In this third Meet the Farmer video, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms talks about a variety of farm issues, including “salad bar beef” methods of intensively grazing cattle on small pasture areas. He has 100 head of cattle that intensively graze about a half-acre of pasture and they’re moved on a daily basis.
It’s been a while since I read it, and I can’t remember where I had, but apparently two cattle per acre is a good average for pasture raised beef. What I had thought was interesting was that when one accounts for grain production, it effectively takes about the same amount of room to raise the grain to feed cattle in a feed lot.
I don’t know how much validity there is to that (I really have to find the reference) but it begs the question: why not raise cattle on the same land we’re using to grow grain? At least with grass fed beef there aren’t the same pollution issues as with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), and there isn’t the same need to feed cattle grain, antibiotics and God knows what other kinds of crap they’re fed in those operations.
At least grass fed beef are fertilizing the area, contributing to the health of the soil. It also won’t require the soil to be turned over, and reduces the need for diesel fuel, pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers one would normally use in grain farming.
And if that isn’t enough, did you know that grain farmers are also using RoundUp to kill wheat (not sure if it’s used on other grains but I’ve heard it is used on potato plants) so it can be harvested? I have talked to farmers doing this and here’s a video of one Canadian farmer doing it. Absolutely ridiculous. No bloody wonder people are getting cancer and other odd diseases these days.