Management implications of herbage weight changes on native rangeland

TitleManagement implications of herbage weight changes on native rangeland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1974
AuthorsPieper, Rex D., Herbel C.H., Dwyer D.D., Banner R.E.
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Date Published1974
AbstractRange researchers and technicians often calculate herbage production from clippings or estimates made once a year, commonly at the 'end of the growing season. Such estimates may lead to serious miscalculations unless seasonal changes in herbage weight and differential growth of individual species and plant parts are recognized. Data from black grama and blue grama vegetation types show that peak herbage weight lasts only a short time and that the amount of herbage available for grazing animals for most of the year is considerably less than that present at the peak. In addition, leaves and inflorescences, which are the most palatable and nutritious plant parts, deteriorate more rapidly during the dormant season than culms, the least palatable and nutritious plant parts. These changes have major implications in determining stocking rates, comparing treatments and years, determining utilization and planning grazing systems.