Holistic Planned Grazing Improves Soil Moisture

Article: Effect of grazing on soil-water content in semiarid rangelands of southeast Idaho Authors: Weber, K.T. Gokhale, B.S. Published: Journal of Arid Environments 75 (2011) 464-470 This article is a first for the Holistic Management community in a number of … Continue reading

Phenological Grazing Planning (Part II)

As noted in a previous post, the further development of collaborative monitoring tools for plant phenology will be critical to developing the concept of phenological grazing planning.  Implementing a phenology monitoring program is the first step in phenological grazing planning, … Continue reading

Phenological Grazing Planning

According to Wikipedia1, “phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and inter-annual variations in climate.”  The discipline of phenology is often attributed to the great naturalist and author … Continue reading

Species Composition Changes in Response to Grazing

Article: Quantitative effects of grazing on vegetation and soils over a global range of environment Authors: Milchunas, D.G. and Lauenroth, W.K. Published: Ecological Monographs, 63(4). 1993. pp. 327-366 This is the second post dealing directly with the article under consideration.  … Continue reading

The Effects of Grazing on Ecosystem Productivity

Article: Quantitative effects of grazing on vegetation and soils over a global range of environment Authors: Milchunas, D.G. and Lauenroth, W.K. Published: Ecological Monographs, 63(4). 1993. pp. 327-366 We have given significant consideration to Samuel McNaughton’s grazing optimization hypothesis.  Essentially, … Continue reading

The Natural Cycles of Grazing Ungulates

Article: Ecology of a Grazing Ecosystem: The Serengeti Authors: McNaughton, S.J. Journal: Ecological Monographs, 55(3) 1985, pp. 259-294 In previous posts, we have analyzed research dealing with spatial heterogeneity on the landscape.  Sometimes spatial heterogeneity is a desirable management objective, … Continue reading

Utilization and Multi-Species Grazing in the African Serengeti

Article: Ecology of a Grazing Ecosystem: The Serengeti Authors: McNaughton, S.J. Journal: Ecological Monographs, 55(3) 1985, pp. 259-294 McNaughton’s research also sheds light on the proportions of utilization and the effects of multiple ungulate species harvesting biomass from the same … Continue reading

Plant Productivity and Compensatory Growth

Article: Ecology of a Grazing Ecosystem: The Serengeti Authors: McNaughton, S.J. Journal: Ecological Monographs, 55(3) 1985, pp. 259-294 As noted, the relationships between grazers, grasses, and other biota are complex and highly connected.  The research of Samuel J. McNaughton has … Continue reading

Grazing ungulates, plant biomass concentrations, and nutrient cycling

The evolutionary ecologist S.J. McNaughton is well-known as a strong advocate of the grazing optimization hypothesis.  Essentially, this hypothesis is summarized as follows: …grazing benefits many grasses and other plants in grassland ecosystems… moderate grazing promotes the productivity of many … Continue reading

The Grazing Optimization Hypothesis

Article: Compensatory plant growth as a response to hervibory Author: McNaughton, S.J. Journal: Oikos 40: 329-336 1983 The relationship between grasses and grazers is a complex one influenced by a number of biotic and abiotic factors.  Some researchers and theorists … Continue reading

Grazing Systems, Exclosures, Increasers, and Decreasers

Article: The Vegetative Response under Various Grazing Management Systems in the Edwards Plateau of Texas Authors: Reardon, Patrick O.; Merrill, Leo B. Published:  Journal of Range Management (1976), Volume 29 (3) This article describes a twenty year study conducted in … Continue reading

Even Utilization Under Rotational Grazing

Article: Tobosa Tiller Defoliation Patterns Under Rotational and Continuous Stocking Authors: Senock, R.S. Anderson, D.M., Murray, L.W. and Donart, G.B. Journal: J. Range Management 46:500, November 1993 As we are beginning to see from this literature review, one of the … Continue reading

Grazing: The Spatial Dimension

Landscapes are not uniform in time or space.  Estimated stocking rates tend to be conservative, and on the low side, often in attempt to account for sites that are susceptible to deterioration and overgrazing.  But these conservative estimates and a … Continue reading

Grazing Management and Animal Nutrition

Article: Influence of Grazing Management on Intake and Composition of Cattle Diets Authors: Hirschfeld, D.J. Kirby, D.R. Caton, J.S. Silcox, S.S. Olson, K.C. Journal: Journal of Range Management 49(3), May 1996 This research was conducted in central North Dakota at … Continue reading

