In the last Beef Research School episode, we took a virtual walk through a riparian area to assess its health. Healthy riparian areas, that transitional zone from pasture to waterway, are critical to decreasing riverbank erosion and nutrient migration to waterways. Once you’ve determined the general health of your riparian areas, it’s time to put a plan together to improve or restore them.
Ken Lewis, conservation coordinator for Red Deer County, says that farmers and ranchers use three main means of maintaining or improving the health of riparian zones: fencing, alternative watering systems and grazing rotation. Lewis adds that most farmers use a combination of these three, depending on the goals, health and location of waterways and plant mix. In the video below, learn about farm-proven strategies to protect and restore these areas, what size of buffer zone to aim for and where there may be funding available to help with the changes.
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