Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Grazing distribution management practices are intended to improve livestock production efficiency while conserving or enhancing environmental conditions, and sustaining or promoting other ecosystem services on grazed lands. Ancient practices such as herding, fencing, vegetation treatment (e.g., fire, brush clearing), and upland water development are still effective in managing livestock distribution. More recent innovations like rotational grazing schemes, mineral/supplement placement, vegetation enhancements (e.g., fertilization, planting, selective harvest, herbicide usage, and targeted grazing for weed control or forage conditioning), GPS monitoring, virtual fencing, and phenotypically or genotypically-based animal selection potentially provide the modern producer and rangeland manager with an ample toolbox for managing livestock distribution. While early findings are just coming in regarding the efficacy of some of these new practices, we are still trying to fully understand and improve established practices like rotational grazing systems and rangeland seeding. We are also finding there is still much to learn about the ancient practices, particularly, in the use of fire to manipulate livestock distribution. Further development, improvement, and adoption of effective grazing distribution practices will improve livestock performance, sustain or enhance forage resources, and reduce environmental conflict.