• An Analysis of Forage Preference Indices

      Loehle, C.; Rittenhouse, L. R. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Of those models currently used to describe the preference of animals for various plants under given conditions, all have serious shortcomings for purposes of accurately explaining the data, in the regression sense. When five equations, based in various ways on preference and availability, were used to estimate diets of cattle and sheep, no clear advantage of one expression over another could be found. All models tested with the sheep data resulted in increased predicted sums of squares compared with total sums of squares. In contrast, models tested with the cattle data showed some reduction in unexplained variation in diet estimates during the entire year, spring, and summer, but not during fall. This improvement was probably because the cattle pastures were more homogeneous than the sheep pastures and species were aggregated. The best model was Ratio 4 (preference-availability) but it requires a complex and expensive parameter estimation technique. It was concluded that sampling problems combine with inadequacies of the preference indexes to prevent accurate representation of the concept of diet preference. It was also concluded that sampling problems arise when the fecal, rumen fistula, or esophageal fistual techniques are used to estimate diets. A technique for adjusting these techniques to make them suitable for predicting diets was described. Further investigations into animal behavior are needed to determine variables which affect what the animal perceives as being desirable in relation to what is available.
    • An Evaluation of 17 Grasses and 2 Legumes for Revegetation of Soil and Spoil on a Coal Strip Mine

      Nichols, P. J.; McGinnies, W. J. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Seventeen grass species and two legumes were evaluated in a greenhouse study to determine their potential for revegetation of coal strip mine areas. Each species was grown in 25 cm of topsoil placed over 28 cm of mine-spoil or in 53 cm of spoil without topsoil. Herbage yields were seven times greater and root yields six times greater when the grasses were grown in topsoil than when grown in spoil without topsoil. When herbage production, root production, and crude protein were considered together and given equal weight, the five species with the highest combined ratings when grown in 25 cm of topsoil over spoil were tall fescue, hard fescue, Russian wildrye, western wheatgrass, and Arizona fescue. All grass species studied produced relatively low yields when grown in spoil without topsoil. Average herbage yields for the native and introduced grass species studied were similar, but introduced species averaged greater root production, particularly in spoil material. Two legumes, alfalfa and cicer milkvetch, produced much higher yields and higher crude protein than any of the grasses studied whether grown in topsoil over spoil or in spoil without topsoil.
    • Botanical Composition of Determination of Range Herbivore Diets: A Review

      Holechek, J. L.; Vavra, M.; Pieper, R. D. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Procedures used for estimating the botanical composition of the range herbivore's diet include diet observation, utilization techniques, fistula sampling, and fecal analysis. Each of these procedures has important limitations. Direct observation requires minimal time and equipment inputs but accuracy and precision are a problem, particularly with wild animals. Utilization studies are generally unsuitable when plants are actively growing and more than one herbivore is using the area under study. Fistula methods are accurate but are difficult to use with wild animals. In addition they are costly and require considerable time. The esophageal fistula is preferable to the rumen fistula because it provides more accurate information and requires less labor. Stomach analysis involves animal sacrifice and, therefore, is generally restricted to wild animals with large populations. However, trocar sampling of the rumen contents is a new method that avoids this problem. Fecal analysis has been used extensively in recent years to evaluate diet botanical composition of wild herbivores. This procedure gives good precision but accuracy is a problem because of differential digestion between plant species. Techniques are available that can be used to reduce this source of error. Microhistological analysis has become the most widely used method for quantifying botanical composition of masticated forage or fecal material. Recent studies show microhistological analysis can give an accurate representation of percent diet botanical composition by weight if observers use had compounded diets to check their accuracy. A new procedure, infrared spectrophotometry, may have considerable potential for evaluating herbivore diet botanical composition of fistula or fecal samples.
    • Botanical Composition of Steer Diets on Mesquite and Mesquite-Free Desert Grassland

