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Grazing Lands Technical Monitoring Approach

Updated: Mar 15, 2020

Monitoring outcomes following implementation of adaptive, multi-paddock (AMP) grazing techniques will require manager and mentor to agree on how successful implementation should improve ecological indicators:

Before implementation, the rancher previously:

1) elucidated goals and future resource base and expected trial outcomes;

2) documented past grazing use/plans;

3) spoke with a local mentor about site-specific issues;

4) walked the section with NDGLC representative, where the rep identified patterns in forage production and use, evidence of bare soil or erosion;

5) prepared a grazing plan;

6) was briefed on ecology of things—how changing one thing changes everything;

7) was briefed on Coalition goals—information sharing and support;

8) was briefed on information needed to initiate changes of their own;

9) was briefed on principles surrounding low input perennial grasslands.

The Rep will enter survey questions, maps, data, and photos into the producer database. Rep will collect useful field data that will help the rancher see how his/her pasture changed as a result of grazing management. These data may would not be collected by the producer but by the Rep. These data may include pre- versus post implementation for variables such as:

1) calculation of carrying capacity based on forage or animal gains per acre or total AUs

2) estimates of bare ground

3) pasture production

4) plant diversity

5) root mass/length

6) soil aeration/infiltration/compaction/erosion

Other objectives:

A. Develop outreach materials to inform the public and the market of Coalition benefits. Educational materials should address the question “How can grazing systems help me?”

B. Gain a seat at the table among agricultural and conservation groups.

C. Work with partners/funding agencies to develop a way to share information

D. Pursue video library and podcast creation (e.g. Menoken farm)

E. Provide broad (not specific) geographic data map representing mentee/mentor partners, number of acres impacted, type of operation, date implemented, etc.

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