Herbage volume per animal: a tool for rotational grazing management.

Duru, M.
Ducrocq, H.
Bossuet, L.
Rangeland Ecology & Management / Journal of Range Management Archives
Publication Year: 
The objective of this study was to provide a tool for maintaining a high grazing efficiency. In a rotational grazing system, the residual sward height does not provide enough information in advance to make the recommendation. The grazing management of 4 commercial dairy farms which differed greatly in their stocking rate, was monitored over 3 spring seasons. Data were collected on the overall grazing area (sward height measurements, stocking rate, indoor feeding, nitrogen supply) and on 3 grazed fields (herbage mass, height, and nitrogen status). At the whole grazing area level, computed data were herbage volume per animal unit (HVAU). We show that the HVAU depends on the residual herbage height. Both criteria decreased when stocking rate increased. The HVAU reflects, at the whole grazing season and area levels, how the system works on grazed field over grazing cycle. The HVAU has 2 advantages: (i) It gives rough estimation of the size of the whole grazing area to achieve a high grazing efficiency; (ii) it is a means to assess a posteriori the efficiency of the grazing system regarding the consistency between stocking rate and nitrogen supply management.DOI:10.2458/azu_jrm_v53i4_duru
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Society for Range Management

Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management) serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, ecology, and use of rangelands and their resources. The journal is peer-reviewed and provides international exchange of scholarly research and information among persons interested in rangelands. The Global Rangelands collection includes REM content up to 5 years from the current year. More recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management, and may be available at your local university library.
(Become a SRM member)