Rancho San Blas

Ascensión, Chihuahua


Type CEC-support Ranch Pilot
Organization Rancho San Blas
Country Mexico
Region Municipality of Ascensión, Chihuahua
Grass Type Semiarid scrubland and halophyte grassland
# of head of cattle 420
Hectares 9,566
Language Spanish
Date modified August 2015

The implementation of sound management practices at Rancho San Blas was intended to improve the grazing plan and the grassland conditions to benefit the habitat for area fauna. Prior to the project, the ranch had 10 paddocks, although their size, as well as the lack of water in some of them, made adequate cattle rotation difficult. Therefore, an infrastructure investment was made to build new paddocks and install more troughs. The El Vallecillo paddock, with an area of 2,962 hectares, was selected for these sound management practices. As part of the grazing plan, the load capacity and soil cover were estimated and the required improvements in infrastructure and the grazing system were proposed.

The ranch was toured to select the area where paddock division would be most effective. Finally, a grazing system was planned for 13 paddocks with electrical fencing, including the installation of solar panels, and construction began. El Vallecillo has a cattle reservoir and, in March 2015, with resources contributed by the rancher, well digging began to supply water to 80 percent of the ranch’s area. After drilling more than 120 meters down, no water was found and the reservoir water dried up. The brushy vegetation on El Vallecillo likewise could not be used.

For this reason, the project and cattle had to be moved again to a neighboring paddock and another pasture—El 70— which does have water. El Vallecillo will not be grazed until the reservoir holds water again or water can be pumped from a second well, which was drilled after the first one failed to find water. The paddocks that were built, each containing some 400 hectares, have been grazed from seven to 14 days. Cattle troughs were also installed. The plan intends to gradually reduce paddock size with a movable fence, purchased with CEC support.