Skip to main content

Below is a rebuttal to Briske (2008) by Texas A&M scientist Richard Teague. Teague is actually one of the coauthors of Briske (2008). He published several papers (Teague 2009, Teague 2011) refuting Briske (2008) after Briske failed to integrate evidence contrary to his position that reflected positively on multi-paddock grazing and in accord with benefits of a adaptive management toward ecological goals, as advocated by Savory (1999).

Teague (2011) states:

"Our study contradicts a recent review of rangeland grazing studies (Briske et al., 2008) which suggested MP grazing does not improve vegetation or animal production relative to continuous grazing. The discrepancy is because we measured the impacts on vegetation and soils achieved by ranchers managing at the ranch scale and adapting management in response to changing circumstances in order to achieve desirable outcomes"
The below was originally posted here, https://www.box.com/....

Teague's 2011 paper, Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie is published in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. You can request a copy of the complete article from Teaque directly, r‐teague@tamu.edu

You can see a more detailed rebuttal of a Holechek and Briske here.
http://www.dailykos.com/...

And talking points regarding Savory: Validating the Efficacy and Correcting Misconceptions
http://planet-tech.com/...

In Defense of Multi-­paddock Grazing and a Rebuttal to Comments that Savory's Work is Discredited

Richard Teague, Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas AgriLife Research Texas A&M University System, P.O. Box 1658 Vernon TX 76385. E-­mail: r‐teague@tamu.edu.

You may request copies of the Teague papers from me at r-­teague@tamu.edu

The debate on MP grazing is not over. Reviews of grazing management research by Holechek et al. (2000) and Briske et al. (2008) concluded “multi-­paddock grazing improves neither vegetation nor animal production relative to single-­paddock continuous stocking.“ This hypothesis and viewpoint is deficient because it does not consider 1) critical differences between reductionist science and management, 2) the integration of ecological, economic, and social goals required for successful management, and 3) the value of case studies for studying such phenomena.

Reviews of grazing management research by Holechek et al. (2000) and Briske et al. (2008) concluded “multi-­paddock grazing improves neither vegetation nor animal production relative to single-­paddock continuous stocking.“ This hypothesis and viewpoint is deficient...
Leading farmers and ranchers achieve superior results by the way they allocate resources, use different techniques, apply novel concepts and adaptively change these elements to achieve outcomes that exceed the sum of parts involved. This is the “art of farming”, long acknowledged as the producer of superior results. Reductionist science is wholly inadequate for improving understanding of management as it simplifies and isolates inputs and treatments so as to preclude the discovery of emergent properties that are the signature achievement of leading managers as discussed in detail by the Dutch scientists van der Ploeg et al. (2006).
Leading farmers and ranchers achieve superior results by the way they allocate resources, use different techniques, apply novel concepts...This is the “art of farming”,...Reductionist science is wholly inadequate for improving understanding of management as it simplifies and isolates inputs and treatments so as to preclude the discovery of emergent properties...
The book chapter by Teague et al (2009) outlines how these 2 opposite lines of thinking have come about. The majority of research referred to by Briske et al. (2008) has been short-­term and has examined the issue based upon a reductionist viewpoint that has not included the critical influences of scale, or how best to manage multi-­paddock grazing strategies to achieve sound animal production, resource improvement, and socio-economic goals under constantly varying environmental conditions that pertain on all rangelands.

To test this hypothesis, we compared ranches managed traditionally or with multi-­paddock grazing for at least 10 years. Our findings were consistent with the hypothesis that “at a ranch management scale, planned multi‐paddock grazing, when managed to give best vegetation and animal performance, has the potential to produce superior conservation and restoration outcomes for rangeland resources, to provide superior ecosystem services for society, and to yield greater ranch profitability and greater socio-­ecological resilience compared to season-­‐long continuous stocking.” This research is published in Teague et al. (2011).

During the last two decades, the vast majority of awards for conservation have gone to ranchers using multi-­paddock grazing of some form to accomplish ecological, economic, and social goals. Each one of these ranchers, and all others using multi-­paddock grazing, refutes the hypothesis of Briske et al (2008). As an illustration of the validity of this approach, the NRCS in Texas now receive Holistic Management training developed by Allan Savory and use it for their planning and management advice to ranchers throughout the state.

