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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Early Intensive Grazing of Native Rangelands

Authors
item Phillips, William
item Northup, Brian
item Mayeux Jr, Herman
item Daniel, John

Submitted to: Oklahoma Grazinglands Conservation Association Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2003
Publication Date: April 15, 2004
Citation: Phillips, W.A., Northup, B.K., Mayeux, H.S., Daniel, J.A. 2003. Early intensive grazing of native rangelands. Proceedings of the Oklahoma Grazinglands Conservation Association Conference. pp. 1-9.

Interpretive Summary: The nutritional quality of native rangelands declines in late summer as grasses reach their peak production and begin to mature. Providing supplemental protein to stocker calves grazing native rangelands during the last half of the summer grazing season can increase late summer gains, but requires additional investment of capital and labor. Another option is to intensively graze native rangeland pastures during the first half of the summer to increase the amount of high quality forage harvested and reduce the need for supplemental feeds. Over the summer, calves managed under this early intensive grazing system produced 28% more gain per acre than season-long stocked calves and were more profitable than calves grazed season-long with or without protein supplementation.

Technical Abstract: At the beginning of the 4-year study, tallgrass pastures were assigned to one of three summer grazing treatments. Two of the pastures were grazed season-long. Calves in one of the season-long treatments were fed a protein supplement during the last half of the grazing season, while calves in the second season-long treatment were not supplemented (control group). The third pasture, an intensive early stocking (IES) treatment, was grazed at twice the stocking rate as that used in the season-long pastures for the first half of the grazing season and rested for the second half. Individual stocker performance during the first half of the summer was similar among grazing treatments. Over the summer, IES stocker calves produced 28% more gain per acre than season-long stocked calves and were more profitable than calves grazed season-long with or without protein supplementation.

Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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