisis. But in this groundbreaking new book, Eric Toensmeier argues that agriculture—specifically, the subset of practices known as “carbon farming”—can, and should be, a linchpin of a global climate solutions platform. Carbon farming is a suite of agricultural practices and crops that sequester carbon in the soil and in aboveground biomass. Combined with a massive reduction in fossil fuel emissions—and in concert with adaptation strategies to our changing environment— carbon farming has the potential to bring us back from the brink of disaster and return our atmosphere to the “magic number” of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Toensmeier’s book is the first to bring together these powerful strategies in one place, including in-depth analysis of the available research and, where research is lacking, a discussion of what it will take to get us there. Carbon farming can take many forms. The simplest practices involve modifications to annual crop production. Although many of these modifications have relatively low sequestration potential, they are widely applicable and easily adopted, and thus have excellent potential to mitigate climate change if practiced on a global scale. Likewise, grazing systems such as silvopasture are easily replicable, don’t require significant changes to human diet, and—given the amount of agricultural land worldwide that is devoted to pasture—can be important strategies in the carbon farming arsenal. But by far, agroforestry practices and perennial crops present the best opportunities for sequestration. While many of these systems are challenging to establish and manage, and would require us to change our diets to new and largely unfamiliar perennial crops, they also offer huge potential that has been almost entirely ignored by climate crusaders. Many of these carbon farming practices are already implemented globally on a scale of millions of hectares. These are not minor or marginal efforts, but win-win solutions that provide food, fodder, and feedstocks while fostering community self-reliance, creating jobs, protecting biodiversity, and repairing degraded land—all while sequestering carbon, reducing emissions, and ultimately contributing to a climate that will remain amenable to human civilization. Just as importantly to a livable future, these crops and practices can contribute to broader social goals such as women’s empowerment, food sovereignty, and climate justice. The Carbon Farming Solution does not present a prescription for how cropland should be used and is not, first and foremost, a how-to manual, although following up on references in a given section will frequently provide such information. Instead, The Carbon Farming Solution is—at its root—a toolkit. It is the most complete collection of climate-friendly crops and practices currently available. With this toolkit, farmers, communities, and governments large and small, can successfully launch carbon farming projects with the most appropriate crops and practices to their climate, locale, and socioeconomic needs. Toensmeier’s ultimate goal is to place carbon farming firmly in the center of the climate solutions platform, alongside clean solar and wind energy. With The Carbon Farming Solution, Toensmeier wants to change the discussion, impact policy decisions, and steer mitigation funds to the research, projects, and people around the world who envision a future where agriculture becomes the protagonist in this fraught, urgent, and unprecedented drama of our time. Citizens, farmers, and funders will be inspired to use the tools presented in this important new book to transform degraded lands around the world into productive carbon-storing landscapes.

The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer

Author : Jeff Carpenter
ISBN : 9781603585743
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 68. 43 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
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A new approach to growing local medicine, including information on geo-authenticity, wildcrafting, and developing a good business plan Both a business guide and a farming manual, The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer will teach readers how to successfully grow and market organic medicinal Western herbs. Whether you’re trying to farm medicinal plants, culinary herbs, or at-risk native herbs exclusively or simply add herbal crops to what you’re already growing, successful small-scale herb farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter will guide you through the entire process—from cultivation to creating value-added products. Using their Zack Woods Herb Farm in Vermont as a backdrop, the Carpenters cover all the basic practical information farmers need to know to get an organic herb farm up and running, including: • Size and scale considerations; • Layout and design of the farm and facilities; • Growing and cultivation information, including types of tools; • Field and bed prep; • Plant propagation; • Weed control, and pests and diseases; • Harvesting, as well as wild harvesting and the concept of geo-authentic botanicals; • Postharvest processing; and, • Value-added products and marketing. The authors also provide fifty detailed plant profiles, going deeper into the herbs every farmer should consider growing. In an easy-to-understand, practical, and comprehensive manner, readers will learn how to focus on quality over quantity, and keep costs down by innovating with existing equipment, rather than expensive technology.Market farmers who have never before considered growing medicinal herbs will learn why it’s more important to produce these herbs domestically. The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer makes a convincing case that producing organic medicinal herbs can be a viable, profitable, farming enterprise. The Carpenters also make the case for incorporating medicinal herbs into existing operations, as it can help increase revenue in the form of value-added products, not to mention improve the ecological health of farmland by encouraging biodiversity as a path toward greater soil health.

Defending Beef

Author : Nicolette Hahn Niman
ISBN : 9781603585378
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 65. 1 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
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For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists and health advocates that cattle and beef are public enemy number one. But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly, argues environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in her new book, Defending Beef. The public has long been led to believe that livestock, especially cattle, erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations. In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for either the Earth or our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe. Hahn Niman argues that dispersed, grass-fed, small-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production, replacing the factory farms that harm animals and the environment. The author—a longtime vegetarian—goes on to dispel popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false. She shows how foods from cattle—milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass—are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system. Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world, Defending Beef builds a comprehensive argument that cattle can help to build carbon-sequestering soils to mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, help prevent desertification, and provide invaluable nutrition. Defending Beef is simultaneously a book about big ideas and the author’s own personal tale—she starts out as a skeptical vegetarian and eventually becomes an enthusiastic participant in environmentally sustainable ranching. While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.

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