• Radioisotope Uptake Bb Selected Range Forage and Weed Species

      Eckert, R. E.; Blincoe, C. R. (Society for Range Management, 1970-09-01)
      Two wheatgrasses, one annual grass, and one annual forb were used to evaluate the uptake of fourteen gammaemitting isotopes from an important range soil. Uptake of copper, molybdenum, and selenium ranged from moderate to very good from all soil horizons. Uptake of iodine and chromium was poor from the surface and lower soil horizons, respectively, but moderate to very good from other horizons. Other desirable characteristics of these isotopes for root-tracing studies are half-lives of from 12.8 hours to 128 days, and energy differences which permit detection of each isotope in the presence of others.
    • Radiometric Reflectance Measurements of Northern Great Plains Rangeland and Crested Wheatgrass Pastures

      Aase, J. K.; Frank, A. B.; Lorenz, R. J. (Society for Range Management, 1987-07-01)
      Calculated reflectance factors and vegetation indices derived from radiometric reflectance measurements were used in regression analyses to test for a single relationship between canopy reflectance characteristics and measured vegetation parameters from 1 moderately grazed and 1 heavily grazed native rangeland pastures and 1 crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) J.A. Schultes] pasture. The study was located on a Williams loam (fine-loamy mixed, Typic Argiboroll) near Mandan, North Dakota. Reflectance measurements were made near solar noon once a week during the 1983 and 1984 growing seasons. There was a statistically significant relationship (r=0.76**) between leaf area index and dry green matter among pastures and years. However, each pasture exhibited a unique relationship (statistically significant) between vegetation indices developed from the reflectance measurements and leaf area index or dry green matter. Based on the techniques and wavebands used in this study, over a given geographic region and with pasture management practices known, it may be possible to remotely estimate green dry matter.
    • Radiometry for predicting tallgrass prairie biomass using regression and neural models

      Olson, K. C.; Cochran, R. C. (Society for Range Management, 1998-03-01)
      Standing forage biomass (SFB) and the percent of standing biomass composed of forbs (PCTF) were modeled across the growing season. Samples representing stages of plant maturity from early vegetative to dormant were collected from grazed and ungrazed native tallgrass paddocks using a 0.5 X 0.5 m quadrat. Total biomass was measured during all years of the study (1992-1995). Grass and forb biomass were measured separately during 1995. Height of canopy closure also was measured during 1995. Before clipping, plots were scanned with a multispectral radiometer. Models were prepared using simple regression, multiple regression (MR), or a commercial neural network (NN) computer program. Potential inputs to MR and NN models of SFB and PCTF included Julian day of harvest (JD), range site, canopy closure height (CH), incident radiation, spectral reflectance values (RFV) at 8 discreet bandwidths, and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The NDVI alone accounted for little variability (R2 = 0.13) in SFB during all years of the study. The optimal MR model for the same data set (SFB = 3.5[JD] - 43.7[460 nm RFV] + 1099[NDVI] - 992; R2 = 0.62) accounted for a greater amount of the variability in SFB. The capacity to describe variation in SFB for the 1995 data with MR was improved when CH was included as a variable (R2 = 0.58 versus 0.78). A NN model accounted for the most variation in SFB across the entire study (R2 = 0.76). During 1995, the capability of a NN to account for variation in SFB within the training data was similar whether or not CH was included as an input (R2 = 0.86); however, prediction of SFB from validation data using the same NN was improved by using CH as an input variable. Little variation in PCTF was accounted for by a MR model (R2 = 0.23); however, a considerably larger proportion of the variation in PCTF was accounted for when an NN was used (R2 = 0.59). Seasonal changes in SFB and PCTF were described with an acceptable degree of accuracy by forage reflectance characteristics that were adjusted for time of season and canopy complexity. Moreover, when provided with the same potential inputs, NN predicted SFB and PCTF from validation data more accurately than MR models.
    • Rainfall Effects on Soil Surface Characteristics Following Range Improvement Treatments

