• Grazing Management of Mediterranean Foothill Range in the Upper Jordan River Valley

      Gutman, M.; Seligman, N. G. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      A grazing trial with dry beef cows was conducted on an herbaceous Mediterranean range for 10 consecutive years. It included comparisons of continuous heavy (1.2 head per ha); continuous moderate (0.7 head per ha); and rotational moderate (0.8 head per ha) grazing during the first 7 years and rotational heavy (1.3 head per ha) grazing during the last 3 years. Under continuous grazing the liveweight gain per head was higher at the moderate stocking rate, especially during the dry season. Even though the cattle received protein supplement, they began to lose weight towards the end of the summer when the pasture biomass dropped below 700-800 kg dry matter per ha. The liveweight gain per unit area was almost proportional to the grazing pressure and no diminution of the pasture production was recorded as a result of 10 consecutive years of heavy grazing. This result is attributed to the fact that less than 45% of the plant biomass was consumed during the growing season and that the amount of dead standing vegetation had little effect on the growth during the following season. The cattle in the rotationally grazed paddocks gained slightly less weight per head than those in the continuously grazed paddocks. However, on an area basis this difference was not significant. At the end of the grazing season there was more litter in the rotationally grazed paddocks than in the continuously grazed ones. Continuous and/or heavy grazing decreased the relative cover of the grasses. These were replaced by forbs (annual dicotyledons). Under equal grazing pressures the relative cover of grasses was higher in rotational than in continuous grazing. The grazing treatments had no influence on the occurrence of annual legumes, or on Psoralea bituminosa (a common perennial legume) and Echinops viscosus (a widespread perennial thistle).