Mob-grazing strives to maximize forage utilization and minimize selective grazing by using high stocking densities in small paddocks for short durations (12–24 hr). Rotational-grazing uses low stocking densities for a longer time period, retaining about half of the original available forage; although selective grazing can occur. Three cattle (Bos taurus × Bos indicus) grazing intensities: mob- (stocking densities from 32,000 to 67,000 kg ha−1; duration—24 hr); rotation (stocking density—2500 kg ha−1; duration—35 d); and non-grazed systems were compared based on forage utilization and changes to western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) (WS) patch volume in a 2-year South Dakota study. Pre- and post-grazing forage height was measured every 2.5 m along multiple 50-m transects with WS patch volume measured every 5 m. Forage utilization (consumed and trampled) ranged from 42 to 90% in mob-grazed areas, and harvest efficiency (forage consumed) ranged from 15 to 64%. WS patch volumes decreased by ≥45% in mob-grazed treatments compared with no change in rotational-grazing and increased cover in non-grazed areas. WS pre-graze patch size influenced mob-grazing impact; patches >6500 cm3 were browsed or trampled to a greater extent than smaller patches.
Part of the book: Forage Groups