Zander Venter, a PhD student at the University of Cape Town (UCT), said one of the aims of the research project was to investigate claims around holistic planned grazing, high-density grazing and short-duration grazing.
“One of the questions we’re asking is [whether] high-density grazing allows farmers to increase stocking rates and improve veld and animal production, or is it no better than continuous low-density grazing? The debate is still wide open,” he said.
The nationwide survey is supported by Cape Wools SA, the Red Meat Research and Development Trust, and Conservation South Africa.
Along with a farm-scale experimental trial near Cedarville in the Eastern Cape, researchers at UCT are using an online questionnaire to determine which management practices are best suited to South African veld conditions (ranging from moister grasslands to drier shrub lands). The latest satellite imagery will be used to measure vegetation conditions.
Farmers can contribute to the scientific debate surrounding different methods of grazing management by completing the short online survey.
“Farmers’ role as citizen scientists will benefit the entire livestock farming industry in South Africa,” Venter said.
For more information, contact Zander Venter at 072 738 1595 or [email protected].
Take the survey here: Grazing Management Survey