Cattle Grazing Distribution and Efficacy of Strategic Mineral Mix Placement in Tropical Brazilian Pastures
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CitationGoulart, R. C., Corsi, M., Bailey, D. W., & Zocchi, S. S. (2008). Cattle grazing distribution and efficacy of strategic mineral mix placement in tropical Brazilian pastures. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 61(6), 656-660.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalRangeland Ecology & Management
AbstractA study was conducted in Brazil to identify factors affecting grazing distribution of yearling Nelore cross heifers and to evaluate the efficacy of placement of a salt-mineral mix away from water to improve uniformity of grazing. Two pastures (25 ha and 42 ha) were evaluated for four 15-d sessions. Mineral mix was placed 590 m to 780 m from water during two sessions and at water for two sessions. Stubble heights were measured at the beginning and end of each session in 1-ha subunits of each pasture. Cattle locations were recorded on day 13 and 14 of each session by horseback observers. Heifers avoided areas with a preponderance of forbs and taller grass (P < 0.001). For the first 15 days of the study cattle avoided subunits farther from water. Thereafter, horizontal distance from water had no affect on grazing use (P > 0.10). Stubble height reduction was more uniform (P < 0.05) when the mineral mix was at water compared to away from water. In contrast, heifers spent less time farther from water when mineral mix was placed at water (P = 0.02) based on visual observations. Strategic placement of a salt-mineral mix away from water does not appear to be a reliable tool to improve cattle grazing distribution in humid tropical pastures from 25 ha to 45 ha in size.