This paper is a literature review on the ecological impacts of grazing, and finds that where managed properly (employing a “whole-systems approach” and “adaptive, goal-directed grazing methods”) livestock are essential to ecosystem service sustainability and improvement. This helps, for example, to enhance water infiltration, reduce erosion, increase plant biomass, improve nutrient cycling and sequester atmospheric carbon in newly formed soils. Soil organic matter increases were sufficient to yield a net sink of 2 tons of carbon per hectare per year. Deleterious impacts of livestock are shown to be artifacts of continuous year-round grazing management.
Teague, W. Richard. 2018. “Forages and Pastures Symposium: Cover Crops in Livestock Production: Whole-System Approach Managing Grazing to Restore Soil Health and Farm Livelihoods.” Journal of Animal Science, skx060. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skx060