Beef production from native and seeded Northern Great Plains ranges
Russian wildrye grass
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CitationAdams, D. C., Staigmiller, R. B., & Knapp, B. W. (1989). Beef production from native and seeded Northern Great Plains ranges. Journal of Range Management, 42(3), 243-247.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractMultiparous crossbred cows (N=355) were studied over 4 years to evaluate effects of native range (NR) and seeded range on cow reproduction and performance during prebreeding from parturition to the start of breeding and during a 45-day breeding period. Treatments for prebreeding were: (1) NR and (2) crested wheatgrass (CW; Agropyron desertorum Fisch. ex [Link] Schult.) and during breeding: (1) NR, (2) Russian wildrye (RWR; Psathrostachys juncea [Fisch.] Nevski) and (3) contour furrowed NR (CF) interseeded with 'Ladak' alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L.). After breeding (postbreeding), all cows grazed NR to weaning in 3 of the 4 years. In year 4, calves were weaned at the end of breeding because of severe drought. Treatments and years were arranged as a factorial. Cow reproduction was evaluated by date of calving, the number of cows in estrus at least once before the beginning of breeding, and fall pregnancy rate. Prebreeding, breeding, and year effects as well as all interactions were nonsignificant (P>0.05) for all reproductive traits. Milk production and milk composition were not affected by prebreeding or breeding treatments. Differences in cow and calf weight gains occurred between prebreeding treatments and generally favored CW. Small differences also occurred in cow weight gains between breeding treatments. All cows gained weight and body condition during prebreeding and breeding and then lost weight and condition postbreeding. Breeding treatment effects on calf gains were small. We concluded that the primary benefits of seeded ranges in the Northern Great Plains are comparable to those documented for increased stocking rate and improved forage management. Seeded ranges did not improve individual animal performance.