Soil Health Labs

24 Boosting Soil Biology through Grazing Management

Episode Summary

Lealand Schoon is a 28 year veteran of the NRCS and works as an Area Rangeland Specialist out of Murdo, SD. Leland also has some land, and runs 150 head of sheep along with 30 cows, putting the grazing management and soil biology expertise he has acquired to work. Lealand’s ultimate question is “what is this action going to do for the soil biology?” We dive into some soil biology, but with the aim of how grazing management actually can increase photosynthesis and grass production and feed soil microbes. The heart of this discussion I imagine for the grazier is just to look at the terms like grazing readiness, partial defoliation, primary, secondary and fall tillers, rest and regrowth/recovery after defoliation – Lealand has a great way of explaining this wonderful mutualistic relationship that man, cattle and grass have with one another and how they interact with the elements. We discuss a lot of other things but at the end of the day, Lealand is a keen observer and was the first one to help me to look at rangeland with new eyes. Remember that access to knowledge of people like Lealand’s is free through the NRCS please go to your closest NRCS office or visit them at