• Investment Rationale for Range Improvement Practices in Eastern Montana

      Lacey, J. R.; Wight, J.; Workman, J. P. (Society for Range Management, 1985-01-01)
      Evidence suggests that the range livestock industry in the Northern Great Plains is not as productive as it should be. Ranchers are not readily adopting the range improvement practices that researchers recommend. Therefore, an economic survey of eastern Montana ranchers was conducted to evaluate the current status of range improvement practices. Specific objectives were to determine: (1) if range improvement investments were influenced by ranch size; (2) the kinds of range improvements that were being implemented; (3) the areas where additional research was needed in range improvements; and (4) if stocking rates were influenced by ranch size. It was determined that a majority of the ranchers had purchased equipment and invested in additional water developments, fencing, and other structural improvements during the previous five-year period. A much smaller percentage had invested in seeded pastures, contour furrows, fertilizer, and other nonstructural improvements. Although small ranches had more range improvements developed per unit area, large ranches (401 animal units or more) were investing in range improvements more frequently than smaller ranches. Questionnaires returned from 568 ranchers indicated that research on range improvement practices should emphasize range seeding. Stocking rate on rangeland was not influenced by ranch size.