      Galt, H. D.; Theurer, B.; Martin, S. C. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Botanical composition of cattle diets on mesquite and mesquite-free desert rangeland was determined on a weight basis by a microscope point technique and density constants of species. Pastures consisted primarily of grasses, small amounts of forbs and shrubs, and velvet mesquite (17% crown canopy) on one unit. Dietary composition of plant groups consisted of 67 to 97% grasses, 0 to 4% forbs, and trace to 33% shrubs. Species composition of diets varied by seasons and among animals. Plant preference was not necessarily related to plant availability. Composition of diets was markedly different from composition of pastures. Black grama averaged only 3% of diets, but comprised about one-third of herbage production. Arizona cottontop, which averaged 20% of herbage on pastures, was the most consistently selected species, averaging 34% of the diet. Seasonal preference was shown for certain grasses such as rothrock grama in spring and bush muhly in winter. Highest preference for shrub species was shown in winter and early summer. Overall dietary composition between pastures was much the same, but average herbage production for a 2-year period was 347 kg/ha greater where mesquite had been controlled. Leaves comprised the major plant part of steer diets on both pastures. Leaf content of diets increased from winter to summer while stems decreased for the same periods. Botanical composition of animal diets can be a guide to more efficient use of the range resource by grazing animals.
    • Botanical Composition of Summer Cattle Diets on the Wyoming High Plains

      Samuel, M. J.; Howard, G. S. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Botanical composition of the summer diet was determined for cattle grazing semiarid grassland in southeastern Wyoming. Diet samples from beef cattle with esophageal fistulas were examined using a microscope technique. Western wheatgrass was the most abundant single species. Western wheatgrass, blue grama, sedges, and needleandthread made up 70% of the diet. Western wheatgrass and needleandthread were found in the diet at proportions greater than the relative amount available; conversely, blue grama was found at proportions less than the relative amount available.
    • Cattle Grazing and Behavior on a Forested Range

      Roath, L. R.; Krueger, W. C. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Environmental and topographic parameters on a mountainous forested range were analyzed to establish causes of cattle behavioral responses. Distinct home range groups of cattle were identified through examination of quality and patterns of forage use, cattle distribution, herd social structure, and cattle activities. The home range of one group encompassed only upland areas. Water and vegetation type were important parameters in determining area and degree of use. Vertical distance above water was the most important factor in determining vegetation utilization on moderately steep slopes. Time after sunrise and relative humidity factors were key factors in determining kind and timing of cattle activity.
    • Contribution to the Ecology of Dactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) P. Beauv.

      Sharma, B. M.; Chivinge, A. O. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Dactyloctenium aegyptium, which is a nutritious fodder, grows abundantly in the campus of University of Ibadan, Nigeria, under tropical climate and supported by reddish-brown loamy soil. The species shows morphological variations and three forms have been recognized. Form A is small sized, Form B medium, while Form C is large. Each form grows with different associated species, though some of them are common to all forms. The three forms behaved differently with respect to germination requirements, biotic disturbance, and water stress. Cultural experiments revealed germination lower on filter paper than on soil, a progressive decrease in germination with depth, no germination at 4 cm and 5 cm depths, and a general increase in germination from 10 degrees C to 25 degrees C. Form C did not germinate at all in total darkness but had the highest germination in glass-house and it was the only one that germinated in continuous light. Most of the results of various germination experiments showed that Form A had the least germination, followed by Form B, while Form C had the highest germination. Experiments on water stress revealed that Form B showed the best growth but it was only Form C that had flowered. There are persistent differences in three Forms with regard to growth habit, period of maturity, spike coloration, and germination behavior, which indicate that they are likely to be ecotypes.
    • Effect of Continuous Grazing on the Diet of Steers

      Yates, D. A.; Clanton, D. C.; Nichols, J. T. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Continuous grazing of Sandhill native forage at a normal stocking rate in late August had no effect on organic matter intake (OMI), but the protein content and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) declined over a 3-week period. The average OMI was 75 g/kg W^.75. As the availability of forage declined, the ability of the steers to selectively graze was apparently reduced. Similarly, continuous grazing of mixed prairie-type range from October 30 to March 13 had no effect on OMI but the protein content of the diet was reduced. The IVOMD did not change during the winter grazing trial. The average OMI was 66 g/kg W^.75 Steer calves gained .24 kg daily during the grazing period.
    • Efficiency of Forage Harvest by Grazing Cattle

