Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2009
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
Citation: Derner, J.D. 2009. Livestock and vegetation responses to stocking rate and grazing system. In: Range Beef Cow Symposium XXI Proceedings. Casper, WY. p. 89. Technical Abstract: Vegetation and livestock responses from a 25 year (1982-2006) grazing system and stocking rate study in the northern mixed-grass prairie at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, High Plains Grasslands Research Station near Cheyenne, Wyoming are presented here. Long-term grazing treatments of stocking rate and grazing system, but not their interaction, influenced livestock gain responses over the final sixteen years (1991-2006) of this study in the North American Great Plains; livestock gains were more responsive to stocking rate than to grazing system. Livestock grazing did not induce modifications to vegetation production in this northern mixed-grass prairie through either stocking rate or grazing system. Livestock gains and vegetation production exhibited hyperbolic increases with increasing amounts of spring (April-June) precipitation. Relationships between spring precipitation and livestock gains and vegetation production can be used to extend the utility of existing plant-animal models. These relationships can be incorporated into current system models assessing production risks as a viable tool to assist in enterprise decision-making for land managers in these ecosystems with erratic precipitation.