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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Forage Production, Botanical Composition and Ground Cover on Grazed and Nongrazed Plots. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Northwest Watershed Research Center, Technical Report Nwrc 94-1

Submitted to: Northwest Watershed Research Center Technical Bulletin
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: An eleven year study was conducted cooperatively with the USDI, Bureau of Land Management, on federally owned rangeland on the Reynolds Creek Experimental in southwest Idaho to determine the effects of existing grazing systems on forage production and vegetation cover on rangelands in the intermountain Pacific Northwest. Results from this study show that excluding grazing did not increase forage production except at one site where the grazing treatment consisted of heavy grazing for a few weeks each summer. In general, basal cover of grasses, forbs, shrubs, litter, rock, and bare gorund was not measurably different between the grazed and nongrazed treatments. Only the heavy grazing treatment reduced litter and increased percent bare ground by a statistically significant amount. There was some statistically different cover conditions at other sites, but none of the differences were consistent between sites or treatments at sites. These results will aid management organizations in making grazing allotment decisions and environmental assessment studies.

Technical Abstract: Results of an 11-year study on the Reynolds Creek Watershed in Southwest Idaho show that excluding livestock grazing did not increase forage production. At the site where the grazing treatment consisted of very heavy grazing for a few weeks each summer, the nongrazed exclosure produced more than the grazed area. In general, basal cover of grasses, forbs, shrubs, litter, rock and bare ground was not measurably different between the grazed and nongrazed treatments. Only the heavy grazing treatment reduced litter and increased percent bare ground. There were some measurable differences in cover conditions due to grazing at the other sites, but differences were not consistent among sites or between treatment sites.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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