Home About Browse Search

Holistic management

a critical review of Allan Savory’s grazing method

Maria, Nordborg and Röös, Elin (2016). Holistic management. Uppsala: (NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet.

[img] PDF - Published Version


Holistic grazing builds on the concept of rotational grazing. The underlying assumption is that herbivorous animals can rehabilitate degraded land through grazing and that the world’s grasslands and wild herbivores evolved in parallel and thus are interdependent. Further, it is assumed that grazing livestock (e.g., cattle, goats, sheep and camels) can
serve as substitutes for wild herbivorous animals, provided that they are managed in a way that mimics ‘natural grazing’ of wild herbivores. Natural grazing is characterized by large animal flocks moving across large areas as they try to escape predators. To simulate this function in holistic grazing, livestock are packed in large herds and frequently moved between different areas. Holistic grazing is claimed to increase plant production and the soil’s ability to infiltrate and retain water, stop land degradation and improve living
and profitability for the herders. Increased pasture plant growth in turn leads to more carbon from the atmosphere being sequestered into the soil.

Improved grazing management on grasslands can store on average approximately 0.35 tonnes of C per ha and year – a rate seven times lower than the rate used by the Savory Institute to support the claim that holistic grazing can reverse climate change. The total carbon storage potential in pastures does not exceed 0.8 tonnes of C per ha and year, or 27 billion tonnes of C globally, according to an estimate in this report based on very optimistic assumptions. 27 billion tonnes of C corresponds to less than 5% of the missions of carbon since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Holistic grazing can thus not reverse climate change.

Authors/Creators:Maria, Nordborg and Röös, Elin
Title:Holistic management
Subtitle:a critical review of Allan Savory’s grazing method
Year of publishing :2016
Depositing date:22 May 2017
Number of Pages:45
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:EPOK – Centre for Organic Food and Farming, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-9424-9
Additional Information:Translated and updated by Maria Nordborg and Elin Röös, June 2016
Publication Type:Report
Article category:Other scientific
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L02 Animal feeding
P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
P Natural resources > P40 Meteorology and climatology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
Agrovoc terms:climate change, natural pastures, ruminants
Keywords:Klimatförändringar, Naturbete, Idisslare
Permanent URL:
ID Code:14350
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: Janne Nordlund Othén
Deposited On:28 Jun 2017 11:18
Metadata Last Modified:11 Jan 2018 12:21

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics