Do cows help build soil?

Do cows help build soil?

There is a lot of talk out there about the environmental impact of cattle. One thing needs to be made clear: not all cattle have the same environmental impact. Not all grass-fed beef helps build soil. Not all grain finished beef destroys our planet.

It all depends on management.

This is why we say “it’s not the cow, it’s the how.” And that’s the truth!

The truth is, herds of ruminants and grasslands depend on each other to thrive. Grasslands cannot be healthy without fertilization of manure, urine and even saliva (tons of microbes in that saliva!) of ruminant animals (like cattle, bison, and elk). And the reverse is true as well- healthy grasslands make healthier animals (that one is obvious though).

This is why we manage our cattle in a way that mimics how historic herds of elk and bison moved across the landscape- in one big herd that moved frequently. We don’t let our animals loaf and overgraze, and we let the land recover for about a year before we return.

This practice builds soil.

Healthy soil stores carbon, absorbs and filters precipitation, cycles nutrients, grows better forage, breaks down methane, supports more wildlife- I could go on and on.

So the answer to the question “Do cows help build soil?”- Yes, they can with proper management, and yes OURS DO.

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