      Allison, C. D.; Kothmann, M. M.; Rittenhouse, L. R. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Three grazing trials of 14 days each were conducted in April, July, and September, 1977, to examine the effects of grazing pressure on forage disappearance, organic matter intake, and the relationship between intake and forage disappearance. Levels of grazing pressure studied were 10, 20, 40, and 50 kg of forage allowed per animal-unit per day (kg/au/da). Standing crop was measured before, during the middle, and immediately after each trial. Organic matter intake was estimated at the beginning and end of each trial by the fecal excretion:indigestibility ratio technique. Total standing crop declined steadily during the grazing trials, with forage availability being significantly less at the end than at the beginning or middle of the trials. Averaged over the three trials, total forage disappearance during a 14-da grazing period was 236, 334, 355, and 457 kg per pasture and forage losses per au per day were 8.5, 12.0, 12.7, and 16.3 kg for the 10, 20, 40, and 50 kg/au/da grazing pressures, respectively. However, daily intake averaged across all treatments, periods, and trials was approximately 9 kg/au/da. At the grazing pressure level of 10 kg/au/da, forage disappearance approximated the average daily intake, whereas, grazing pressures of 20, 40, and 50 kg/au/da had forage disappearances that exceeded intake by 28, 48, and 90%, respectively. These data indicate a possibility for a two-fold increase in the efficiency of forage harvest by grazing cattle as grazing pressure is increased.
    • Electric fencing reduces coyote predation on pastured sheep in North Dakota, Kansas

      Linhart, S. B.; Roberts, J. D.; Dasch, G. J. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Field tests to evaluate electric fencing for protecting pastured sheep from coyote predation were conducted in North Dakota and Kansas in 1977 and 1978. In 1979, 37 western sheep producers using electric fences to exclude coyotes were interviewed and relevant data were recorded and analyzed. An all-electric 12-wire, 168-cm-high fence with alternately charged and grounded wires spaced 13 and 15 cm apart stopped ongoing coyote predation on the two North Dakota test sites. Four or five strands of electrified wire, offset 13 cm from existing woven and barbed wire sheep fences, effectively prevented further coyote predation at two Kansas sites. Sheep producers interviewed expressed a high to moderate degree of satisfaction with the use of electric fencing as a coyote management technique. However, sheep management practices on two-thirds of the ranches remained unchanged after electric fence installation and nearly all producers continued to use other control methods. Sixty percent of the producers stated that they experienced some type of maintenance problems but many of these problems may have been due to poor construction techniques or a failure to check their fences periodically. Cost-benefit factors associated with the use of electric fencing, study limitations, and further research needs are discussed.
    • Establishment, Growth, Utilization and Chemical Composition of Introduced Shrubs on Oklahoma Tall Grass Prairie

      Stidham, N. D.; Powell, J.; Gray, F.; Claypool, P. I. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      On April 1, 1977, 14 species of containerized shrubs grown from seed in a greenhouse were transplanted onto North-Central Oklahoma tallgrass prairie to determine first-year growth and survival and fall utilization and forage quality of the shrubs. Plants of each species were transplanted onto Lucien loam (Udic Ustochrepts) and onto Grainola silt loam (Vertic Haplustalfs) soils. Grazing was permitted on one-half of the plants of all species during the fall. Growth and survival were greater on the more mesic Grainola soil, whereas utilization was greater on the more xeric Lucien soil. Early winter N, P, K, and Ca contents and in vivo dry matter digestibility were two or three times greater in shrubs than in native herbaceous plants collected from the same area at the same time. Based on survival, growth, fall utilization and early winter forage quality, seven species deserve additional study under different soil, weather and management conditions. Atriplex canescens, Fallugia paradoxa, and Cowania mexicana var. stansburiana are the most promising winter browse plants for Oklahoma tallgrass prairies.
    • Fire, Lichens, and Caribou

