Upland Water and Deferred Rotation Effects on Cattle Use in Riparian and Upland Areas
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CitationCarter, J., Catlin, J. C., Hurwitz, N., Jones, A. L., & Ratner, J. (2017). Upland Water and Deferred Rotation Effects on Cattle Use in Riparian and Upland Areas. Rangelands, 39(3-4), 112-118.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
AbstractOur experience shows that land management agencies rely on upland water and deferred rotation grazing systems to reduce riparian use and improve conditions, rather than addressing stocking rate and requiring herding of cattle. Range scientists have published studies showing that cattle prefer to linger in riparian areas and that stocking rate is more important than grazing system. We collected 4 years of data on upland and riparian residual vegetation, riparian stubble height, and bank alteration prior to implementation of the upland water developments and deferred rotation scheme and compared that with 4 years of data collected after implementation. As a result of this change in management, post-grazing riparian stubble heights decreased; bank alteration was unchanged; upland residual grasses were reduced; there was no change in residual herbaceous vegetation in the riparian zone; and utilization remained excessive in both upland and riparian areas. Range science shows that to reverse this outcome and improve conditions, changes must be made. These include o setting stocking rates based on currently available preferred forage species and today's consumption rates of livestock,o enforcing utilization rates of less than 30% in upland and riparian areas,o enforcing riparian stubble heights of > 15.2 cm across the aquatic influence zone and floodplain,o enforcing bank alteration levels of < 20%,o using riders to limit riparian use and distribute livestock, ando providing rest, not deferment, so that sensitive native grasses recover vigor and productivity prior to being grazed again. © 2017 The Authors
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).