14- Vs. 42-Paddock Rotational Grazing: Aboveground Biomass Dynamics, Forage Production, and Harvest Efficiency
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CitationHeitschmidt, R. K., Dowhower, S. L., & Walker, J. W. (1987). 14-vs. 42-Paddock rotational grazing: Aboveground biomass dynamics, forage production, and harvest efficiency. Journal of Range Management, 40(3), 216-223.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractResearch was initiated at the Texas Experimental Ranch in 1981 to quantify the effects of 2 stocking densities, equivalent to 14- and 42-paddock rotational grazing (RG) treatments, on aboveground biomass dynamics, aboveground net primary production (ANPP), and harvest efficiency of forage. Baseline data were collected in 1981 from 3 adjacent 30-ha paddocks in a 14-paddock, cell designed RG treatment. Near the beginning of the 1982 growing season the center paddock was subdivided into three, 10-ha paddocks to establish the RG-42 treatment. Stocking densities in the 14- and 42-paddock treatments were 4.2 and 12.5 AU/ha, respectively, from March 1982 to June 1984 and 3.0 and 9.1 AU/ha from June to November 1984. During 1981, estimated ANPP in the two RG-14 paddocks averaged 4,088 kg/ha as compared to 5,762 in the single RG-42 paddock. Following subdivision, ANPP in the RG-14 paddocks averaged 2,533 kg/ha as compared to 2,670 kg/ha in the RG-42 paddocks. Although ANPP varied significantly among the 4 years of the study it was not affected by density treatment. Likewise, harvest efficiency varied among years but was unaffected by density treatment. Average harvest efficiency over the 4 years was about 42%. Aboveground biomass dynamics were also generally unaffected by density treatments.