• Comparison of Season-Long Grazing Applied Annually and a 2-Year Rotation of Intensive Early Stocking Plus Late-Season Grazing and Season-Long Grazing

      Owensby, Clenton E.; Auen, Lisa M. (Society for Range Management, 2013-11-01)
      This research measured steer gains, aboveground biomass remaining at the end of the growing season, and economic returns of tallgrass prairie grazed under season long stocking (SLS-C) and a grazing system that included a 2-yr rotation of SLS rotated (SLS-R) and intensive early stocking (IES; 2X normal stocking rate) + late season grazing at the normal stocking rate (IES + LSG-R). We hypothesized that even though the stocking rate on the IES + LSG-R pasture was above the recommended rate, the greater regrowth availability in the late season would result in steers gaining as well as or better than those stocked SLS at the normal rate. By rotating the IES + LSG treatment with SLS over 2 yr, we anticipated that the aboveground biomass productive capacity of the IES + LSG pasture would be restored in one growing season. Further, we hypothesized that the increased stocking rate with IES + LSG would increase net profit. Comparing traditional season-long stocking to the system, which was a combination of SLS and IES + LSG rotated sequentially over a 2 yr period, the system increased steer gains by 7 kg . hd-1 and by 30 kg ha-1, had a consistent reduction of 429 kg ha-1 biomass productivity, and increased net profit by 55.19 per steer and 34.28 per hectare.