What are the environmental benefits of raising Grassfed Cattle?
At Mack Brook Farm, our cattle are rotationally grazed over 60 acres of pasture, eating only grass or hay grown on our fields. This type of farming benefits the environment in several ways by:
Significantly reducing the use of fossil fuel
Since pasture grass is a perennial, it only has to be planted once, unlike corn or grain, which are planted and harvested annually. Therefore, heavy equipment that requires a lot of fuel is not taken into the fields each year to till and plant or to fertilize and harvest, as it is for grain crops. The animals roaming around take care of both fertilizing and harvesting.
Using far fewer chemicals
Because the pastures are being naturally fertilized by our cattle, no commercial fertilizers need to be spread on those acres. In addition to using less fuel, this also reduces the amount of chemical runoff into our waterways.
Lessening soil erosion
The pasture grasses form a healthy stand of vegetation and root mass all year long that holds the soil in place, thus reducing soil erosion. The root mass also improves water filtration.
Enhancing soil composition
The naturally deposited manure adds nutrients to the soil increasing the amount of organic matter in the pasture. This enhances soil life by enriching all the 'good' microscopic organisms essential to a healthy planet. The decomposition process has an added benefit of 'carbon sequestration' that reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide.
* Information from the New York State Department of Agriculture