Summary: Holistic management (HM) of grazing is rapidly gaining popularity on farm enterprises in Australia’s temperate grazing zone because it empowers graziers with a decision framework and an adaptive management paradigm to help with adaptation to climate variability. HM grazing, a proactive, low-tech solution, (1) provides flexible management options in the face of climatic uncertainty, and (2) enhances the resilience of the natural environment, thus leaving it better prepared for climatic variability. Adoption of HM grazing signals a change in farming mentality from trying to gain control over the land to working with natural variability and embracing an ethic of land stewardship. Farmers using HM grazing have reported a wide range of benefits, including reduced soil erosion, increased water efficiency, improved pasture species cover and composition, enhanced quality of life, and more stable financial returns. Public good benefits include increased carbon sequestration, more biodiversity, and reduced nutrient loads off-farm. Government can support the significant shift in grazing practices that is already underway.
Fischer, J., Kate Sherren, and H. Clayton. 2009. “Working in tandem with natural variability: New paradigms for livestock grazing in Australia.” Report submitted by researchers from Australian National University to the Federal Government House of Representatives Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Resources.