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A Question about Regenerative Agriculture (Allan Savory stuff)
#1
A Question about Regenerative Agriculture (Allan Savory stuff)
I know there are some people here advocating regenerative agriculture, so I have done some basic research about it. So, I have a question which I did not see addressed: What is to be done about poisonous plants? Regenerative agriculture teaches that we should use cows to make use of the land that is infertile for crops. But, obviously, land that is infertile for crops is usually fertile land for poisonous plants. So, how would you prevent the cows from getting poisoned with them? Should a veterinarian look after every cow that is used in regenerative agriculture and treat it when they sees symptoms of poisoning? Do you think that is scalable?
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#2
RE: A Question about Regenerative Agriculture (Allan Savory stuff)
Wild cattle graze on their own and seem to do pretty well with it, I don't imagine letting domestic cattle graze on fallow fields would be much different. I grew up on a farm where most of the livestock was sheep (which are taxonomically related to cows in the animals-that-go-well-with-gravy family) and they were all wild-grazed.  I don't recall any mass sheep poisonings.

Then again, I could be spectacularly wrong.

Boru
Ignorance is never valid grounds for the rejection of established facts.
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#3
RE: A Question about Regenerative Agriculture (Allan Savory stuff)
Broadly speaking, the SOP for toxic vegetation is the same in pretty much any grazing model.  It's impossible to get rid of it all.  Thankfully, most toxic vegetation is unpalatable to livestock, and all livestock species have ways of dealing with incidental ingestion. Keep your livestock well fed, this reduces the likelihood that they'll gorge themselves on something that might make them ill.  Rotate your livestock, this prevents overgrazing..which (among other things) opens up space for pioneer cultivars - some of which are very toxic.  Maintain free access to water, salts, and minerals in the event that they do eat something that they shouldn't and because it just generally promotes good health and well being.

No matter how much effort we put in, no matter how well we take care of our livestock....some of them are going to get sick.  It's inevitable.  When that happens, if you're beyond your ability to address your animals concerns (which should take a little more than eating the wrong weeds)..ofc you call a vet.  Keeping sick and suffering animals is not useful or profitable or ethical.  Failing that, you kill them.  If you can't or won't call a vet or kill an animal then all of the above is moot, your livestock operation will fail.  

The only difference between a regenerative model and the standard model in this regard (or any regard) is that a regenerative model specifically demands that however we deal with the issue, we do it in a way that prevents erosion, increases the amount of organic material in the soil, improves it's water holding capacity, draws down carbon, and promotes biodiversity.  Hence, regenerative..as opposed to extractive.
It's bad for the rest of the world when americans are paid so little they can only afford chocolate mined by child slaves and clothes made in overseas sweatshops. - Robyn Pennacchia
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#4
RE: A Question about Regenerative Agriculture (Allan Savory stuff)
Poisonous plants didn't seem to be an issue for the cattle and hogs around where I grew up. They seem to know when something's not to be eaten...with certain exceptions of course.

We kids had a lot of fun playing with the magnet boluses that dad kept on the shelf of his veterinary office. Those magnets were shot down the throats of cows who had ingested things like bits of barbed wire and other metal bits to pull them all together and keep them from passing through the whole digestive tract. The fact that the magnets were administered with a balling gun prompted a bit of Beavis and Butthead level chuckling.
       I am the storm.                                                             
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#5
RE: A Question about Regenerative Agriculture (Allan Savory stuff)
I've been wondering what the specific scalability concern was. If we're worried about having too many sick animals and therefore needing too many vets, it's not the pasture raised ones that need to be fed a steady diet of antibiotics and painkillers.
It's bad for the rest of the world when americans are paid so little they can only afford chocolate mined by child slaves and clothes made in overseas sweatshops. - Robyn Pennacchia
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#6
RE: A Question about Regenerative Agriculture (Allan Savory stuff)
The Grand Nudger Wrote:Broadly speaking, the SOP for toxic vegetation is the same in pretty much any grazing model. It's impossible to get rid of it all.
As far as I understand it, there is a crucial difference in grazing between organic agriculture and regenerative agriculture. In organic agriculture, the farmers control what cows eat by planting the plants they want the cows to eat and getting rid of the poisonous plants, sometimes using herbicides (at least that's what this Quora answer says). But regenerative agriculture is different in that, well, cows there are supposed to graze on wild grasslands. As such, poisonous plants are a much bigger issue.
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#7
RE: A Question about Regenerative Agriculture (Allan Savory stuff)
Managing pasture by seeding fields is another thing common to any model. Ideally, there's no need. Looking at the quora answer linked, any of those steps can be taken in either model.

If I had to boil it down to address misconceptions - organics are about what you're putting in, regen is about what you're taking out. In practice, there's alot of overlap.
It's bad for the rest of the world when americans are paid so little they can only afford chocolate mined by child slaves and clothes made in overseas sweatshops. - Robyn Pennacchia
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