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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Water: Use fewer grazers Mediterranean Farmland

Key messages

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Water use (0 studies)

Water availability (0 studies)

Pathogens and pesticides (0 studies)

Nutrients (1 study): One replicated, randomized, controlled study in wet grasslands in the USA found no differences in nitrate and pH levels in surface water between areas grazed by cattle at low or moderate intensities.

Sediments (0 studies)

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1992–1996 in grazed wetlands in northern California, USA, found no differences in nitrate levels or pH between plots grazed by cattle at light or moderate intensities. Nutrients: There was no difference in nitrate levels or pH in surface water in lightly grazed plots, compared to moderately grazed plots (data not reported). Methods: Three meadows were studied. Three watersheds in each were randomly assigned to a grazing intensity: one with cattle excluded, one with light grazing (leaving 800–1,000 pounds of residual dry matter at the end of the season), and one with moderate grazing (leaving 600–700 pounds). Samples were taken from both the spring and along the creek in each watershed. Water samples were taken monthly.


Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Shackelford, G. E., Kelsey, R., Robertson, R. J., Williams, D. R. & Dicks, L. V. (2017) Sustainable Agriculture in California and Mediterranean Climates: Evidence for the effects of selected interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.