Evaluation of Continuous and Multipaddock Grazing on Vegetation and Livestock Performance - A Modeling Approach
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CitationWang, T., Teague, W. R., & Park, S. C. (2016). Evaluation of Continuous and Multipaddock Grazing on Vegetation and Livestock Performance—A Modeling Approach. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 69(6), 457–464.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalRangeland Ecology & Management
AbstractAlthough the impact of optimal stocking rate on rangeland health and ranch profitability has been extensively studied, grazing management practice has received far less attention in mathematical modeling analyses. This paper uses a mathematical model to examine the impacts of continuous grazing and multipaddock (MP) grazing on vegetation and livestock forage consumption. Simulations are carried out using parameters applicable to the southern tallgrass prairie of North America. On small areas of land with no difference between defoliation rates across different grazing methods, the performance of MP grazing is no better than continuous grazing. At the scale of commercial ranches, MP grazing with improved defoliation management improves grass composition and productivity, as well as livestock consumption relative to continuous grazing, especially with heavier stocking rates and unfavorable initial biomass composition. The advantages of MP grazing, however, are reduced with favorable rainfall conditions, light stocking, low levels of undesirable plants, and inadequate recovery periods. © 2016 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.