Quatre Saisons - natural sustainable farming
Quatre Saisons

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Yass River Road
YASS NSW 2582
P: 0411 093 035
F: 02 6123 6111
E: Quatre Saisions
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Grazing impact of sheep

Some people may question whether grazing animals such as sheep or cattle can balance farm production needs with preserving the biodiverse nature of a grasslands environment. 


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Sheep are largely grazing herbivores, and crop plants very close to the ground and can overgraze pasture much faster than cattle. For this reason, managed intensive rotational grazing, where a flock is rotated through multiple pastures, gives plants time to recover. Paradoxically, sheep can both cause and solve the spread of invasive plant species. By disturbing the natural state of pasture, sheep and other livestock can pave the way for invasive plants. However, sheep and in particular Dorpers prefer to eat invasive plants such as cape weed, rye or wintergrass over native species making grazing sheep effective for conservation grazing.

Whether conservation grazing is in fact beneficial to a grassland community and what intensity of grazing management needs to be taken remains controversial. Research in Canada found that the use of vertebrates for grazing of an area would increase the species richness of plants by decreasing the abundance of dominant species and increasing the richness of rarer species. The decrease in abundance may lead to a more open forest canopy and more room for other plant species to emerge.

Everything in moderation- conservation grazing of grassland on Quatrè Saisons comprises less than 25% of our total land area.