Can Grazing Animals Save the World?

G’Day Mob,

For the last couple of weeks you have joined me as we look at droving in northern New South Wales. This post I want to share the work of Alan Savory and his theories on how grazing animals can save the world.

Alan Savory believes grazing animals can contribute to, among other things, the lowering of atmospheric carbon, the stimulation of soil biology and the improvement of grassland health.

The basic premise is that when a large group of grazing animals are moved into an area for a short time they will uniformly eat all plants (rather than selective grazing), trample old grass into the soil and introduce nutrients through dung deposition. The animals are them removed for a long enough period for the grasses to recover and grow once more.

The big droving mobs act in this way. We had several of these mobs camp overnight on our Outstation block this summer. In this photo there are probably close to 1000 animals on 4 acres – that’s a high stocking rate in anyone’s language.

108 Drover's Mob

Since the droving mobs have left the grass has had time to recover and this next photo was taken yesterday. The grass on the left is long and rank with little nutritional value. The grass on the right, where the grazing cattle have been, is fresh and green and healthy.

108 Fenceline

I know which side looks the best. But don’t just take my word for it – head over to the TED site where you can listen to one of Alan’s inspirational talks.

In this farming business our number one priority is the safety of our families and our animals so before we leave the droving subject I will give the last word to my friend Shelley who can be often seen on the road with her kids and her cattle. This was her comment on Facebook recently:

108 Shell

It astounds me! The amount of people who just fly through without even slowing down. These signs are at both ends of where our cattle are. They are there for your safety, my safety and my children’s safety as well as the safety of our stock. Please use your brains & slow down!!”




8 responses to “Can Grazing Animals Save the World?

  1. High Country News ran an interesting article on grazing issues on this side of the pond.

    Yes, same problem here with cars and trucks. Drivers of motorized vehicles tend not to think much about cattle, horses, bikers, joggers or walkers.

  2. Great post. I really enjoyed that Ted Talk – the hope it provides is better than anything else I’ve heard. Great learning for me.

    • I think you are the only one so far to have actually listened to the talk – thanks for taking the time. Farmers, like myself, appreciate that.

  3. did you see the Gardening Australia program about the fellow in Victoria doing this on a small scale on his farm?

    • Didn’t see the program as we don’t have television but I have heard about this bloke. There is a lot of wonderful work being done around the country but as usual good news tends not to make headlines. Thanks for the link Naomi.

  4. Thanks for posting this it was very inspiring to listen to the quiet wisdom of Monsieur Savory.

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