THE book for Profitable Ranching. A Real Ranching Revolution. Cattle Breeding. Grazing Management.
Much like nature, this book is both simple and complex. The author has taken great care to create both a simple technical guide as well as a philosophic declaration about complex human and environmental nuances, all in one volume.
Those persons who see and shape the future often say that the future is already here, it just isn't evenly distributed. I am confident that, several years from now many will look back upon this book, as well as the rest of Johann Zietsman's works, as foundational to the restoration of—and relationships between—man, cattle, and veld.
Zietsman puts forth a much-needed critique of man and his actions over the past century as well as personal stories as contra-example to the narratives we that have dominated the ranching world.
Achieving the ranch goal of maximum sustainable profit per hectare depends on breeding and feeding cattle (and all grazing species) as the grazers that they are. Efforts should be directed at raising cattle that are more efficient converters of forage, not on trying to make forage-reliant species into grain-efficient machines. Forces of nature created the animals we have, and their genetic potential will be brought out through non-selective grazing and proper supplementation.
Non-selective, time-controlled grazing, in which 80 to 95 percent of the mass of all grasses and forbs are utilized, thus pruning plants back to their crowns, is the process by which grasslands are improved in both plant vigor and species composition. I cannot overemphasize the importance of this last point—plant species diversity is promoted by time-controlled severe grazing events, whereas selective, take half leave half grazing is much more limited in improving species diversity, even leading to species narrowing in some circumstances.