Ranchers, as land or resource managers, continually seek production systems that will provide the greatest return to resources, management and risk.
Over the next century, drought events are expected to increase in frequency and duration for many arid and semi-arid regions, potentially leading to heightened rates of woody plant mortality and dieback.
Fire – The Prescribed Burn
An interview with Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor
This is the fifth installment in a six part series examining Aldo Leopold’s Thesis of Game Management and its application in 21st Century Texas.
One certain indicator of the importance of prairies to early settlers in eastern Texas was their practice, observed even in the earliest years of colonization, of regularly setting fire to the grasslands. This practice, perhaps inherited from the Indians, supposedly destroyed weeds and dead grass, so as to make room for the new grass.
Scientists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research at San Angelo and Sonora are capitalizing on the dietary habits of goats and are trying to create a Super Juniper Eating Goat (SJEG). Juniper is one of the most problematic brush species in Texas and perhaps the entire U.S.
Feed costs represent a significant portion of the total cost of livestock production. Historically, when traditional feed costs are inflated, alternative feed ingredients are more thoroughly researched, discussed, and eventually used in livestock diets.
Rain is arguably the most important factor for successful ranching. Most ranchers believe there is little that they can do to affect this most important variable for their success. While it is true that little can be done to affect the amount of rain that falls from the sky, there is much that can be done to ensure that the rain received stays where it falls.
Despite years of accumulating scientific evidence that fire is critical for maintaining the structure and function of grassland ecosystems in the US Great Plains, fire has not been restored as a fundamental grassland process across broad landscapes. The result has been widespread juniper encroachment and the degradation of the multiple valuable ecosystem services provided by grasslands.
The use of near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) of feces to determine the nutrient content of the diets of grazing animals began about 20 years ago. This volume provides the history of the development of fecal NIRS in grazing animal nutrition, the current state of the science and potential new applications for grazing livestock.
Nutrient requirements of cattle vary widely, depending on their age, physiological function, genetic potential, and previous level of nutrition… Therefore, managers are faced with an infinite number of combinations of cattle nutrient requirements, forage availabilities, forage qualities, and supplementation programs.
Poisonous plants cause very serious economic losses to the livestock industry in North America. Veterinarians, animal scientists, rangeland scientists and ranchers utilize an array of skills and tools for diagnosing the causes of livestock death or intoxication, but often need a practical method for determining if poisonous plants have been ingested by affected animals.