Less Stress, More Grass by Managing Holistically

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Read full paper: “Less Stress, More Grass by Managing Holistically

Summary:

Organic dairy farm, Dharma Lea, experienced economic, social and ecological benefits when making the switch from rotational grazing to Holistic Planned Grazing. Improvements over three years included:
• A 120% increase in the number of grazing days per year, from 76 days to 167 days per year, which translates into an annual savings of $27,300.
• A drop in feed cost from 60% to 48% of the total cost of production.
• Improved profitability with a gross margin of 41%.
• Increased carrying capacity of the land, with a 68% increase in grass harvested by cattle on pasture.
• A significant improvement in livestock health, with a key indicator – mastitis – dropping from 73% to 3% within the herd.
• Improved milk quality, with a 10% increase in total milk solids.
• Improved quality of life for the entire family, including more time to spend together, more wildlife to enjoy, a sense of community, and a lot less stress.
• Improved financial position, enabling the family to purchase an additional farm that would triple the size of their land, provide a new family home, and allow expansion of the herd and milking parlor.

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