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Cow-Calf Grazing Demonstrations Show Potential for Range Fertilization

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Title: Cow-Calf Grazing Demonstrations Show Potential for Range Fertilization
Author: Sobolik, Frank J.; Hotchkiss, Don; Biwer, Leonard; Johnson, LaDon; Dodds, Duaine L.
Description: Grassland fertilization is a production tool for increasing forage available for hay and for grazing. In North Dakota, in 1978, it's use has been primarily on tame grass stands to maintain high yields of forage and to put new life into old sod-bound stands. Native grasslands were being fertilized to a limited extent, but primarily in renovation programs to improve species composition, which had deteriorated through many years of excessive overgrazing. Fertilization provides more forage for livestock producers. Native grasslands possess a lower potential for increased forage production as compared to seeded tame grass forages. However, native grasses forage capabilities can be increased through proper management and range improvement practices. Proper fertilization is one of these practices. Studies showed that grazing seasons are shortened due to less forage available per animal for body maintenance and gain. Up to this writing, grazing studies had not been conducted in North Dakota using cow-calf pairs to measure animal production potential on native and/or tame grass pastures, except under irrigated conditions. The cow-calf demonstrations discussed in this report were initiated to compare the potential calf production on fertilized and unfertilized native ranges located in the Missouri Plateau area of northwestern North Dakota. It was determined that the application of fertilizers to all native grasses was not recommended, but only those most productive. If fertilizer is applied, beef gains per acre might increase as much as 20-28 pounds. Less productive native grasslands could be improved or maintained in a healthy condition though the application of intensive livestock and grazing management practices.
Date: 1977
Subject: Grazing
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/10365/4430

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