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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Grazing and Drought Management

Authors
item Heitschmidt, Rodney
item Haferkamp, Marshall
item Klement, Keith

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: HEITSCHMIDT, R.K., HAFERKAMP, M.R., KLEMENT, K.D. GRAZING AND DROUGHT MANAGEMENT. RESEARCH UPDATE FOR FORT KEOGH LIVESTOCK AND RANGE RESEARCH LABORATORY. p. 27-28. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: Drought is a common feature of rangeland environments. A basic question facing rangeland managers is how to manage grazing animals during drought. What are the immediate, short-, and long-term impacts of grazing during and after drought? Should livestock be removed from rangeland during drought and when should they be returned following drought? This research examined the impacts of grazing during and after drought on herbage growth dynamics and forage production. A fundamental question that still needs answering is - Can the deleterious effects of a spring drought be overcome by timely summer precipitation? Even though we know the odds of getting substantial summer precipitation in this region are low, we still need to know what happens if we do get substantial precipitation. Thus, our next experiment is to simulate a spring drought and then follow it with above average summer precipitation (i.e., simulated precipitation by irrigation).

Technical Abstract: Drought is a common feature of rangeland environments. A basic question facing rangeland managers is how to manage grazing animals during drought. What are the immediate, short-, and long-term impacts of grazing during and after drought? Should livestock be removed from rangeland during drought and when should they be returned following drought? This research examined the impacts of grazing during and after drought on herbage growth dynamics and forage production. A fundamental question that still needs answering is - Can the deleterious effects of a spring drought be overcome by timely summer precipitation? Even though we know the odds of getting substantial summer precipitation in this region are low, we still need to know what happens if we do get substantial precipitation. Thus, our next experiment is to simulate a spring drought and then follow it with above average summer precipitation (i.e., simulated precipitation by irrigation).

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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