Vegetation Responses to Spatial Management

Article:  Spatial Management of Grazing to Enhance Both Livestock Production and Resource Condition: A Scientific Argument Authors: Norton, Brian E. Journal: Proceedings of the VIIth International Rangelands Congress As we have seen, increasing stocking rates can dramatically improve overall operational … Continue reading

Spatial Management of Grazing

Article:  Spatial Management of Grazing to Enhance Both Livestock Production and Resource Condition: A Scientific Argument Authors: Norton, Brian E. Journal: Proceedings of the VIIth International Rangelands Congress This article directly addresses the disparity between the scientific theory of grazing … Continue reading

Feedlot vs. Backgrounding vs. Pasture Finished

Authors: Pelletier, N. Pirog, R. Rasmussen, R. Article: Comparative life cycle environmental impacts of threee bee production strategies in the Upper Mid-western United States Journal: Agricultural Systems (2010), doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2010.03.009 The purpose of this research was to perform a life cycle … Continue reading

Stock Density, Paddock Numbers, and Recovery Periods

Article: Soil Hydrologic Response to Number of Pastures and Stocking Density under Intensive Rotation Grazing Authors: Warren, S.D. Blackburn, W.H. Taylor, C.A Published: Journal of Range Management 39(6), November 1986 Research for this paper was completed during the two year … Continue reading

Scale as a Constraint to Grazing Research

Article: Tallgrass prairie response to grazing system and stocking rate Authors: Gillen, R.L. McCollum T. Tate, K.W. Hodges, M.E. Published: Journal of Range Management 51(2), March 1998 This research was conducted in the tallgrass prairie of Oklahoma during the 5 … Continue reading

Total Rest Restores a Brittle Environment

Article: Livestock, soil compaction, and water infiltration rate: Evaluating a potential desertification recovery mechanism Authors: Castellano and Valone Published: Journal of Arid Environments 2007 Much debate and controversy has surrounded the use of rest as a tool to restore degraded … Continue reading

The Charter Trials: A Slide Show

This series of slides condenses the most salient points of the Charter Estate Grazing Trials into a series of charts and graphs.  If you are looking to understand the fundamental points of the Charter Trials in a concise, visual format, … Continue reading

The Charter Trials: Botanical Analysis

Article: The Charter Estate Grazing Trial Results of the Botanical Analysis Author: Clatworthy, J.N. Published: Zimbabwe Journal of Agricultural Research (1984), Vol. 81 (2) In implementing the Charter Grazing Trials, changes in vegetation were carefully monitored to detect changes in … Continue reading

The Charter Trials: Animal Production and Management

Article: The Charter Estate Grazing Trial Animal Production And Management Author: Worthington, D.K. Published: Zimbabwe Journal of Agricultural Research (1984), Vol. 81 (2) The Charter Trials were a seven year study conducted on the 2,500 ha Charter Estate by Allan … Continue reading

Grazing Improves the Species Diversity of Symbiotic Soil Fungi

The microbial community in soils is one of the most important processes that drives productivity in terrestrial ecosystems.  Yet little research has been done to better understand how soil microbes interact with plants, wildlife, and insects both above and below … Continue reading

Managing for Avian Diversity in Grassland Ecosystems

Article: Should Heterogeneity Be The Basis For Conservation?  Grassland Bird Response To Fire And Grazing Authors: Fuhlendorf, S.D. Harrell, W. Engle, D.M. Hamilton, R.G. Davis, C.A. Leslie, D.M. Published: Ecological Applications 16(5), 2006, pp. 1096-1716 Management strategies on grazing lands … Continue reading

South Africa and Intensive Short Duration Grazing

Article: Southern Africa’s Experience with Intensive Short Duration Grazing Authors: Skovlin, J. Published: Rangelands 9(4), August 1987 This paper points to previous research by Tainton that highlights the tension between utilization and animal performance.  In some cases where stocking rates … Continue reading

The Problem of Replication

Article: Vegetation, cattle, and economic responses to grazing strategies and pressures Authors: Manley, W.A. Hart, R.H. Samuel, M.J. Smith, M.A. Waggoner, JR. and Manley, J.T. Published: Journal of Range Management 50(6), November 1997 The problem of replication is especially acute … Continue reading

Flawed Research Designs and Misleading Results

Article: Effects of Livestock Grazing on Infiltration Rates, Edwards Plateau of Texas Authors: McCalla, G.R. Blackburn, W.H. Merrill, L.B. Published: Journal of Range Management, Vol. 37, No. 3. (May, 1984), pp. 265-269. This paper presents the results of a 20-month … Continue reading