Understanding the Effects of Grazing System on Soil Quality

Project Title

Quantifying the Effects of Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing on Soil Carbon Sequestration and Soil Organic Matter Quality


Dr. Kim Schneider (University of Guelph) kschne01@uoguelph.ca

Dr. Ira Mandell (University of Guelph) Dr. James Longstaffe (University of Guelph) Dr. Edward Bork (University of Alberta) James Byrne (OMAFRA) Dr. Paul Voroney (University of Guelph) Dr. Claudia Wagner Riddle (University of Guelph) Dr. Asim Biswas (University of Guelph)

Status Project Code
In progress. Results expected in March, 2024 ENV.07.20


Research has been done in western Canada showing that adaptive multi-paddock grazing can increase concentrations of soil organic carbon, water infiltration and forage productivity.  This project wants to collect similar data in eastern Canada to determine if the same increases can be observed.


  • Determine the influence of adaptive multi-paddock grazing on soil organic carbon concentrations and soil organic matter quality indicators in Ontario cow/calf and/or backgrounding operations.

What they will do

Researchers will select approximately 24 farms that have collected at least ten years of grazing data. Farms that do adoptive multi-paddock grazing will be compared to neighboring farms that continuous graze. Participants will be surveyed on land use and management practices. Researchers will take soil core samples to 60 cm and look at soil organic carbon, total Nitrogen, soil organic matter, and water infiltration.


This project will help quantify changes to soil composition that are observed with grazing management. This is important in communications around the value of the beef industry in carbon sequestration but also to help producers make grazing decisions on their operations.