Summary: Much anecdotal evidence from producers suggests that, if applied appropriately, multi-paddock grazing can improve forage and livestock production. By contrast, recent reviews of published rangeland-based grazing systems studies have concluded that, in general, field trials show no superiority of vegetation or animal production in multi-paddock grazing relative to continuous yearlong stocking of single-paddock livestock production systems. Perceptions differ among rangeland managers who have effectively used multi-paddock grazing systems and the research scientists who have studied them. Identifying and understanding the ecology of grazed ecosystems under free-ranging herbivores and under single-paddock fenced conditions, as well as adaptive management principles and actions, enable planned multi-paddock grazing management to be used at the ranching enterprise scale to facilitate management of rangelands under dynamic environmental conditions.
Teague, W. Richard, Fred Provenza, Urs Kreuter, Tim Steffens, and Matt Barnes. 2013. “Multi-paddock grazing on rangelands: Why the perceptual dichotomy between research results and rancher experience?” Journal of Environmental Management 128 (0):699-717.