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Designing Pasture Systems

Pasture system design can be an important tool not only for managing pastures, but also for ease of moving animals through the system. Here are some suggestions for designing efficient pasture systems.

Simple math shows us that the shortest amount of fencing needed in a pasture will be a result of making the paddocks as square as possible.

Paddock size will typically not be the same across the entire farm. Plan for larger areas where soils are less productive.

Alleys and lanes are used to move animals between pastures and handling facilities or buildings.

Ideally, animals will have access to water in all paddocks. Obviously, this is not always practical, so laneways can be used to provide access to watering systems.

A well designed pasture system should be easy to move animals from one paddock to the next. It should also easily accommodate machinery for routine maintenance such as mowing or making hay.