Drought Mitigation for Grazing Operations: Matching the Animal to the Environment
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CitationScasta, J. D., Lalman, D. L., & Henderson, L. (2016). Drought Mitigation for Grazing Operations: Matching the Animal to the Environment. Rangelands, 38(4), 204-210.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
AbstractOn the Ground • With expected increases in drought frequency and severity, long-term drought management strategies that focus on cattle selection and natural resource management are essential. • The livestock industry in general unintentionally tends to select for cattle that do not perform to their maximum potential in limited-resource environments. We discuss the implications of cattle selection based on characteristics such as genetic potential, cow size, and hide color. • In a hypothetical model, we found that because forage requirements for smaller cows are lower than forage requirements for larger cows, using a herd of smaller cows produces a larger total calf crop if cow size and milk do not lead to greater calf production. • Because grazed forage remains the least expensive source of nutrients to maintain the cow herd, matching cow size and milk production potential to forage resources to optimize forage utilization and reproductive efficiency should be considered a rangeland drought mitigation strategy. • Contemporary strategies such as using EPDs and selection indexes to manage maternal traits such as mature weight and maintenance energy requirements can be integrated with conventional drought mitigation strategies that focus on resource quality management.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of Society for Range Management. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.