Over the last two decades, increasing concern for environmental protection, as
well as quality of life for themselves and their animals, has led some livestock owners to
move away from confinement operations to management intensive grazing (MIG). MIG
ensures sufficient monitoring and control over animal health, development, and the
utilization of resources. Grazing pressure can be controlled through the number of
animals allowed to graze an area, and timing can be adjusted to keep animals out of
vulnerable areas such as wet or erodible ground during critical periods.
In an attempt to compare benefits of management intensive grazing versus
continuous grazing and row crop management, this project sought to determine the
impacts of these three management systems on soil quality parameters. Physical,
chemical, and biological indicators of soil quality were measured and compared
statistically over an eight-year period. Results indicate that most biological indicators of
soil quality are better in MIG and CG systems compared to RC. Physical indicators of
soil quality indicated that RC management has poorer aggregation, but MIG can result in
high bulk densities and penetration resistance. Comparison of chemical indicators of soil
quality under the three management systems did not produce definitive results.
University of Minnesota Master of Science thesis. January 2011. Major: Soil Science. Advisor: Deborah L. Allan. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 59 pages.
Piotrowski, Keith Andrew.
Effects of Conversion to Management Intensive Grazing on Soil Quality.
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