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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Can Early Spring Cattle Grazing Enhance Bitterbrush Growth?

Authors
item Ganskopp, David
item Svejcar, Anthony
item Farstvedt, Jerry - OREGON FISH & WILDLIFE
item Taylor, Fred - USDI-BLM

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2002
Publication Date: February 4, 2003
Citation: GANSKOPP, D.C., SVEJCAR, A.J., FARSTVEDT, J., TAYLOR, F. CAN EARLY SPRING CATTLE GRAZING ENHANCE BITTERBRUSH GROWTH? ABSTRACTS OF 56TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY FOR RANGE MANAGEMENT. 2003. P. 85.

Technical Abstract: Antelope bitterbrush supplies high quality browse to both wildlife and stock. Our objective was to apply light and heavy spring cattle grazing among bitterbrush and compare subsequent shrub growth to similar cohorts in ungrazed paddocks. After 3 years of treatment, bitterbrush in light, heavy, and ungrazed paddocks were 47, 38, and 42 cm tall, respectively, with all values differing (P<0.05). Diameters of shrubs among the same treatments were 71, 62 and 56 cm, with bitterbrush in lightly grazed treatment being wider than ungrazed controls (P=0.01) and shrubs in heavily grazed paddocks similar (P=0.2) to companion treatments. Among grazed paddocks, rates of trampling on shrubs were a function of stocking density and time. Browsing by cattle began when herbaceous standing crop declined to 150 to 200 kg ha-1 AU-1. Light grazing among bitterbrush appeared to stimulate growth. Heavy grazing had some immediate impact, but shrubs recovered and typically equaled the stature of ungrazed controls by late summer.

Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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