Manipulating rangeland forage quality with the grazing animal

TitleManipulating rangeland forage quality with the grazing animal
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1981
AuthorsAnderson D.M.
Conference NameU.S.-Australia Joint Workshop, Session V: Forage Evaluation: Concepts and Techniques
Date Published1981
Conference LocationArmidale, NSW, Australia
Keywordscontinuous grazing, forage quality, grazing methods, optimum production, rotation grazing

The positive balance that evolved between plants and grazing animals is not maintained under continuous grazing. Optimum production from the plant:grazing-animal system can be realized from only high leaf:stem and green:dead ratios in both the standing crop and animal diets. If we are to realize optimum production, we will need grazing methods in which time of year, frequency, and duration of defoliation can be controlled for individual plants and still permit high animal selectivity. By constructing more paddocks, stocking density can be increased and the extent of defoliation on individual plants can be manipulated. High individual animal production and proper individual plant defoliation can only be obtained under high stocking density if livestock are frequently moved between paddocks. To accomplish this, paddock design must ensure that animal stress and labor requirements are held to a minimum. However, the added flexibility derived from rotating animals among paddocks substantially increases the management required to obtain high animal performance and proper plant usage.