Comparison Photos of Holistically Managed Land Versus Conventionally Managed Land

Grasslands LLC is the managing partner of The Savory Institute. Grasslands LLC is holistically managing a total of 160,000 acres in Montana, Hawaii, South Dakota, and New Zealand. Grasslands LLC is also providing support and consulting services to another 350,000 acres in the U.S.

Holistic Management is practiced on over 40 million acres around the world. The results are amazing. Here are some before and after photos of some of these sites, with descriptions we've edited from the original postings on PlanetTech. You can see them all at: Land Restoration with Holistic Management.


The photo above is South Africa (Karoo country) showing desertification with low stocking rates and conventional grazing on the right, and high stocking rates using Holistic Management on the left. The land on the right continues to deteriorate supporting fewer and fewer animals, while the land on the right improves, supporting more.

Check out the two pictures below. This is Chihuahua, Mexico:


The photo above and the photo below were taken on the same day about 3 miles apart in Chihuahua. The photo above is typical of the area: capped, bare ground, woody brush, no perennial grass, too few animals overgrazing. This is a man-made desert. It has desertified over hundreds of years, but the desertification can be reversed fairly quickly. The photo below is of a site using Holistic Planned Grazing with double the "conventionally recommended stocking rate" (in other words, twice the number of animals grazing than the land can supposedly handle) while employing high density grazing.


The photo below was published on Hut With a View, along with some other good before and after shots. Click on the image to see it larger. This is an edited version of Seth Itzkan's description of how the transformation occurred: This time-series sequence shows the transformation from a barren landscape in Zimbabwe to a healthy grassland savanna from 2004 to 2013. Average annual rainfall is 600 mm. The land, which had been barren and eroding for decades, was “treated” with a heavy concentration of animals. About 500 cattle were corralled on the site for 7 to 10 evenings, leaving an excessive amount of dung and plant litter. Within one year after the animal treatment, short-rooted annuals started to grow, such as aristita (the white stringy plants in the 2005 photo). With the emergence of these plants, the land was then incorporated into a carefully monitored grazing plan (using Holistic Management). After only a few years, the annuals and first succession perennials (chloris, urachloa) are densely packed. These provide “ground cover” that helps retain moisture and builds biodiversity in the soil (2006 photo). These annuals and early perennials are a first-phase in the restoration, but their carbon capture will be minimal. After about 8 years, however, deeper-rooted perennials appear (Heteropogon contortus, Panicum maximum, 2013 photo). These accelerate the carbon capture which can continue for decades.


Here are some excerpts from some Allan Savory talks, showing some before and after pictures:


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