      Kincaid, D. R.; Williams, G. (Society for Range Management, 1966-11-01)
      Range improvement treatments-brush clearing, pitting, and seeding to grass-were imposed on twenty-four 6 by 12-foot plots near Tombstone, Arizona. One summer's rainfall of average amount and intensity reduced roughness due to pitting; and such other surface characteristics as erosion pavement and exposed soil approached a state of stability similar to the untreated plots. Surface runoff exhibited little correlation with treatment, but showed a statistically significant negative correlation with crown cover of vegetation.
    • Rainfall Interception by Cool-desert Shrubs

      West, N. E.; Gifford, G. F. (Society for Range Management, 1976-03-01)
      Interception patterns of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) and shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia (Torr.) Wats.) were measured under two simulated rainfall intensities during three different seasons. Mean rainfall interception rate of individual plants of both species was 0.15 cm when averaged over all sampling dates and rainfall intensities. Interception during individual storms of at least 0.15 cm size by entire plant communities, based on measured vegetal cover, was calculated at 0.028 cm or less. On the average, about 4% of the total annual rainfall (not snowfall) would be intercepted by these plant communities.
    • Rainfall Interception by Midgrass, Shortgrass, and Live Oak Mottes

      Thurow, T. L.; Blackburn, W. H.; Warren, S. D.; Taylor, C. A. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Interception, as a function of simulated rainfall intensity and duration, was determined for a midgrass [sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.)] and a shortgrass [curleymesquite (Hilaria belangeri (Steud.) Nash)]. In addition, the redistribution of natural precipitation via plant interception was determined for live oak (Quercus virginiana Mill.) mottes. Interception storage capacity for sideoats grama and curleymesquite was 81 and 114% of dry weight, respectively. This difference was attributed to physical characteristics of the species and their respective growth forms. However, because sites dominated by sideoats grama had more standing biomass (3,640 kg ha-1) than sites dominated by curleymesquite (1,490 kg ha-1), it was estimated that a sideoats grama dominated site had an interception storage capacity of 1.8 mm compared to curleymesquite dominated site with an interception storage capacity of 1.0 mm. Based upon precipitation event size and distribution for the study site at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station near Sonora, Texas, the estimated interception loss for curleymesquite dominated sites was 10.8% of annual precipitation, compared to 18.1% interception loss for sideoats grama dominated sites. Only 54% of the annual precipitation reached mineral soil beneath the oak mottes as throughfall or stemflow. The remainder of the precipitation was intercepted by the motte canopy or litter layer and evaporated. Due to the water concentrating effect of stemflow, soil near the base of trees received about 222% of annual precipitation. Soil at a distance greater than approximately 100 mm from a tree trunk received only 50.6% of annual rainfall. Individual tree canopy width, height and depth measurements were insignificant predictors of stemflow and throughfall. Interception, throughfall and stemflow, expressed as percent of storm precipitation, were well-defined curvilinear functions.
    • Rainfall interception by selected plants in the Chihuahuan Desert

      Wood, M. K.; Jones, T. L.; Vera-Cruz, M. T. (Society for Range Management, 1998-01-01)
      Water budget modeling usually requires quantification of all possible processes of the hydrologic cycle. This includes rainfall interception. The purpose of this study was to estimate the potential amounts of water transferred back to the atmosphere from interception for some common plants found in the Chihuahuan desert. Fifty plants of many sizes representing 10 common species of the Chihuahuan Desert were chosen for evaluation. Plants were submerged in a 2 X 2 m tank filled with water. After submersion, the plants were weighed, and the difference in weight was recorded as the maximum water storage capacity of the plant's canopy. Plants were also measured for maximum and minimum crown diameter (cm), height (cm), green weight (g) at time of submersion, and oven-dry weight (g). The forb, grass, and shrub species had different variables included in the prediction equations. Dry and green weight were the 2 variables which appear to have the strongest relationship with the amount of water intercepted for all species. Of the 7 grass species evaluated, dry and green weight were part of all equations, and height was included in only 2 equations.
    • Rainfall Pattern and Monthly Forage Yields in Thal Ranges of Pakistan

