• Indifference of Mountain Big Sagebrush Growth to Supplemental Water and Nitrogen

      Carpenter, A. T.; West, N. E. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      The responses of mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle) to small annual additions of water and/or nitrogen were investigated in southwestern Wyoming. A factorial field experiment with 2 levels of water (0 or 4 liters per plant in May) and 2 levels of ammonium nitrate fertilizer (0 or 31 kg N ha-1) was conducted with mountain big sagebrush tubelings from 1981 through 1984. End-of-season aboveground biomass and relative growth rate were not affected during 1982-84. Twig growth, ephemeral leaf survival, plant phenology, plant water potential and its components were likewise unaffected by the water and nitrogen treatments during the 1983 and 1984 growing seasons. Lack of a supplemental water main effect or a water × nitrogen fertilizer interaction probably were not evident because of above-average precipitation at the research site during the experimental period. The most likely explanation for the observed lack of nitrogen effect is that the nitrogen additions were small in relation to the total amount available to the plants.
    • Influence of Frequency of Drinking on Particulate Passage Rate and Dry Matter Disappearance in Grazing Zebu Cattle

      Musimba, N. K. R.; Galyean, M. L.; Whittington, D. L.; Pieper, R. D. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Three ruminally cannulated zebu steers were used in a water restriction study. Three drinking frequencies were imposed on the steers: watered daily, once in 2 days, and once in 3 days. Particulate rate of passage was estimated by dosing steers with Yb-labeled forage and collecting fecal grab samples for a 5-day period. Steers were grazed from 0700 h to 1800 h, then brought back to drink, and penned overnight. Particulate passage rate decreased (P<0.05) from 3.8 to 2.5 and 2.1%/h, while total mean retention time increased (P<0.01) from 54.0 to 65.2 and 80.2 h for steers watered once daily, once in 2 days, and once in 3 days, respectively. In situ dry matter disappearance in the rumen was increased (P<0.01) and dry matter intake decreased by one-third to two-thirds (P<0.01) by water restriction.
    • Influence of Watering Frequency on forage Consumption and Steer Performance in Southeastern Kenya

      Musimba, N. K. R.; Pieper, R. D.; Wallace, J. D.; Galyean, M. L. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Forty-five zebu steers (avg wt 311 kg) were allotted to 3 watering frequency treatments with 15 steers/treatment. The treatments involved watering once every day (1/1), watering once every 2 days (1/2) and watering once every 3 days (1/3) to investigate the effect of watering frequency on forage consumption and steer performance. Three steers/treatment were used to quantify fecal output and estimated forage consumption. All steers were grazed together in a 100-ha paddock for 10 hours daily and confined in a corral overnight. Steers were allowed ad libitum access to water only in the evenings according to the watering schedule. The study was conducted over 6 months, during which time total fecal collections were made in March, April, June, and July. All steers were weighed approximately every 2 weeks. Forage consumption was reduced (P<0.01) for steers watering (1/2) and (1/3), compared with the (1/1) watered group. Forage intake was highest (P<0.01) in April when herbage was green and growing. Steer performance followed a seasonal pattern reflecting changes in forage quality. Watering frequency did not influence steer performance. Reducing watering frequency from daily to once ever 2 or 3 days may enhance utilization of available range and save on cost of providing water for cattle under certain pastoral conditions.
    • Habitat Selection, Foraging Behavior, and Dietary Nutrition of Elk in Burned Aspen Forest

      Canon, S. K.; Urness, P. J.; DeByle, N. V. (Society for Range Management, 1987-09-01)
      Prescribed burning is frequently used to enhance regeneration of aspen. The effects of burning aspen on wild ungulates are poorly understood. We used free-ranging tame elk to assess diet composition and quality on a site containing a 40-ha aspen burn, pure unburned aspen, mixtures of aspen and conifers, and other habitats. Foraging preferences of elk among the habitats were also investigated. Overall, no dietary nutritional differences were found between burned and unburned aspen habitats. Diet composition by forage class varied somewhat, due primarily to an abundance of very palatable post-fire forbs on the burn. Time spent feeding was significantly different among habitats. The burn was substantially more attractive for foraging probably because preferred forages were consistently available and greater foraging efficiency was possible than in other habitats.
    • 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.