      Klein, D. R. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Continental populations of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) usually winter in the northern taiga. Fire is a natural feature of the ecology of the taiga but its effect on the winter range of caribou has been the subject of conflicting reports in the literature. Lichens, which are an important component of the diet of caribou in winter, are associated with late successional stages in the post fire sequence; therefore their loss when old growth forests burn has been considered detrimental to caribou. On the other hand, several authors have suggested that lichens are not essential for caribou in winter and therefore their loss through forest fires does not seriously affect caribou. Recent nutritional investigations with reindeer and caribou have demonstrated the importance of lichens in their winter diet. Botanical studies have shown that fires are essential for the long-term productivity of the boreal forest and they account for much of the habitat diversity that characterizes caribou winter range. Extremely old forest stands show reduced lichen productivity. I conclude that, when viewed on a short-term basis of 50 years or less, fire may destroy lichens and other forage, thus reducing the taiga's potential to support caribou. Over long-time periods, often of a century or more, fire appears essential for maintaining ecological diversity and forage production for caribou.
    • Forage Production and Removal from Western and Crested Wheatgrasses Under Grazing

      Hart, R. H.; Balla, E. F. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Forage production and removal from tillers of western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii Rydb.) and crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schult.] were studied at two stocking rates with long-interval time-lapse photography. As stocking rate increased, frequency of grazing increased markedly, but the proportion of available herbage removed at each grazing event increased only in 1977 on western wheatgrass. Forage production per tiller of western wheatgrass was usually higher under light than under heavy stocking, and in one year production of grazed tillers under light stocking was often higher than production of ungrazed tillers. Production per tiller of crested wheatgrass under grazing was marginally less than that per ungrazed tiller, with no difference between stocking rates. Patterns of forage removal with grazing were markedly different from those with clipping, and removal with grazing was much less severe than that imposed in most clipping studies reviewed.
    • Grazing Management of Crested Wheatgrass Range for Yearling Steers

      Daugherty, D. A.; Britton, C. M.; Turner, H. A. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Sixty, spring-born, yearling steers of Angus-Hereford breeding were used to compare continuous vs short duration grazing on crested wheatgrass range. Grazing trials were conducted in two successive years. Grazing fields to remove about 30% of available forage and then moving to a fresh field increased (P<.05) daily gains of steers compared to continuous grazing. However, this increase occurred late in the grazing season with no apparent initial advantage for short duration grazing. The effect of grazing treatments on forage yields and quality resulted in several management implications. These implications and further research needs are discussed.
    • Growth Rate Differences among Big Sagebrush (Artemisis Tridentata) Accessions and Subspecies Utah

      McArthur, E. D.; Welch, B. L. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Even-aged plants of 21 big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) accessions were grown in a uniform garden to test growth parameter variation. Growth parameters measures (height, crown diameter, yield, and annual nonfloral leader growth) were scored after the 1975, 1976, and 1977 growing seasons. Nested analyses of variance and mean comparison tests showed significant (p<0.05) accession and subspecies differences in each measure, each year. On a subspecies level, basin big sagebrush (A.t. ssp. tridentata) exceeded the other two subspecies (mountain big sagebrush = A.t. vaseyana, Wyoming big sagebrush = A.t. wyomingensis) for each character. In general, the values for the last two subspecies were not significantly different, but mountain big sagebrush tended to have larger values. Using 1975 data for yield and 1976 data for the other growth parameters, basin big sagebrush accessions averaged 147.9 +/- 14.7 (se) cm in height, 193.0 +/- 12.1 cm in maximum crown spread, 2217 +/- 444 g current yield, and 12.7 +/- 1.1 cm in annual leader growth. Corresponding values for mountain big sagebrush were 95.8 +/- 2.2 cm, 157.3 +/- 3.4 cm, 890 +/- 77 g, and 8.8 +/- 0.6 cm. For Wyoming big sagebrush the values were 77.1 +/- 4.1 cm, 129.6 +/- 6.4 cm, 545 +/- 84 g, and 8.5 +/- 1.1 cm. Comparison of three accessions' performances at two uniform gardens and their native sites indicated that growth parameters, while subject to environmental influences, are under genetic control. The fastest growing and largest growing plants of this study were diploid, 2n = 18, whereas, the slowest growing ones were tetraploid, 2n = 36. Growth rate characteristics of big sagebrush should be considered for management purposes and in plant improvement programs.
    • Habitat Preferences of Feral Hogs, Deer, and Cattle on a Sierra Foothill Range

