• Soil Seed Banks Associated with Individual Broom Snakeweed Plants

      Osman, A.; Pieper, R. D.; McDaniel, K. C. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      The influence of individual broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae [Pursh] Britt. & Rushby) plants on the distribution of buried viable seed and the distribution of plants in the field was studied in a desert grassland in southern New Mexico. Surface soil samples collected at 3 distances from a central broom snakeweed plant were watered in pots in a greenhouse and numbers of each species emerging were counted. Densities of each species were also determined in the field. Some species (Sporobolus flexuosus [Thurb.] Rybd., S. contractus Hitchc., Descurainia pinnata [Walt.] Britton, and Dithyrea wislizenii Engelm.) emerged in greatest numbers from soil collected in the zones closest and at the greatest distances from the broom snakeweed. Emergence of other species declined in relation to distance from the central snakeweed plant. In the field, grasses generally increased in relation to distance from the central broom snakeweed plant while the pattern for forbs was not consistent.
    • Steer and Vegetation Response to Short Duration and Continuous Grazing

      Pitts, J. S.; Bryant, F. C. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Comparisons were made over a 4-year period between 1-herd, 16-pasture short duration grazing (SDG) and continuous grazing (CG) on the Texas High Plains. Animal performance, vegetation response, and diet quality were evaluated. Stocking rate on SDG was equal to that on CG the first year (13.3 ha/AU), double that on CG in the second year, and 1.5 times that on CG the third and fourth years. Average daily gain (ADG) of steers was the same (0.33 kg/day) between SDG and CG the first year. When stocking was doubled on SDG the second year, steers on SDG gained 0.15 kg/day compared to 0.25 kg/day under CG. In the third and fourth years, with stocking under SDG at 1.5 times that on CG, gains were similar. Standing crop biomass on SDG fell below that on CG after 1 year of grazing. In the second year standing crop was greater (P<0.05) on SDG than on CG, but in years 3 and 4, standing crop on the SDG was less than on CG. Changes in species composition were the same on both CG and SDG. Steer diet composition and quality were evaluated during the growing season (May to October) of year 4. Steers on SDG consumed 15% more forbs (39% vs 24%) than steers on CG. No differences (P>0.05) between CG and SDG were observed for dietary crude protein or in vitro digestible organic matter. SDG did not improve animal performance, diet quality, or forage availability over CG when evaluated over 4 years.
    • The Effect of Agriculture on Ferruginous and Swainson's Hawks

      Schmutz, J. K. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Raptors are an important component of prairie ecosystems. I examined the effects of grassland conversion to agricultural fields on densities of nesting prairie hawks. Densities of Swainson's hawks were recorded for comparison. The 2 species of congeneric hawks responded differently to habitat loss despite considerable overlap in their use of resources. As cultivation on study plots increased, ferruginous hawks declined. Swainson's hawks were more abundant in areas of moderate cultivation than in grassland or in areas of extensive cultivation. Differences in the hawks' responses were attributed to differences in their ecology, primarily prey utilization. There was no evidence that soil quality affected hawk abundance.
    • Vegetation Trends within Rest-Rotation and Season-long Grazing Systems in the Missouri River Breaks, Montana

      Watts, C. R.; Eichhorn, L. C.; Mackie, R. J. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Trends in canopy-coverage of vegetation and bare ground were measured inside and outside exclosures on recent burns within three-pasture rest-rotation and season-long grazing systems over a 10-year period. Results suggested that rest-rotation grazing may maintain vegetation and soil cover somewhat comparable to ungrazed cattle exclosures on rough breaks-type range in north-central Montana. Season-long grazing may not maintain satisfactory vegetation and soil cover in the area.
    • Ytterbium-Labeled forage as a Marker for Estimation of Cattle Fecal Output

      Musimba, N. K. R.; Galyean, M. L.; Holechek, J. L.; Pieper, R. D. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      This study evaluated the accuracy of a once daily dose of ytterbium (Yb)-labeled forage as a marker to estimate fecal output of cattle grazing at the National Range Research Station, Kiboko, Kenya. Ytterbium-labeled forage was administered daily to 15 zebu steers for 10 consecutive days for each of 3 trials. During the last 5 days of each trial, fecal grab samples were collected at 6-h intervals. During this same 5-day period, total fecal output was collected from 9 of the steers. Ytterbium estimates of fecal output were 114%, 104%, and 144% of actual fecal output for March, April, and July trials, respectively. Dry matter and organic matter intake estimates between Yb and total collection procedures differed (P<.05) in the July trial, but not the March and April trials. Compared with total fecal collection, Yb overestimated organic matter intake by 20, 2, and 40%, respectively for March, April and July trials. Based on our results, daily dosing of Yb-labeled forage will provide reasonable estimates of fecal output when relative estimates of intake between range management treatments are needed.