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Advanced Cell Grazing with Geoff Lawton

Last year on Permaculture News there was an excellent article on Advanced Cell Grazing by Nick Burtner who documents the circular cattle lane-way on Geoff Lawton’s 66 acre Zaytuna Farm.

Geoff devised a system of easy to install temporary electric-fenced cattle lane-ways that lead to over 38 grazing cells on his farm — small plots of grazing land where cattle could be kept well fed for a day or two before being moved on to the next cell on a rotational basis. It was important to keep the cattle moving regularly and leave 6 to 8 inches of grass behind so that this land had a constant opportunity to renew itself and improve its fertility.

Cattle moved in this way allow the cells to be rested and only visited by the cattle on a rotational basis once every 30-50 days. Grass grown and rested in this system is able to reach its full height with the side benefit of increasing plant diversity that enables the system to flourish and multiply with increased biodiversity.

This then leads to a richer and more stable ecosystem. To have a broad range of grasses and a rich mix of herbs is the Eldorado of all natural farmers. Very few however reach that potential.

In the full video, Geoff outlines the steps he took to achieve this goal.

There is a down side to this system however, if you bring in new cattle not used to eating a rich variety of plant material, as Geoff discovered to his horror.

2 Comments

  1. Hi there..
    Without trying to be mean or anything; I really wonder how come Geoff talks about holistic management without saying “holistic management” at any time, or talk about John Savory or André Voisin who really are the guys that “came up” with that system.
    My question is really coming out of curiousity, please enlight me.

    1. We are just cell grazing our cows in a totally flexible mobile electric fenced cell shape and size system which is connected to a permanent electric fence laneway. The laneway is carefully designed to thread its way through a very polycultured farm site. It does not follow the holistic management system as described in https://www.savoryinstitute.com/science/holistic-management-overview/ so I have been careful not to upset anyone.
      If you think it follows the “holistic management” that’s fine with me.

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