intensive early stocking
MetadataShow full item record
CitationOwensby, C. E., Auen, L. M., Berns, H. F., & Dhuyvetter, K. C. (2008). Grazing systems for yearling cattle on tallgrass prairie. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 61(2), 204-210.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalRangeland Ecology & Management
AbstractThis 9-yr study tested steer gains, residual aboveground biomass (AGB) in mid-July and early October, and economic returns and risk for tallgrass prairie grazed annually under season-long stocking (SLS) at 1.62 ha steer-1 until early October or intensive early stocking (IES) at 0.81 ha steer-1 until mid-July compared to a composite grazing system. The three-pasture, three-herd ‘‘IES+ System’’ is a 3-yr fixed sequence of SLS, IES, and IES (0.81 ha steer-1) plus late-season grazing (LSG; 1.62 ha steer-1) until early October (IES/LSG). All grazing treatments began in late April. Average gains per steer for SLS and SLS in the IES+ System did not differ, but were significantly less than gains for steers that grazed the entire season under IES/LSG. Gains per steer in mid-July under IES alone or in combination with LSG were similar to the same repeated grazing treatments, but were significantly less than those for steers grazed season-long. Gains per hectare under SLS did not differ, but were significantly less than those for IES treatments and the IES+ System. Gain per hectare in July was similar for IES repeated annually and IES/LSG, but there was greater gain per hectare for IES-treated pastures rotated within the system. Residual grass and total aboveground biomass (AGB) in mid-July did not vary among years and was generally greater on SLS than IES. In early October, grass AGB was similar for all treatments except IES/LSG, which had less residual AGB. When pasture rent was charged per head, the IES+ System increased the 20-yr mean return per hectare by 5.98 compared to repeated use of IES, and 8.52 compared to using only SLS. Measures of economic risk were generally intermediate for the IES+ system compared to IES, which consistently had the highest risk, and SLS.