Q38. What changes occur in the soil biology following a grazing period?

Answer: Answer: Farm animals cause compaction. The depth of compaction is generally within the
surface 10-15cms.The extent of damage depends on many factors such as stocking rates;
length of time of grazing; weather conditions; soil type; quantity and quality of vegetation
cover; soil water content, to name a few. Animals should not be allowed to graze overly wet
pastures because they cause pugging holes which fill with water in the wet but dry to hard
dangerous uneven ground in the dry. Vegetation cover is lost and weedy species can intrude.
Good grazing practices would see healthy well established pastures grazed to no less than
10cms in rotations that allow the soil and pasture species to recover. The manure from the
animals helps to fertilise the soil providing nutrients for soil biota. These nutrients, as they
are made plant available by microbes, provide a stimulus in plant growth.

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