      Khan, C. M. A. (Society for Range Management, 1971-01-01)
      The multiple correlation and multiple regression between monthly forage yield of dhaman (Cenchrus ciliaris Linn.) and the four factors of the amount of monthly rainfall, the number of rainy days in the month, the amount of rainfall during the previous month and the month of the growing period were positive and highly significant (0.01 level). The same multiple relationships for karera (Elyonurus hirsutus Vahl.) were significant only if rainfall during the previous month was not included. There were highly significant positive correlation and regression relationships between forage yield and monthly rainfall, for both species. For either species, positive significant correlation existed betwen monthly forage yields and number of rainy days. Dhaman was more responsive than karera to all three rainfall factors involved.
    • Rainfall, Temperature, and Forage Dynamics Affect Nutritional Quality of Desert Mule Deer Forage

      Marshal, Jason P.; Krausman, Paul R.; Bleich, Vernon C. (Society for Range Management, 2005-07-01)
      Forage quality affects physiological condition, population dynamics, habitat use, and distribution of ungulates. We studied how rainfall, temperature, forage biomass, and forage growth are related to water content, crude protein (CP), and in vitro dry- matter digestibility (IVDMD) of some common forage species of desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus eremicus Mearns) in the Sonoran Desert, California. We established vegetation transects in desert washes to collect forage samples and to measure forage biomass, growth, rainfall, and temperature on a quarterly basis. Percent water and CP were positively associated with forage growth (P < 0.001) and with rainfall (P < 0.025). There were positive relationships between IVDMD and forage growth (P < 0.001), forage biomass (P < 0.001), and the combination of temperature and rainfall (P < 0.001). These findings suggest that the highest quality landscapes for deer are those with rapidly growing forage where forage water, CP, and IVDMD are greatest. With the quantified relationships between rainfall, temperature, and forage characteristics presented here, the nutritional constituents for deer forage can be predicted.  
    • Raintrap Performance on the Fishlake National Forest

      Dedrick, A. R. (Society for Range Management, 1973-01-01)
      Fifteen raintraps on the Fishlake National Forest in central Utah were observed over an 11-year period in an effort to evaluate field operation, maintenance requirements, and serviceability of raintrap systems. The raintraps generally functioned properly during the first 7 to 8 years. Some problems occurred during the latter part of the period. Five problem types were classified: (1) material failure-oxidation, ozone attack, and tearing; (2) mechanical damage-vermin attack and puncture by plants and animals; (3) snow accumulation which prevented water storage; (4) insufficient maintenance to catchment aprons, storage bags and ponds, watering troughs, and fences; and (5) improper design resulting from inaccurate estimate of or change in water requirements, poor site selection, and inadequate evaporation and precipitation data. Operational problems associated with the storage part of the raintrap system were more serious than those related to the catchment apron.
    • Rainwater harvesting for increasing livestock forage on arid rangelands of Pakistan

      Suleman, S.; Wood, M. K.; Shah, B. H.; Murray, L. (Society for Range Management, 1995-11-01)
      This study determined forage production and cover of several plant species resulting from the use of water harvesting catchments with catchment: cultivated area ratios of 1:1 and 1.25:1 and contributing aprons with 7, 10, and 15% slope gradients. Plots with 1.25:1 ratios produced more forage and had more cover than plots with 1:1 and 0:1 ratios. Plots with 7, 10, and 15% slope gradients had similar forage production and cover. Tuft planted plots produced more forage and cover than seeded plots. Ghorka (Elionurus hirsutus (Vahl) Munro), blue panicum (Panicum antidotale Retz.), and buffer (Cenchrus ciliaris L.) grasses produced similar forage and cover, which was higher than khev grass (Sporobolus helvolus (Trin.) Th. Dur. & Schinz) production and cover.
    • Ranch Decision-Making under Uncertainty—an Illustration

