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The Stapledon Memorial Trust, in partnership with the British Society of Animal Science and the British Grassland Society, hosted a free two-part webinar series on ‘Mob Grazing – Principles and Practice.’
There is renewed interest in this system of using extended grazing intervals to build up herbage mass, part of which is grazed, due to the potential for the remainder to be incorporated into the soil to increase soil carbon.
Yann Le Du and Alan Hopkins
The evolution of controlled grazing management will be reviewed highlighting some of the underlying biological principles involved. What do we know and perhaps more importantly, where are the gaps in our knowledge? The concept of a “Grazing Continuum” will be used to highlight some of the important critical factors when managing the system, particularly the effects of grazing duration on pasture recovery.
Mob grazing practices on British farms producing pasture-fed livestock
Lisa Norton, CEH
The results of interdisciplinary research on mob grazing practices on Pasture for Life Association farms that was carried out as part of the ‘Sustainable economic and ecological grazing systems – Learning from Innovative practitioners’ (SEEGSLIP) project will be presented. The research revealed a range of practices badged under ‘mob grazing’ varying dependent on stocking intensity and the longevity of grazing and rest periods. The research also revealed the importance of understanding the social aspects of the uptake of these practices.
Understanding rotational ‘mob’ grazing: impacts benefits and trade-offs
Lizzie Sagoo, Principal Soil Scientist, ADAS
A new Defra funded research project will examine the environmental and productivity benefits of mob grazing systems in the UK. There is increasing interest in this system from UK farmers due to perceived productivity and environmental benefits. However, there is limited UK research to quantify the impact of mob grazing systems. The project will compare mob grazing and conventional grazing systems at 9 farm sites across the country measuring livestock performance, soil quality, biodiversity, and diffuse pollution.
Is Mob grazing beneficial for soil health and the environment?’
Poppy Frater, SRUC
Poppy will discuss her PhD project where she is collecting soil samples from three farms in Scotland that utilise livestock in the arable rotation: a set stocked, a rotational grazed and a mob grazed farm. She is primarily interested in soil carbon but will look at other indicators of soil health too. She is in year one of her PhD so will discuss her progress to date and further plans.