In Southern Texas ranches have extremes of dry heat and downpours of rain. The combination of compacted soils for cattle, overgrazing, and insufficient rotation causes the soil to harden. Water runs off instead of infiltrating the soil. Erosion tears through the bare soil as the water is focused in ravines. This eroded soil collects and chokes the ponds used for cattle water. It’s important that the soil stay permeable and the ponds stay clear. Animal management and land management need to meet for the optimized and long-term health of the ranch. Strategies for better animal and soil health included:
• Shoreline stabilization of the ponds and ravines with fibrous-rooted plants
• Excluding cattle from the ponds and waterways to increase clarity and recuse animal stress from contaminated water. This alone can increase weight gain by 10%.
• Deep subsoiling on contour to increase available water in the soil for grasses.
• Diversion swales for extreme weather events, diverting and delaying water for better infiltration.
• Use of cattle exclusion fencing for restoration of the degraded pasture areas
Climate: Humid Sub Tropical
Annual Precipitation: 35 inches
Country: United States