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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Relationship of Herbage Mass to Gain of Steers Grazing Old World Bluestem Pastures

item Coleman, Samuel
item Forbes, T - TEXAS A & M

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 29, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The old world bluestem (OWBS) grasses were seeded to millions of acres as part of the CRP for current livestock production. Little is known about the proper intensity of grazing for optimum production. The influence of herbage mass and sward height of OWB (Bothriocloa spp.) pastures on rate of gain during the summer grazing season were examined over two years at El Reno, Oklahoma. Soils were fine-silty Pachic Haplustolls of the Dale series. Swards of 'Carcasian' (B. caucasica (Trin.) C. E. Hubb.) and 'Plains' (B. ischaemum var. ischaemum (L. Keng.) OWB were maintained at different levels of herbage mass (high, medium and low) by continuous variable stocking. During both years, pastures were grazed from mid-May to late September by steers with an initial weight of about 250 kg. Weight gains followed the typical summer slump for warm season grasses with minimum gains occuring in August. Season-long gains averaged .27 kg/d in 1984 and .67 kg/d in 1985. Species and herbage mass produced an R2 of .55 in 1984 (P<.01) but only mass was significant in 1985 (R2=.53).

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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