Spier Mob Grazing
Brief Description of the Project:
Since April 2009 Angus McIntosh has managed a portion of Spier agriculture that involves 74 hectares of
irrigated pasture. On this land high-density “mob-grazing” is practised. This technique involves frequent
stock rotations (cattle are moved up to 6 times a day) aimed at “using livestock to mimic nature” and
restoring carbon and nitrogen contained in livestock and poultry urine to the soil profile.
| Mob grazing at Spier
The project’s pasture management is based on the high density grazing methodology developed in the1980s and espoused by Andre Voison, Allan Savory and Ian Mitchell-Innes. The presence of a lot of animals
in a small space for a short period of time deposits enormous amounts of manure and urine on the land and
leads to healthy, vigorous pasture growth achieved without applying any fertilizer to the land. Cattle are
moved between four and six times per day, laying hens, accommodated in our “Egg-mobiles”, are moved
The project supplies chicken, beef and eggs to retail outlets and restaurants in the region, displacing the supply of industrially produced animal protein to these markets. The climate change impacts of industrial
cattle (in particular) and poultry farming are well-documented. The extent of natural ecosystems destroyed
to create feed and pasture for cattle is greater than that for all other domestic animals and crops combined
and cattle methane from cattle is a source of greenhouse gases. In this project no grains are farmed to
provide animal feed and pastures have been recreated from highly compromised land, on which the fertile
topsoil has historically been stripped.
No inorganic fertilisers are used in this project and no grains are used as animal feed, thereby disassociating
the farming practise with industrial agriculture.
Soil analyses conducted by Brookeside Laboratories confirm a significant and rapid enhancement of soil
organic carbon (SOC) in the soil over an 18 month period between September 2011 and January 2013.
The farming operation employs 35 people, three of which act as continual herdsmen to the cattle.
The audited carbon savings resulting from this project are 7 852 tCO2 to date.
Savings are the result of the additional CO2 sequestered in the soil as the result of this mode of agriculture
– a scope 1 emissions saving. The scope 3 saving relating to the obviated need to produce and import grain
as a feedstock have not been included.
A commitment has been made by the project developer to the Credible Carbon registry to invest at least
50% of the income generated by the sale of carbon credits in direct benefits to the employees. Once carbon
revenue is realised, the nature of this benefit is to be decided by the employee group in consultation with
the project proponent and the project developer, and will form part of facilitation of this project conducted
by the project proponent. The impact of this revenue on employee well-being and poverty alleviation will
be subjected to subsequent audits.
Spier Mob Grazing PIN
To download the Spier Mob Grazingi Project Idea Note (PIN), click here. To learn more about mob-grazing watch this Ted Talk by Allan Savory.
Spier Mob Grazing audit
To download the Spier Mob Grazing audit, click here