Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 20
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deferment, rest and rotation. Deferment is delaying grazing until seed maturity of key forage
species. Rest is deferment of a pasture for a full year, rather than just part of the growing season.
Rotation is the movement of livestock from one pasture to another on a scheduled basis
(Holechek et al., 1989).
Continuous Grazing System
Continuous grazing is the use of livestock on a pasture, leaving the herd in the pasture
permanently. The basic concept is one herd, one pasture, let the animals migrate and consume
forage at will, within a given area, throughout the year (Holechek et al., 1989). It is the simplest
form of grazing management.
This type of grazing system has some distinct advantages. It requires less labor and time,
requires minimal capital. and allows animals to select the best plants (if not overstocked)
(Hanselka et al., 2009). Numerous studies indicate that rangeland productivity and condition can
be maintained under moderate stocking rates and continuous grazing (Klipple and Costello,
1960; Kothmann et al., 1971; Pieper et al., 1978). Holechek et al. (1989) suggests a grazing
pressure of only 10-20% to allow adequate forage to sustain livestock during the dormant season.
Continuously grazed rangelands in poor condition lack the plant community to reproduce
because of the pressure applied by livestock, less production per acre, and uneven or patchy
pasture use (Hanselka et al., 2009). Areas near water and cover will often receive excessive e
use (Holechek et al., 1989). In ecosystems with a short evolutionary history of grazing,
repeatedly grazed patches represent the initial stages of rangeland deterioration and
desertification as a result of decreased water infiltration and increased runoff (Buckhouse et al.,
1994). Grazing management strategies that facilitate patch degradation increase pressure on
desirable plants already weakened by heavy use (Norton, 1998).
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Becker, Wayne. Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103289/m1/31/: accessed February 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .