This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
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Grasslands need time to rest when cattle and other animals feed on
them. Moving animals from one area of pasture to another can provide the time
needed for new growth. This is called rotational grazing.
Experts say rotational grazing is good for the land and the animals,
and it can save money. This form of grazing can reduce the need for pesticide
treatments by reducing the growth of weeds. And it can limit the need for
chemical fertilizers by letting animal waste do the job of natural fertilizer.
Rotational grazing can even help prevent wildfires by keeping grasslands in
Letting animals feed continually and intensively in the same grazing
areas can require costly replanting. Animals eat the most desirable growth
first. When that keeps happening, the roots do not have enough time to recover.
As a result, less desirable plants may replace them.
Intensively used grasslands are also harmed as the soil is continually
crushed under the weight of heavy animals. And the animals usually avoid their
own waste, so that reduces the amount of good grazing space even more.
Experts say that while rotational grazing can save money over time, it
also requires planning. And that starts with a good map to mark fences, water
supplies and grazing areas.
Changing methods of grazing also requires time. Farmers may want to
put up electric fences to enclose grazing areas, called paddocks. The paddocks
will need water. Some farmers design paths for animals from different paddocks
to drink from a common watering place.
Farmers can start rotational grazing by removing animals from a
pasture when the grass is eaten to less than five centimeters. The pasture is
then kept empty until the grass grows to more than fifteen centimeters high.
Experts say sheep and goats may require special preparations. They may
need stronger fences than other animals. And while they eat the grass, they may
need guard animals to protect them from animals that would like to eat them.
that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. For
transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports, visit us on the Web at
voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find captioned videos of our reports and
post comments and questions. I'm Steve Ember.