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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Impacts of Various Livestock Grazing Strategies on Northern Great Plains Rangelands

Authors
item Vermeire, Lance
item Heitschmidt, Rodney
item Haferkamp, Marshall

Submitted to: Research Update for Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2002
Publication Date: January 15, 2003
Repository URL: http://www.larrl.ars.usda.gov/publications.htm
Citation: VERMEIRE, L.T., HEITSCHMIDT, R.K., HAFERKAMP, M.R. IMPACTS OF VARIOUS LIVESTOCK GRAZING STRATEGIES ON NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS RANGELANDS. RESEARCH UPDATE FOR FORT KEOGH LIVESTOCK AND RANGE RESEARCH LABORATORY. p. 22-23. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: Impacts of livestock grazing on rangelands are the subject of much debate and data detailing short- and long-term effects are scarce. We are assessing the effects of livestock grazing by comparing plant community responses to livestock and their exclusion, and by evaluating community responses to 7 grazing practices. Livestock exclosures and paired grazed sites have been evaluated for species composition and production for 10 years. Total standing crop in exclosures has increased in time, but species composition appears similar to that on grazed sites. Standing crop varied among grazing systems and years during the 6 years of grazing system treatments. However, changes in standing crop have been more closely linked to environmental conditions than the attributes of any particular grazing system using moderate stocking rates. Standing crop has been lower on the heavily stocked treatment, but no changes in species composition have been expressed to date.

Technical Abstract: Impacts of livestock grazing on rangelands are the subject of much debate and data detailing short- and long-term effects are scarce. We are assessing the effects of livestock grazing by comparing plant community responses to livestock and their exclusion, and by evaluating community responses to 7 grazing practices. Livestock exclosures and paired grazed sites have been evaluated for species composition and production for 10 years. Total standing crop in exclosures has increased in time, but species composition appears similar to that on grazed sites. Standing crop varied among grazing systems and years during the 6 years of grazing system treatments. However, changes in standing crop have been more closely linked to environmental conditions than the attributes of any particular grazing system using moderate stocking rates. Standing crop has been lower on the heavily stocked treatment, but no changes in species composition have been expressed to date.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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