Monitoring of our grazing animals and the impacts on the grasslands we manage is something we do daily. What does the pasture look like ahead of our herd? What does the pasture look like where we just moved from? How do the cattle look (body condition) compared to a week ago? Based on these observations we can make decisions during the current season and anticipate decisions for the upcoming grazing season.
What about the long-term monitoring? We started some basic monitoring activities prior to the cattle arriving in 2011. This includes soil, water and forage sampling. In 2009 we established a photo monitoring site along with collecting detailed forage data at the site. We return to this site each year near the same date and collect photos and forage data. Please share any thoughts you may have after reviewing the photos through the years below.
2014 monitor update, looking back through 2009:
Where is 2012? Not sure what happened in 2012. A major drought developed after mid-June that year. I probably decided it was to much of a downer to take photos. Of course now I wish we had a photo.