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Time for a One-Eighty on Cows and Climate – Part 6

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 3:06 PM

Time for a One-Eighty on Cows and Climate – Part 6
APRIL 29, 2014
Photo by Stanislav Klimanskii on 

Rebuilding Grasslands

Allan Savory has greatly expanded our understanding of the work of which grass is capable. Savory was born in what is now Zimbabwe to a long-established colonial family. His life has been devoted to rebuilding grasslands. Careful observation and a courageous willingness to move past older ideas (including his own) has enabled him to understand grass and its interdependence with grazers, predators, and the soil. 

Working both in Africa and the United States, Savory has demonstrated how desertification is initiated and reversed. He shows that grass must be encouraged by herbivores. To properly encourage grass, herbivores must graze in a dense pattern. Grass achieves its maximum turf-building response only under the grazing pressure of bunched animals, and then the animals must move on, leaving the grass to regrow. In the wild this is absolutely dependent on the presence of predators, otherwise the animals will stray apart in a random fashion and the turf-building effect is lost. It can’t be overemphasized: grass, cattle and predators evolved together and are mutually interdependent. Soil fertility is the result of their alliance. This is the perfect example of ecological unity. 

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