Seasonal stocking of tobosa managed under continuous and rotation grazing

TitleSeasonal stocking of tobosa managed under continuous and rotation grazing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsAnderson D.M.
JournalJournal of Range Management
Date PublishedJanuary 1988
Keywordsheifer average daily gain, seasonal grazing strategies, standing crop quality, tobosa utilization

Tobosa (Hilaria mutica [Bucks.] Benth.) was seasonally grazed with cattle under high-density (2.1 to 5.1 animal unit/hectare [AU/ ha]) rotation and low-density (0.33 and 0.39 AU/ha), continuous stocking in 1980 and 1981, respectively. Tobosa leaf and culm color were used to evaluate forage quality. At the end of the 1980-81 growing seasons, crude protein was highest in green tobosa (8.4%) and lowest in gray tobosa from the previous seasons (4.7%). Grazing strategies did not influence the proportion of green tobosa within the standing crop; however, flexible rotation produced a more uniform use of green tobosa within the tell when compared to grazing with fixed intervals between rotations. Grazing patterns result from improper utilization of green tobosa which in future years will senesce into gray colored tobosa that composed 46-91% of the standing crop. In this study, flexible rotation of cattle among paddocks, based on a 30-35% reduction of tobosa standing crop height, reduced gray tobosa within the standing crop more than did continuous stocking. Total heifer siveweight gain per ha in 1980 and 1981, respectively, was 43 and 24% less under continuous stocking compared to rotation grazing management.