• Effect of Time of Grazing in First Crop Year on Subsequent Productivity of Russian Wildrye

      Holt, N. W.; Lawrence, T.; Kilcher, M. R. (Society for Range Management, 1986-11-01)
      Russian wildrye (Elymus junceus Fisch.) is an important range-land grass. It is slow to establish and could be damaged by grazing too soon after seeding. To test this hypothesis the effect of date of first grazing on the productivity of a newly established Russian wildrye pasture was determined for the first crop year, that is, the year after establishment, and 3 subsequent years at Swift Current, Saskatchewan. In the first crop year the grazing days per hectare with yearling steers was 134 days and 138 kg/ha total liveweight gain was obtained for a grazing period beginning on 15 June. When grazing was started 1 May or 1 August, carrying capacity was not different but beef production was 60 and 84 kg/ha, respectively. In the second year, when all pastures were grazed continuously from 4 May, the greatest number of days grazing were obtained when grazing had been delayed until 1 August the previous year. However, date of first grazing in the first production year did not affect liveweight gain in the second year nor liveweight gain or grazing days in the subsequent 2 years of grazing with steers. It was concluded that grazing of newly established Russian wildrye pastures should be delayed in the first crop year until the plants are fully headed (about mid-June).