Grazing management on rangelands

TitleGrazing management on rangelands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1982
AuthorsHerbel C.H.
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Date Published1982
Keywordsgrazing management, rangelands

RANGELANDS are a major life-support system for mankind. They provide forage for livestock and wildlife, habitat for wildlife, recreational opportunities, water, and aesthetic values. Today's growing numbers of people are putting more and more demands on rangeland productivity. Forage-based livestock production reduces grain requirements, conserves energy, and uses resources not readily usable by other means. To meet forage-fed livestock needs and provide the other products and services that people expect from rangelands, these lands must be managed wisely. If rangelands are mismanaged to the extent that plant cover fails to provide sufficient soil cover, the species composition of the plant communities changes, reducing productivity and soil protection. Continued abuse can result in severe soil erosion. This does not imply that proper grazing is destructive. Some native plant communities evolved over thousands of years with grazing use by native animals. But native plant communities are not always the most productive under intensive livestock grazing. Production can be increased on some sites with the use of improved forage plants.