While periodic monitoring is necessary for continued success, a thorough evaluation in the first few months will tell you a lot about grazing levels, benefits to livestock and livestock-to-acre ratio. By completing an early assessment, you’ll be able to adjust necessary variables before getting too far into your program.
Once the initial evaluation is completed, you may set up a periodic monitoring program to determine progress. Scheduled maintenance will vary depending on the program, but is necessary for the success of all grazing management systems.
When assessing the condition of your land and livestock, be sure to make written notes and records of everything you evaluate, including precipitation levels, grazing dates for each unit, and condition of more sensitive areas such as stream banks. This will be helpful for future assessments and comparisons and may also give you insight into the trends of your grass species.
The Healthy Grasslands article series is provided by the South Dakota Grassland Coalition in partnership with SDSU Extension. Contributing editors: Sandy Smart (SDSU Extension Rangeland Management Specialist), Pete Bauman (SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist), and Joshua Lefers (South Dakota Grassland Coalition Board Member, 2015–2017). © South Dakota Grassland Coalition 2017. View the full document for more information.