Rotational Grazing on Glenwood
This week Norm has been moving or rotating the sheep – on a daily basis – from paddock to paddock, under our Holistic Management Plan. The original idea for Holistic Management was developed by Allan Savory and we have been following his teachings for 18 years to achieve sustainable environmental, economic, and social benefits.
The idea is to have short grazing periods and then give the land and the grasses a long rest, up to 120 days, before the sheep come back into that paddock gain. This mimics how the land was originally grazed by native animals and allows us to maintain 100% ground cover. This allows us to capture all of the rain that falls on Glenwood - it doesn't just run off but rather soaks into the ground and builds up the underground water table.
Norm is able to gauge and measure this by continually observing the ground cover and grasses on a daily basis in the paddocks, determining if we have enough feed for the next 3 months for the stock.
If we do not get the rain needed we can then de-stock (sell excess cattle or sheep) which is more sustainable for the land, the animals and our business.
If it does rain we are then able to make a decision if we have enough animals on Glenwood or if we need to purchase more. If the market price is too high and we really do need more stock to eat the excess grass we can make the decision to take cattle on "agistment". This means we let other people's cattle graze on our land if they are experiencing drought where they live.
Over the last month we have been blessed with amazing rain – 50 mm in the last week which is 2 inches in the old scale – so we have purchased 116 cattle on “Auctions Plus” – an online auction marketplace for stock. They arrived last Thursday and have settled in well grazing on the native pastures of Glenwood.