During the last two decades, the vast majority of awards for conservation have gone to ranchers using multi-­paddock grazing of some form to accomplish ecological, economic, and social goals...For the future, I believe we need to look at what the most successful ranch managers are doing to achieve excellent conservation goals.
We understand that for any grazing management to succeed it must be done correctly. That is why, as Allan Savory contends, we must specify goals and approaches to integrate desirable ecological, economic, and social objectives (Savory and Butterfield, 1999). This applies as much for multi-­paddock grazing as any other type of grazing. There have been many ranchers worldwide who have achieved very good results with multi-­paddock grazing, including Planned Holistic Grazing Management. However, there have also been many failures using multi-­paddock management. We need to learn from both.

For the future, I believe we need to look at what the most successful ranch managers are doing to achieve excellent conservation goals. Most have used some form of multi-­paddock grazing. But we also need to study those who have used multi-­paddock grazing but have failed to improve resources or profitability. We will learn what works from studying both.

Currently there is too much emotion on this topic. We need to get beyond personal vendettas and prejudices and concentrate on learning from those who, by integrating ecological, economic, and social goals, have achieved excellent results. We have to increase the health of the land for the benefit of those who earn their livelihoods from it and all those who benefit from the ecosystem services healthy landscapes provide.

References

Briske, D., Derner, J., Brown, J., Fuhlendorf, S., Teague, R., Gillen, B., Ash, A., Havstad, K., Willms, W., 2008. Benefits of Rotational Grazing on Rangelands: An Evaluation of the Experimental Evidence. Rangeland Ecology and Management 61, 3-­17.
Holechek, J.L., Gomes, H., Molinar, F., Galt, D., Valdez, R., 2000. Short duration grazing, the facts in 1999. Rangelands 22, 18-­‐22.

Teague, W.R., Provenza, F.D., Norton, B.E., Steffens, T., Barnes, M.K., Kothmann, M.M., Roath, R.L., 2009. Benefits of Multi-­‐ Paddock Grazing Management on Rangelands: Limitations of Experimental Grazing Research and Knowledge Gaps. In: Schroder, H.G. (Ed.), Grasslands: Ecology, Management and Restoration. Nova Science, New York, pp. 41-­80.

Teague, W.R., Dowhower, S.L., Baker, S.A., Haile, N., DeLaune, P.B., Conover, D.M., 2011. Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 141, 310-­322.

Savory, A., Butterfield, J., 1999. Holistic management, a new framework for decision making. 2nd edition. Island Press, Washington, D.C., 616 p.

Van der Ploeg, J.D., Verschuren, P., Verhoeven, F., Pepels, J., 2006. Dealing With Novelties: a Grassland Experiment Reconsidered. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 8, 199–218.
11 March 2013

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  This hard to follow and written in a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, Gooserock

    stern way. I come down on rotation or "multi-paddock" approach. The main advantages are cutting down on parasites and erosion.

    I have spoken.

    •  Most is Teague's writing rather than diary (0+ / 0-)

      Teague is on the same side of the fence that you are, and being stern with someone who was poo-pooing rotation.

      Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

      by grubber on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:22:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ?????? (3+ / 0-)

    huh?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:09:22 PM PDT

  •  Ah ha! (0+ / 0-)

    I've been following agro-ecology, holistic management and permaculture diaries for a while, and have seen a lot of mention of grazing mimicking nature as a good management practice.

    But, in following links and Googling around, all I could find out about the method was that it worked great and there was a workshop explaining everything starting soon on a farm somewhere.

    "Multi paddock grazing" It's starting to become clear what the method is all about.

    Thanks.

    "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

    by Orinoco on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:49:44 PM PDT

    •  Just look at an old farmers almanack (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharoney, Orinoco

      Or any longstanding community with grazing herds, rotating paddocks will always be the method used.

      There is in economic incentive to feed livestock corn while they stand belly deep in their own shit on the same lot.

      •  My dad used to have a farmer's almanac around (0+ / 0-)

        the house, but I haven't seen one in ages. Besides, I think this is a different method than simple rotating paddocks, something new, but I can't find any details easily available on line. Just tantalizing hints and invitations to workshops.

        I think one of the diarist's objections is that Savory critics confused his method with rotating paddocks.

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Fri May 03, 2013 at 08:13:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site