Key Research Paper Summaries Germane to Holistic Management

Compiled by Seth J. Itzkan

Planet-TECH Associates

For more information on Holistic Management, see www.savoryinstitute.com

Bold added

Teague, R. (2013). DEFICIENCIES IN THE BRISKE ESTIMATES OF CARBON SEQUESTRATION ON RANGELANDS.   Retrieved Nov 16, 2013, from http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/cows-carbon-and-the-anthropocene-commentary-on-savory-ted-video/comment-page-3/#comment-426736

         

Teague, R., Provenza, F., Kreuter, U., Steffens, T., & Barnes, M. (2013). Multi-paddock grazing on rangelands: Why the perceptual dichotomy between research results and rancher experience? Journal of Environmental Management, 128(0), 699-717. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.05.064

Overview

Highlights deficiencies in Briske (2008) claim that multipaddock grazing is not superior to continuous grazing and provides a framework for how to evaluate such studies and a testable hypothesis for why there are discrepancies between between studies that don’t show a distinction and those that do. Suggests that Briske et al (2008) is deficient for the following reasons: cited studies were of limited size and time - thus not capturing landcape scale changes that grazing management can affect; they were artificially created situations that would never actually exist on a commercial range, and thus not reflected of real world circumstance; they were of two few paddocks - not properly replicating how a multipaddock ranch would really operate; they were limited in their parameters measured, and, most importantly, there were fixed nonadaptive regimens - missing the essential ingredient of proper ranch management for ecological goals.

Intro

                                                                     

                                  

                                                                             

                                                                             

                                                                             

Multi-paddock grazing

                                                                             

                                                                             

                                                                             

Adaptive Management

                                                                             

                                                                             

                                                                             

                                                                             

Deficiencies in Briske Approach

                                                                             

                                                                             

Why Discrepancies?

                                                                     

                                                                    

                                                                    

                                                                    

Conclusion

                                                                     

                                                                    

         

Ferguson, B.G., S.A.W. Diemont, R. Alfaro-Arguello, J.F. Martin, J. Nahed-Toral, D. Álvarez-Solís, R. Pinto-Ruíz. 2013 (in press), Sustainability of holistic and conventional cattle ranching in the seasonally dry tropics of Chiapas, Mexico. Agricultural Systems. Available online 18 June 2013.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2013.05.005

http://www.yousendit.com/download/WFJYa3ZGT01IcWRqQTlVag

Summary: Compared the sustainability of 18 conventional and seven holistic, dual-purpose ranches in the Chiapas region of Mexico, using three sets of sustainability metrics. These metrics were (1) an “Organic Conversion Index (OCI)”, combining economic, social, technological and environmental indicators, (2) an “emergy” analysis that quantifies the embodied energy of inputs, outputs and sustainability of the ranching systems, and (3) a vegetation and soil comparison looking at indicators such as soil respiration, topsoil depth, earthworm presence and herbaceous canopy density. The holistically managed ranches achieved superior results in all sets of metrics. The holistic ranches had superior results on 9 or 10 OCI indicators, they had significantly higher “Emergy Yield Ratios”, particularly on larger ranches, and they had higher soil respiration, deeper topsoil, and increased earthworm presence.

                                                                                      

Weber K.T., Gokhale B.S., 2011. Effect of grazing on soil-water content in semiarid rangelands of southeast Idaho, Journal of Arid Environments, Volume 75, Issue 5, May 2011, Pages 464–470

http://journals2.scholarsportal.info/details.xqy?uri=/01401963/v75i0005/464_eogoscisrosi.xml

Teague, R. 2011. Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. Volume 141, Issues 3–4, May 2011, Pages 310–322

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880911000934

“This study could not refute the hypothesis that by managing multi-paddock grazing adaptively to achieve dominance of rangeland by high seral grasses would result in superior conservation and restoration of resources, and provision of ecosystem goods and services compared to season-long continuous grazing. 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. Similarly, Jacobo et al. (2006) and Earl and Jones (1996) studied adjacent producer-managed ranches to compare continuous and multi-paddock grazing at the ranch scale. The ranches in both these studies were adaptively managed for the best possible outcomes within the constraints of each system. In contrast, studies cited by Briske et al. (2008) investigated MP grazing in relatively small experimental areas and did not manage adaptively the way a successful, conservation-oriented commercial rancher would (Teague et al., 2009).”

