GRASS AND CATTLEat West Wind Farm, Greenbrier County, WV          by Martha Holdridge
Feedlot - Oklahoma     Typical source of commercial supermarket beefStanding in excrement + no grass + unnatural major fee...
Management-Intensive Grazing (MIG) • Paddock fence -   polywire electric • Water trough   with float valve • Daily moves t...
Rotational Grazing• Efficient and effective  – Cattle - 100% forage diet     • healthy meat/milk  – Ongoing pasture fertil...
Soil Tests Show Startling Benefit• ORGANIC MATTER  – tested by WVU soil testing service• 2004 4.1%  2007 8.3%• Asked WVU ...
How Does Cattle Eating Grass   Lead to Carbon Sequestration?• Grass leaves and roots are a product of  photosynthesis (sun...
Organic vs Chemical ManagementOrganic soilsenhance soil life,grass rootstructure, andmineral nutrientuptake. Managedgrazin...
Clover Draws Nitrogen from the Air   Clover root nodules hold nitrogen in soil   for gradual use by both clover and grass
Fossil Fuel to Raise a Steer = 5 barrels/283                    gal.Gas/diesel/oil: for plowing, planting, cultivating, ha...
Fossil Fuel to Raise a Steer on Pasture:        Less than 20 gal. (examples)Estimates by 2 NE Pasture Consortium members: ...
WEST WIND FARM Management Intensive Grazing
Useful Links• Eat Wild by Jo Robinson  – www.eatwild.com• Rodale Institute  – www.rodaleinstitute.org• Amazing Grazing Dir...
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West Wind Farm-GrassFedBeef PowerPoint

  1. 1. GRASS AND CATTLEat West Wind Farm, Greenbrier County, WV by Martha Holdridge
  2. 2. Feedlot - Oklahoma Typical source of commercial supermarket beefStanding in excrement + no grass + unnatural major feedsource (grain) = need for antibiotics, hormones to prevent illness and promote rapid growth
  3. 3. Management-Intensive Grazing (MIG) • Paddock fence - polywire electric • Water trough with float valve • Daily moves to fresh paddock • Paddock rest of 14 to 28 days • Kelp/salt mix
  4. 4. Rotational Grazing• Efficient and effective – Cattle - 100% forage diet • healthy meat/milk – Ongoing pasture fertilization • dung + carbon cycle + nitrogen cycle – Pasture rest - then vigorous re-growth – Protects best grasses • Steers are moved before eating grasses too short• At WWF, daily moves to fresh pasture – Steers are happy to move
  5. 5. Soil Tests Show Startling Benefit• ORGANIC MATTER – tested by WVU soil testing service• 2004 4.1%  2007 8.3%• Asked WVU Prof.: Why so great a change!!• Answer: “You’ve been sequestering carbon!” 4 tons SOC / acre in 5 years = 15 tons CO 2• Why? How? Organic pasture management combined with daily rotational grazing.
  6. 6. How Does Cattle Eating Grass Lead to Carbon Sequestration?• Grass leaves and roots are a product of photosynthesis (sun+CO2+green plant+water).• When cattle eat grass leaves, the roots partially die back, leaving organic matter in the soil.• That organic matter is 57% carbon (C). - It is called soil organic carbon (SOC).• Result: C of CO2 in air is drawn into the soil – Yield: more soil, better soil = SOIL REGENERATION• Rotational grazing  pulsing of grass/root growth  pulsing of carbon sequestration
  7. 7. Organic vs Chemical ManagementOrganic soilsenhance soil life,grass rootstructure, andmineral nutrientuptake. Managedgrazing causesroot dieback thatincreases SOC. Organic Chemical http://www.wtamu.edu/~crobinson/SoilFert/ section2/AR2007091900472.html
  8. 8. Clover Draws Nitrogen from the Air Clover root nodules hold nitrogen in soil for gradual use by both clover and grass
  9. 9. Fossil Fuel to Raise a Steer = 5 barrels/283 gal.Gas/diesel/oil: for plowing, planting, cultivating, harvesting,drying corn/soy beans, transport of animals & grain to feedlots.Natural gas: used to produce chemical fertilizers, pesticides. Credit: National Geographic, June 2004
  10. 10. Fossil Fuel to Raise a Steer on Pasture: Less than 20 gal. (examples)Estimates by 2 NE Pasture Consortium members: 17, 15 gal.• No fuel for grain production, chemical fertilizers, or pesticides• Minimal fossil fuel for spreading lime, making hay, transport. .
  11. 11. WEST WIND FARM Management Intensive Grazing
  12. 12. Useful Links• Eat Wild by Jo Robinson – www.eatwild.com• Rodale Institute – www.rodaleinstitute.org• Amazing Grazing Directory – www.futureharvestcasa.org/publications• West Wind Farm – www.westwindfarm.biz/ – martha@westwindfarm.biz; Tel: 301-229-2813

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