|Hart, Richard - USDA-ARS (RETIRED)|
Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2003
Publication Date: January 5, 2004
Citation: Derner, J.D., Hart, R. 2004. Continuous and rotational grazing of shortgrass steppe: animal gains. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. No. 75. Technical Abstract: Rotational grazing provides vegetation with rest periods throughout the grazing season, but the effect of this system on animal performance in shortgrass steppe is unclear. Yearling stocker steers grazed shortgrass steppe from mid-May to late October during 1995-2002 at the Central Plains Experimental Range near Nunn, Colorado, using a 7-pasture time-controlled rotation grazing system or a season-long grazing system, with both systems employing the same moderate stocking rate (22.9 steer days ha-1). Statistical analyses revealed a significant year X grazing system interaction for gain per head per day as this variable was similar between grazing systems in 5 of 8 study years, with the remaining three years having 8-22% greater animal gain on the continuous than on the rotational grazing system. In no study year, however, was animal gain significantly greater in the rotational grazing system than in the continuous grazing system. Gains ranged from 0.88 to 1.17 kg hd-1 day-1 for the continuous grazing system, and 0.82 to 1.16 kg hd-1 day-1 for the rotational grazing system. These findings suggest that rotational grazing systems do not enhance individual animal gain in the shortgrass steppe.