In adaptive grazing management, we are constantly adjusting and “adapting” our management to a variety of factors from weather, to the specific paddock we’re in, to the time of year it is as well as adapting to past management decisions. The challenge with adapting is that it is so easy to forget past observations or management decisions.
This is why I recommend recording observations and recording management decisions when you do them so that you have something to base future decisions off of. How you record these can be entirely up to you, maybe it’s a journal you keep in your side-by-side, or photos taken on your smart phone that you organize into different folders. Whatever it is, keeping accurate and detailed records is key when you reflect on how past management has impacted a given paddock or animal.
Here’s a brief list of things to make observations of as often as possible:
- What species are livestock eating
- What are they not eating
- How much are they consuming
- Condition of cattle
- Amount of cover left on soil
- Insect and wildlife presence
- Brix reading if you own a brix refractometer
- Stock density (pounds of animal/acre)
As you continue to make observations and adapt to them your grazing management skills will improve as well as your soils, and business! If you want to learn more about grazing management, check out the Pasture Project Youtube channel! They have a great video series on grazing management and fencing techniques! If you have any questions, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.