July 8, 2014

by

Brett managed cattle operations at Zapata Ranch from 2014-6.

Cattle are a tool.  Used properly they are an asset.  Used improperly, they are a liability.  Bottom line is, if you use a screwdriver to hammer nails, it’s not the screwdriver’s fault.

Through proper management, grass that is grazed by cattle and then given adequate rest, sequestrates carbon into the soil by collecting solar energy, growing roots that aerate the soil, trapping water and preventing topsoil runoff.

Left unused it simply seeds out and dies.  Because it’s not grazed there is no need to grow deep roots to get more water and minerals.  It can’t collect anymore solar energy.  It doesn’t fulfill its purpose.

I saw a good example of managed grazing vs. total rest riding the perimeter fence of the Chico at last week’s branding.  To the left of the fence shows land without livestock.  On the right you have the Chico.