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CitationHeitschmidt, R. K., Dowhower, S. L., & Walker, J. W. (1987). 14-vs. 42-paddock rotational grazing: Forage quality. Journal of Range Management, 40(4), 315-317.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractResearch was initiated at the Texas Experimental Ranch in 1981 to quantify the effects of 2 livestock densities on forage quality in a rotational grazing (RG) treatment. Livestock densities evaluated were equivalent to 14 and 42-paddock RG treatments. Baseline data were collected in 1981 from 3 adjacent 30-ha paddocks in a 465-ha, 14-paddock, cell designed RG treatment stocked at a rate of 3.6 ha/cow/year. Near the beginning of the 1982 growing season the center paddock was subdivided into three, 10-ha paddocks to establish the RG-42 treatment. Herbage standing crop was harvested before and after each grazing event during the 40-month period, separated by species or species group into live and dead tissue, and each fraction analyzed for percentage crude protein (CP) and organic matter digestibility (OMD). Livestock density had minimial effect on forage quality. Live tissue was of higher quality than senesced tissue regardless of plant species. Increases and decreases in overall quality during grazing periods were positively associated with rates of plant growth. Number of periods when forage quality increased or decreased during grazing and magnitude of change were unaffected by treatment. Lack of significant treatment effects on forage quality is attributed to the general absence of significant treatment effects on forage production, species composition, and live/dead ratios.