Grazing Methods: A Viewpoint Academic Article uri icon


  • Continuous stocking is not an effective method for restoring degraded rangelands. Deferment combined with moderate stocking enhances restoration of deteriorated rangelands. Deferment applied in conjunction with other range improvement practices can produce synergistic responses for rangeland improvement. Deferment is primarily a conservation practice not an animal production practice. Rotational stocking requires adaptive management in order to be successful. Rotational stocking at light to moderate stocking with frequent long rest periods (e.g., HILF) maximizes range improvement through promoting plant succession but reduces livestock production compared with continuous grazing at a similar stocking level. Rotational stocking during the growing season with HIHF will maximize livestock production, but it is only sustainable on pastures with high water and nitrogen availability where plant species are adapted to frequent close defoliation. Successful managers identify their management goals, understand their management preferences, know the principles governing plant and animal responses to different grazing methods, and use adaptive management to develop unique grazing plans suited to their ranch. Instead of research designed to identify "the best grazing method," researchers need to identify and quantify grazing processes and principles that will support adaptive grazing management. 2009 by the Society for Range Management.

published proceedings

  • Rangelands

author list (cited authors)

  • Kothmann, M.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Kothmann, Mort

publication date

  • October 2009