Rotational grazing revives prairie

The sheep avoided big bluestem that had become woody by Aug. 20 when grazing began, favoring more tender species, including little bluestem, side-oats grama, wild bergamot, yarrow, purple prairie clover and some sunflower species. Photo Credits: Ann Wessel, BWSR
Natural Resources Conservation Service website: www.nrcs.usda.gov
Slayton-based Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist Megan Howell, right, and NRCS Soil Conservation Technician Allisa Wendland identified plants growing in the rotationally grazed prairie on Sept. 17, 2020, in Murray County south of Garvin.
Chris Schmidt moved solar-powered fencing Sept. 17, 2020. Each rotationally grazed paddock was about three-quarters of an acre. The sheep were usually moved every three or four days.
Chris Schmidt filled water tanks on Sept. 17, 2020, in a newly fenced rotational grazing paddock on a neighbor’s land in Murray County. Water must be hauled in from Schmidt’s farm just up the road. Solar-powered, portable fencing makes setting up new paddocks easier.
The sheep trampled around the more mature, woodier big bluestem grass.
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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Our mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.