      Whitson, R. E. (Society for Range Management, 1975-07-01)
      Risk and uncertainty were explicitly included in a ranch decision model by the use of quadratic programming. Alternative ranch organizations are presented for a typical ranch firm in the Rolling Plains of Texas. These organizations illustrate the trade-offs between increasing net ranch income and the annual stability of income. To increase profits, the typical rancher was required to assume increasing amounts of risk. Incorporation of risk in the decision model improved understanding of the decision-making process of ranchers and the reasons why two similar ranchers could be "optimally" organized and operate with completely different ranch plans.
    • Ranch Management

      Oliver, H. (Society for Range Management, 1949-01-01)
    • Ranch Owner Perceptions and Planned Actions in Response to a Proposed Endangered Species Act Listing

      Knapp, C. N.; Stuart III, Chapin, F.; Cochran, J. O. (Society for Range Management, 2015-11)
      The Gunnison sage-grouse (GUSG) is an iconic species recently proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In Colorado's Upper Gunnison River Basin, ranchers own the majority of water rights and productive river bottoms as well as approximately 30% of the most important GUSG habitat. This project used mixed-methods interviews with 41 ranch owners to document how ranchers perceive the proposed ESA listing and how they plan to respond to a listing decision. Results show that ranchers support on-the-ground GUSG conservation but are concerned about listing implications. Ranchers are most concerned about their ability to manage public and private lands productively and continue permitted grazing on public lands. If the species is listed, landowners plan to decrease participation in conservation strategies, including plans to adopt conservation easements, participation in conservation programs, and willingness to allow access to private lands for GUSG monitoring. Land-owners also express plans for increased sales of land and water, which could have negative consequences for GUSG habitat. This research suggests that changes in the application of the ESA could lead to beneficial conservation outcomes. These changes include increased transparency, ability to exclude stable populations from listing under the ESA, and commitment to work with local bodies if the species is listed. This project demonstrates the importance of qualitative research for understanding the indirect and unintended effects of species protections in an increasingly interconnected world. © 2015 Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    • Ranch Resource Differences Affecting Profitability of Crested Wheatgrass as a Spring Forage Source

      Spielman, K. A.; Shane, R. L. (Society for Range Management, 1985-07-01)
      A representative cow-calf ranch operation in Elko County, Nev., was modeled using a linear programming procedure to determine effects of selected ranch resource differences on profitability of seeding crested wheatgrass. Net present value (NPV) results suggest seeding crested wheatgrass as a spring forage can be a profitable investment if there are associated increases in calf weaning weights of 9.07 kg and increases in calving rates of 5 percentage points. Amount of meadow hayland, deeded range, and BLM forage available to the representative ranch were increased and decreased 50%. NPV's of the crested wheatgrass investment are greater for ranches with excess meadow hay and excess deeded range. NPV's are lower for ranches with limiting resources of meadow hayland, deeded range, and BLM forage.
    • Ranch Values and the Federal Grazing Fee

      Lambert, D. K. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Past analysis of the impacts of higher federal grazing fees on ranch values have been purely speculative due to the absence of observations on sales of Western cattle ranches under a wide range of fee levels. An income approach to ranch value determination is described here in which numerous parameters affecting value can be varied. Solutions attained under different grazing fees are capitalized into the net present value of a potential ranch investment. Substantial decreases in ranch revenues and ranch values can occur with large fee increases in cases where public land forage comprises a large share of a ranch's annual forage supply.
    • Ranching and Multiyear Droughts in Utah: Production Impacts, Risk Perceptions, and Changes in Preparedness

