Abstract: Grazing is a genuinely complex system, involving countless interactions between millions of players, continuously changing and evolving on every imaginable time scale. Soil, microbes, plants, invertebrates, larger animals, humans, weather, climate, supply chains, markets and customers make up a beautiful and challenging tapestry, full of chance encounters and continuous, absolutely unpredictable changes. Complexity is confounding for most of us who, for science or profit, want to believe that the whole is exactly the sum of the parts. If that were the case, reducing the system to its primary components—those that “explain most of the variance”—could perhaps provide a model of system response that would allow successful prediction. And even though we know, and have known for decades, that landscapes are complex in the mathematical sense of exhibiting emergent, unpredictable behaviour, we still long for the comfort of a simpler model.