How Grazing Strategy impacts Ecological Processes

This article on sustainable agroecosystems by Richard Teague looks at how Regenerative Grazing Farmers manage specifically to optimise four key ecosystem functions. Research was undertaken at commercial ranch scale across North America.

The biggest limiting factor in grazing and cropping agriculture is not the amount of rain that falls but the amount that stays in the soil. Soil microbes control 90% of soil and ecosystem function so management must enhance not degrade soil microbial biodiversity and function. Regenerative farmers must manage to mimic the evolved ecosystem functions of native grasslands and savannas. Soil microbial and associated plant communities in grazing ecosystems did not evolve under abandonment, but coevolved as complex, dynamic ecosystems comprising grasses and soil biota, grazers, and their predators.

Richard Teague (Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Texas A&M University)

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