      Barrett, R. H. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      The relative habitat preferences of feral hogs (Sus scrofa), black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), and cattle were assessed for 17 habitat types by sampling the distribution and abundance of fecal sign on a northern California annual range. Hogs preferred oak thickets and irrigated pastures; deer preferred brushland and oak woodland; and cattle preferred level topography and sites with relatively high herbage production including irrigated pastures, upland plains, and oak savanna-woodland. Deer and cattle used the study area during winter only, whereas the hogs were permanent residents. An association analysis indicated the greatest potential for interspecific competition would be between cattle and deer on foothill ridge tops and between cattle and hogs on irrigated pastures.
    • Influence of Crusting Soil Surfaces on Emergence and Establishment of Crested Wheatgrass, Squirreltail, Thurber Needlegrass, and Fourwing Saltbush

      Wood, M. K.; Eckert, R. E.; Blackburn, W. H.; Peterson, F. F. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Crusting soil surfaces with vesicular pores occur in arid and semiarid regions of the world where herbaceous vegetation is sparse. Morphological properties of crusting surfaces can impair seedling emergence and plant establishment. This study evaluated site preparation and seeding methods and species useful for encouraging successful stand establishment in such soils. Plowing to prepare a seedbed reduced seedling emergence on some soils but increased plant establishment on all soils. More seedlings emerged and established on non-crusting coppice soil beneath shrubs than on crusting interspace soil between shrubs. Crested wheatgrass was the most successful species followed closely by squirreltail and distantly by Thurber needlegrass and fourwing saltbush. Fourwing saltbush seedlings became established and grew well in some treatments. Seedling emergence and establishment were highest with the deep-furrow seeding technique on the non-crusting coppice soil. The standard-drill technique gave the best stand on the site with the largest surface cover of bare, crusting interspace soil.
    • Legume Establishment on Strip Mined Lands in Southeastern Montana

      Holecheck, J. L.; Depuit, E. J.; Coenenberg, J. G.; Valdez, R. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Research was conducted on topsoiled strip mined lands at Colstrip, Mon., over a 6-year period to evaluate germination, survival, productivity, and cover characteristics of Eski sainfoin (Onobrychis viciaefolia), Lutana cicer milkvetch (Astragalus cicer), birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), and ranger and spreader alfalfa (Medicago sativa). Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer were applied at a low rate during the first year of study. None of the experimental units received irrigation. Lutana cicer milkvetch and both varieties of alfalfa demonstrated good establishment, survival, canopy cover, and productivity characteristics. Eski sainfoin showed good initial establishment but declined in following years. Birdsfoot trefoil appeared to be unsuitable for revegetation of mined lands at Colstrip. Spreader alfalfa was superior to ranger alfalfa in the parameters evaluated. Lutana cicer milkvetch showed much potential for mined lands revegetation in the study area because of site stabilization, persistence, palatability, nitrogen fixation, and productivity characteristics.
    • Punch Planting to Establish Grass Seed

      Hauser, V. L. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      Perennial grasses are difficult to establish from seed in the Southern Great Plains. The conventional planting practice is to plant grass seeds 1 to 2 cm deep in the soil; but that soil layer often dries quickly, thus preventing plant establishment. I investigated punch planting, which may avoid the problem of soil drying around grass seeds. Punch planting is defined as the placement of seeds in open, small-diameter holes, punched in the soil to a much greater depth than conventional planting. Under drying conditions, punch planting produced satisfactory stands for 5 grasses, but conventional planting produced failures. Where the soil was kept wet, both methods produced satisfactory grass stands. Optimum depth of punch planting was related to seed size and seedling vigor. Small-diameter holes (0.6 cm) produced best plant emergence, because soil at the bottom of these holes dried slower than at the bottom of large holes. Punch planting may offer a solution to the problem of seeding failures.