The University of Arizona

Vegetation response to increasing stocking rate under rotational stocking.

C.A. Taylor, M.H. Ralphs, M.M. Kothman

Abstract


This 10-year study was designed to evaluate vegetation response to increasing stocking rates under rotational stocking (3 days graze, 51 days rest) and long-term rest. The 4 stocking rate treatments ranged from the recommended rate for moderate continuous grazing to 2.7 times the recommended rate. Common curly-mesquite [Hilaria belangeri (Steud.) Nash] increased (P = 0.05) in all grazed treatments and decreased in the livestock exclosure. Sideoats grama [Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.] along with other midgrasses decreased (P = 0.07) in all grazed treatments and increased in the livestock exclosure. Because the midgrasses were palatable species and not abundant, they were defoliated too intensively and too frequently. Rotational stocking was not able to sustain initial species composition at any of the stocking rates tested.

Keywords


stocking rate;rotational grazing;Texas;range management;botanical composition;livestock

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