Voisin Rational Grazing as a Sustainable Alternative for Livestock Production

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Filho, L. C. P. M., Seo, H. L. S., Daros, R. R., Enriquez, D., Wendling, A. V. and Machado, L. C. P. 2021. Voisin Rational Grazing as a Sustainable Alternative for Livestock Production. Animals. 11 (12), p. 3494. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123494

AuthorsFilho, L. C. P. M., Seo, H. L. S., Daros, R. R., Enriquez, D., Wendling, A. V. and Machado, L. C. P.

Current livestock practices do not meet current real-world social and environmental requirements, pushing farmers away from rural areas and only sustaining high productivity through the overuse of fossil fuels, causing numerous environmental side effects. In this narrative review, we explore how the Voisin Rational Grazing (VRG) system responds to this problem. VRG is an agroecological system based on four principles that maximise pasture growth and ruminant intake, while, at the same time, maintaining system sustainability. It applies a wide range of regenerative agricultural practices, such as the use of multispecies swards combined with agroforestry. Planning allows grazing to take place when pastures reach their optimal resting period, thus promoting vigorous pasture regrowth. Moreover, paddocks are designed in a way that allow animals to have free access to water and shade, improving overall animal welfare. In combination, these practices result in increased soil C uptake and soil health, boost water retention, and protect water quality. VRG may be used to provide ecosystem services that mitigate some of the current global challenges and create opportunities for farmers to apply greener practices and become more resilient. It can be said that VRG practitioners are part of the initiatives that are rethinking modern livestock agriculture. Its main challenges, however, arise from social constraints. More specifically, local incentives and initiatives that encourage farmers to take an interest in the ecological processes involved in livestock farming are still lacking. Little research has been conducted to validate the empirical evidence of VRG benefits on animal performance or to overcome VRG limitations

KeywordsMulti-paddock management; Regenerative management; Agroecological pasture management ; Multispecies pasture; Biodiversity
Year of Publication2021
Journal citation11 (12), p. 3494
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123494
Web address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/11/12/3494
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online08 Dec 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted09 Nov 2021

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/98752/voisin-rational-grazing-as-a-sustainable-alternative-for-livestock-production

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