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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Technique for Forecasting Rangeland Herbage Production

Authors
item Hanson, Clayton
item Vacant,

Submitted to: Agricultural Systems
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 12, 1994
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Annual variability is a major concern in the management and utilization of rangeland herbage resources because of extreme variability in annual precipitation and the occurrence of periodic droughts. Stocking at rates that are in harmony with forage supplies in drought years will protect the rangeland from overgrazing, but result in large quantities of forage being wasted in average and above-average years. Any knowledge or estimate of growing season forage supplies prior to the beginning of the grazing season affords some opportunity to make appropriate adjustments in numbers of grazing animals that could result in substantial economical and ecological benefits. An approach has been developed to forecasting rangeland herbage production that uses a plant growth model. This statistical approach utilizes long-term weather records in conjunction with a plant growth model has been used to successfully forecast the annual herbage production of mixed-prairie grasslands in the United States.

Technical Abstract: Extreme variability in annual precipitation and the occurrence of periodic droughts are common features of rangeland ecosystems. Annual variability is a major concern in the management and utilization of rangeland herbage resources. Stocking at rates that are in harmony with forage supplies in drought years will protect the rangeland from overgrazing, but result in large quantities of forage being wasted in average and above-average years. Any knowledge or estimate of growing season forage supplies prior to the beginning of the grazing season affords some opportunity to make appropriate adjustments in numbers of grazing animals that could result in substantial economical and ecological benefits. An approach has been developed to forecasting rangeland herbage production that uses a plant growth models. This statistical approach utilizes long-term weather records in conjunction with a plant growth model has been used to successfully forecast the annual herbage production of mixed-prairie grasslands in the United States.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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