Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2005
Publication Date: 2/7/2005
Citation: Sanderson, M.A., Goslee, S.C., Klement, K.D., Bryant, R.B. 2005. Assessment and monitoring of grazing lands in the Northeastern United States[abstract]. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 301.
Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: Dependable technologies are needed to monitor grazing lands, to restore damaged systems, and to identify management practices that increase or maintain economic return while protecting the productive potential of grazed ecosystems. We summarize three pasture assessment and monitoring research efforts completed in the northeastern U.S. We conducted assessments of the vegetation and soil resources on grazing farms and then evaluated the Pasture Condition Score System as an integrator for monitoring pastures. In the vegetation assessment, we identified 269 plant species in a survey of 163 pastures on 39 farms. Bluegrass, white clover, orchardgrass, and tall fescue accounted for the majority of plant cover. About 40% of pastures sampled had high levels (according to agronomic criteria) of P and K in the top six inches of soil. These soil fertility levels suggest that producers who have intensified their grazing management must pay attention to nutrient management. Pasture condition scores indicated that about 17% of pastures required immediate changes in management to improve sustainability, whereas most pastures required some improvement or only minor changes in management. The relatively low rating for legume content across all pastures suggests that producers should focus management on establishing and maintaining legumes.