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WRITING

Tips to turn digital map app into a decision-making tool for regenerative grazing practices

Track grazing paddocks and management moves in Google Earth as a self-guided journey to good grazing.

A ranch map might be viewed as a guide to what you’ve got: a simple, visual reference to known information. But Josh Gaskamp, Noble Research Institute regenerative ranching advisor and manager, suggests enlarging your view of mapping tools.


“A lot of ranchers who want to introduce more regenerative grazing practices want to start with a grazing plan. Some people are big planners, so that fits them,” Gaskamp says. “But some people are journalers, and when you start to journal your grazing on a map, it turns that map into a decision-making tool.”


The difference, he says, comes down to what suits your personality and gets you closer to your grazing goals.


“For me, having a bunch of moves planned out ahead feels too prescriptive – I get stuck on what I said I was going to do, rather than observing the forage for what I should actually do in the moment,” Gaskamp says.


Instead, he’s found guidance in using digital mapping software to track and journal his grazing decisions and observations. Using an application like Google Earth as his guide, he uses his recordings to make decisions for the future.


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