      Coppock, D. Layne (Society for Range Management, 2011-11-01)
      Droughts characterize rangelands, yet drought research remains limited. Objectives of the study were to determine: 1) effects of the 1999-2004 drought on ranch resources, 2) how ranchers coped with the 1999-2004 drought, 3) whether ranchers have altered their preparedness for future drought, and 4) factors influencing change in preparedness. A phone and mail survey engaged a random sample of 615 ranchers providing 509 usable responses (83%). Data analysis employed descriptive statistics, directional change tests, and logistic regression. Compared to ‘‘normal’’ years, the 1999-2004 drought had negative effects on 75% of operations including major reductions in water supplies, forage, and cattle productivity. One quarter of respondents indicated that the drought had neutral or positive effects, usually because they had unhindered access to water or high-value hay. Only 14% of respondents felt they were adequately prepared for the 1999-2004 drought, illustrated by the high use of federal relief programs and involvement in crisis-related water development, livestock sales, and hay purchases. The ‘‘drought trap’’ was financial (lower revenue and higher costs), with effects well beyond 2004. By 2009 preparedness had reportedly changed. Twenty-nine percent of respondents felt they were better prepared for drought in 2009 than in 1998, a significant shift (P<0.01) in the population. Increased preparedness was significantly associated (P<0.02) with how badly a rancher was affected by the 1999-2004 drought as well as their belief that another drought is imminent. Risk-management tactics now include investment in natural-resource development and conservation plans, reductions in stocking rates, income diversification, and enrollment in insurance and federal disaster-assistance programs. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they were actively planning for future drought. The lessons of 1999-2004 have increased awareness of drought hazards among Utah ranchers, providing opportunity to enhance the financial and ecological sustainability of ranching via well-conceived risk-management initiatives.
    • Ranching as a Conservation Strategy: Can Old Ranchers Save the New West?

      Brunson, Mark W.; Huntsinger, Lynn (Society for Range Management, 2008-03-01)
      Working ranches are often promoted as means of private rangeland conservation because they can safeguard ecosystem services, protect open space, and maintain traditional ranching culture. To understand the potential for generating broad social benefits from what have come to be called ‘‘working landscapes,’’ one must consider the synergies of people, environment, and institutions needed to accomplish conservation, as well as complicating factors of scale and uncertainty. Focusing on the problem as it has unfolded in the western United States, we review the state of knowledge about the extent of ranchland conversion; reasons why maintaining working ranches may benefit conservation; and the challenges and opportunities of rancher demographics, attitudes, values, and propensities for innovation. Based on this review, we explore whether the supply of traditional, full-time ranch owners is likely to be sufficient to meet conservation demand, and conclude that although demographic trends seem to suggest that it is not, there exist alternative enterprises and ownership forms that could achieve the goals of ranch conservation. We offer suggestions on how potential shortfalls might be addressed. 
    • Ranching in East Africa: A Case Study

      Skovlin, J. M. (Society for Range Management, 1971-07-01)
      Progressive ranching is contrasted with traditional pastoralism in an effort to show how lagging rangelands might contribute more to economies of emerging countries. This is done by illustrating one rancher's success in overcoming the handicaps that limit tropical livestock production. Grassland potential and problems of rangeland development in East Africa are also considered.
    • Ranching in Panama

      McCorkle, J. S. (Society for Range Management, 1968-07-01)
      Grass and cattle are an important part of Panama agriculture. Ninety percent of all grassland contains one or more introduced grasses. Brush control, fire control, and improvement in grass and livestock management are major problems. Cattle are grown and finished for market on grass. Low calf crops, disease and parasites, poor dry season feed conditions, and low-quality animals result in a generally low beef production per cow. Improved grazing practices and sound livestock management will result in higher calf crops and increased beef yields. Potential exists for a sound and economically profitable ranching enterprise./Los pastizales y el ganado son una parte muy importante de la agricultura de Panamá. El 90% de las tierras de pastoreo contienen una ó más especies de gramíneas introducidas. El combate de arbustivas, el control de las quemas, y el mejoramiento tanto de las plantas forrajeras como del ganado son de los problemas más importantes. El ganado se cría y se engorda para el mercado en los potreros. Los bajos porcentajes de parición, las enfermedades y los parásitos, el bajo valor nutritivo de los forrajes durante las épocas de sequía, y los animales de calidad inferior traen como consecuencia, por lo general, una baja producción por vaca. Mayores porcentajes de parición y aumentos en el rendimiento de carne podrán lograrse mediante prácticas de pastoreo mejoradas y un manejo adecuado del ganado. La ganadería en Panamá ofrece un buen potencial para establecer empresas remunerativas.