EP40 Grazing for Water Infiltration

Agricultural producers who move fence and cattle (or some other ruminant) daily or every few days during the growing season have talked about the benefits of adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing, sometimes called rotational grazing, for soil health, plant diversity and their livestock for quite some time now. A recently released study on AMP grazing on the Prairies provides new evidence to support grazing our livestock in a similar way to the way the bison once grazed.

In Grazing for Water Infiltration, we talk to two of the scientists involved in the AMP grazing study: Dr. Mark Boyce and Dr. Timm Doebert of the University of Alberta. The research team studied over 50 ranches in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and found that ranches practicing AMP grazing had better water infiltration in their pastures than ranches that were not AMP grazers. Doebert and Boyce go over this specific finding with our podcast host.

If you are an agricultural producer who is thinking about changing how you manage your cattle, this episode may be for you, especially if you are aiming to keep as much moisture as possible on your land. If you are a producer who is already practicing AMP grazing, have a listen anyway. This episode will make you smile.

Highlights:

07:00 – Backgrounder on the AMP grazing study.

24:30 – Why is AMP grazing not just called rotational grazing?

31:40 – How the research team measured water infiltration in pastures.

37:50 – Factors that aid in water infiltration on rangelands.

44:30 – Animal impacts on water infiltration.

56:00 – Financial and monetary policies that may support AMP grazing in the future.

Alberta agricultural producers mentioned in this episode:

None in this episode surprisingly, but check out our other episodes for the names and stories of Alberta agricultural producers who are putting farm solutions that are also climate solutions into action.

Useful Links:

Click here to read the abstract from University of Alberta report on AMP grazing and water infiltration. To read the full report, please contact Dr. Timm Doebert. Timm’s contact details can be found here.

Want to learn more?

After listening to this episode, we recommend downloading and listening to Episode 1 and Episode 24 to learn more about good grazing management with cattle that is beneficial for ecology and the land. Our Farmer’s Blog is also the go-to source for stories of producers in Alberta who are going the extra mile with their management practices for the land, food and their communities.