                        

“On the evidence we present here we propose the following hypothesis as an alternative to that of Briske et al. (2008). At the ranch scale, when multi-paddock grazing is managed to give the best vegetation and animal performance it is superior to continuous grazing regarding conservation and restoration of resources, provision of ecosystem goods and services, and ranch profitability.”

Briske, D.D., Derner, J.D., Brown, J.R., Fuhlendorf, S.D., Teague, W.R., Havstad, K.M., Gillen, R.L., Ash, A.J., Willms, W.D., 2008. Rotational grazing on rangelands: reconciliation of perception and experimental evidence. Rangeland Ecology and Management 6, 3–17.        

                                                                             

Earl, J.M., Jones, C.E., 1996. The need for a new approach to grazing management—is cell grazing the answer? Rangeland Journal 18, 327–350.

         

Jacobo, E.J., Rodríguez, A.M., Bartoloni, N., Deregibus, V.A., 2006. Rotational grazing effects on rangeland vegetation at a farm scale. Rangeland Ecology and Management 59, 249–257.

                

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 Publishers, New York, pp. 41–80.

                 

Weber, K. T.,  Horst, S., 2011. Desertification and livestock grazing: The roles of sedentarization, mobility and rest. Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 2011, 1:19 doi:10.1186/2041-7136-1-19

http://www.pastoralismjournal.com/content/1/1/19

                

Launchbaugh, K, and J Walker. 2006. Targeted grazing–A new paradigm for livestock management. In Targeted grazing: A natural approach to vegetation management and landscape enhancement. ed. Launchbaugh K, 2–9, http://www.sheepusa.org/get_page/pageID/249. Accessed 27 July 2011.

Wallace, JM, LM Wilson, and KL Launchbaugh. 2008. The effect of targeted grazing and biological control on yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) in Canyon Grasslands of Idaho. Rangeland Ecology and Management 61: 314–320. doi:10.2111/07-031.1.

                

Alfaro-Arguello R., A.W. Diemont S., 2010. Steps toward sustainable ranching: An emergy evaluation of conventional and holistic management in Chiapas, Mexico. Agricultural Systems 103 (2010) 639–646

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308521X10000983

Summary: Study from Mexico showed that using Holistic Management productivity can be maintained while sustainability is increased - including reduction of burning and pesticides.

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 Publishers, New York, pp. 41–80.        

Summary: Refutes the findings of Holechek (2000)* and Briske (2008)** that are regularly cited to claim that Savory’s methods have been studied and discredited. Says that the paddock studies looked at do not replicate actual ranch experience under management geared for maximum ecological performance.

* Holechek, J. L., H. Gomes, F. Molinar, D. Gault, and R. Valdez. 2000. Short-duration grazing: the facts in 1999. Rangelands 22:18-22.

** Briske, D.D., Derner, J.D., Brown, J.R., Fuhlendorf, S.D., Teague, W.R., Havstad, K.M., Gillen, R.L., Ash, A.J., Willms, W.D., 2008. Rotational grazing on rangelands: reconciliation of perception and experimental evidence. Rangeland Ecology and Management 6, 3–17.

Stinner, D. 1997. Biodiversity As an Organizing Principle in Agroecosystem Management: Case Studies of Holistic Resource Management Practitioners in the USA. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, vol. 62:199-213

http://www.ecoagriculture.org/greatest_hits_details.php?id=889

Summary: Interview study of ranchers using Holistic Management. 95% report an increase in biodiversity, 80% reported an increase in profits, 91% reporting improvements in quality of life. All report that biodiversity is now an important consideration in managing their land, where only 9% felt so prior to exposure with Holistic Management. States that thinking about land management this way requires a “paradigm shift”.