Submitted to: Grassland International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 6, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: When designing grazing experiments, investigators should allow for 2-m borders around test areas. This distance is needed by the animals to provide convincing cues about the desirability of given forage.
Technical Abstract: The objective was to examine the effect of row position on cattle grazing preference. Grazing preference of eight tall fescues (Festuca arundinacea (Schreb.)) was evaluated by ocular preference scores at 30 hr (PS30) and 48 hr (PS48). Six rows of a cultivar--numbered consecutively within each plot from left to right--formed one plot. Rows 1 and 6 were on the outside edges of the plot and rows 3 and 4 were in the middle. Within a replication, rows 1 and 6 were adjacent to rows 6 and 1 of adjacent plots, respectively. During the first year, row position was not a significant effect. However, in the second year, preference for middle rows was significantly higher than the outer pairs of rows--rows 2 and 5 and 1 and 6. This could have been a result of the animals' ability to distinguish preferred cultivars in the middle of the plot because of more distinct olfactory and visual cues. Row position was important in experimental design because of an interaction with animal behavior.