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1 November 2013 Comparison of Season-Long Grazing Applied Annually and a 2-Year Rotation of Intensive Early Stocking Plus Late-Season Grazing and Season-Long Grazing
Clenton E. Owensby, Lisa M. Auen
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Abstract

This research measured steer gains, aboveground biomass remaining at the end of the growing season, and economic returns of tallgrass prairie grazed under season-long stocking (SLS-C) and a grazing system that included a 2-yr rotation of SLS-rotated (SLS-R) and intensive early stocking (IES; 2× normal stocking rate)   late-season grazing at the normal stocking rate (IES   LSG-R). We hypothesized that even though the stocking rate on the IES   LSG-R pasture was above the recommended rate, the greater regrowth availability in the late season would result in steers gaining as well as or better than those stocked SLS at the normal rate. By rotating the IES   LSG treatment with SLS over 2 yr, we anticipated that the aboveground biomass productive capacity of the IES   LSG pasture would be restored in one growing season. Further, we hypothesized that the increased stocking rate with IES   LSG would increase net profit. Comparing traditional season-long stocking to the system, which was a combination of SLS and IES   LSG rotated sequentially over a 2-yr period, the system increased steer gains by 7 kg · hd−1 and by 30 kg · ha−1, had a consistent reduction of 429 kg · ha−1 biomass productivity, and increased net profit by $55.19 per steer and $34.28 per hectare.

Clenton E. Owensby and Lisa M. Auen "Comparison of Season-Long Grazing Applied Annually and a 2-Year Rotation of Intensive Early Stocking Plus Late-Season Grazing and Season-Long Grazing," Rangeland Ecology and Management 66(6), 700-705, (1 November 2013). https://doi.org/10.2111/REM-D-13-00014.1
Received: 16 January 2013; Accepted: 1 August 2013; Published: 1 November 2013
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KEYWORDS
biomass production
grazing systems
intensive early stocking
net returns
season-long stocking
steer gains
tallgrass prairie
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