Generally, rangeland management refers to the study and conservation of rangelands. It involves the management of arid land in such a way that it is sustainable and beneficial to both current societies and future generations. It is a professional natural science.
Applied herbicides are an effective method to reduce unwanted vegetation. They can control weeds in pastures, forests, and other areas. They can also be used during restoration projects.
Herbicides can cause direct effects on foliage within minutes of application. They can also produce indirect effects by inhibiting the growth of plants. They are usually effective in controlling noxious weeds in rangelands.
Herbicides have low toxicity to animals. However, they can be toxic to aquatic biota. This can lead to impairment of fish reproduction and survival. The toxicity of herbicides varies with the pH and ionic state of the water.
Herbicides may enter streams through runoff, leachate, and groundwater discharge. The amount of herbicides that enter streams depends on factors such as the rate at which they are applied, the land cover, and the weather conditions. Increasing herbicide levels in streams can also negatively impact macrophyton and aquatic flora.
Anthropogenic activities, such as urban development and maintenance, can provide high concentrations of herbicides to streams. Herbicides are also released through atmospheric drift.
Herbicides are commonly applied to forests, pastures, and golf courses. Some land managers use herbicides to control weeds for aesthetic reasons. However, herbicides can be expensive. They have been known to reduce the taxa richness of fish. The abundance of herbicide-resistant plants may increase with herbicide exposure.
Herbicides can be used to control aquatic weeds and can increase the herbicides in groundwater discharge. However, they have been known to cause lethal effects on aquatic biota.
Grazing is a natural process, and rangeland management recognizes it as an important part of the overall ecosystem. When properly managed, grazing can benefit the plants in the range and provide livestock with a valuable product. Grazing can also be used for weed control. Grazing systems come in a variety of shapes. Developing a grazing plan can be challenging, however.
A grazing management plan should be based on the objectives of the producer. It should also be customized to the operation. It can also be improved by obtaining input from an outside source. A good resource for information is the U.S. Department of Agriculture or a Land Grant Institution. These agencies can provide information about grazing planning and can provide free evaluations of grazing systems.
Grazing plans must be designed to match the needs of the producer and the forage supply. The proper stocking rate is the most important aspect of a grazing plan. A stocking rate that is too high can damage the rangeland. It can also cause overstocking and reduced animal performance.
The number of stems per unit of land is known as density. The total leaf area is known as leaf area index (LAI). It is important to keep in mind that the quality of sunlight can influence plant growth.
Forage that is grazed must be adequate for the nutrient content of the cattle. Grazing must also be avoided during periods of excessive soil moisture.
Often, the first step in reseeding rangeland is to clear the land. In most cases, this will involve burning, although mechanical clearing is also common. However, burning is expensive, and it is best to use mechanical methods when possible.
Another step is to prepare the site for seeding. This may involve removing grazing weeds or incorporating soil amendments.
Seeding rangeland can improve soil health and help increase livestock grazing capacity. However, it is not a guarantee of success.
A better way to do the job is to use direct seeding, which improves the pace of natural regeneration. This is particularly important in arid rangeland types.
Other methods include broadcast seeding, which is used when seeding large areas. In addition, disking/tilling can help increase the potential germination of seeds.
In addition to establishing new vegetation, rangeland seeding can help improve water filtration. By establishing deep roots, seeds are able to absorb more water, which increases soil nutrients and promotes soil health.
For a more detailed description of seeding rangeland, read the USDA-NRCS’ Plant Materials Technical Note No. 14. In this note, the authors highlight the most important factors to consider when planning and implementing a rangeland restoration project.
They also highlight the economic benefits of enhanced management. These include improved water filtration, increased carbon sequestration, and pollinator habitat.
However, rangeland seeding is expensive. Cost figures vary widely. A survey of two ranchers in Gilliam and Grant counties found that it cost $15 per acre to clear and seed.
Historically, tillage has been used to prepare the soil for planting. In the last few decades, a concerted effort has been undertaken to reduce tillage. However, tillage can also have a negative effect on yield performance.
Tillage is used to control unwanted plant growth, remove plant residues, and improve soil quality. However, it is important to remember that tillage should be used as the last management option to improve soil tilth. In addition, soil quality and moisture conditions are important factors in tillage decision-making.
Excessive soil tillage can be detrimental to soil stability and water-holding capacity. It can also increase soil erosion. In addition, it can reduce soil organic matter. Soil moisture can also affect the size of clods and soil compaction. In addition, soil moisture affects the amount of water runoff and the number of nutrients lost through erosion.
Tillage can also be used to improve the impenetrability of soils. In addition, it can help agrochemical inputs like fertilizers to be incorporated into the soil. In addition, tillage can help to control unwanted plant growth, weeds, and other plant residues.
Tillage also affects soil porosity, aeration, and infiltration. It can also alter soil temperatures. It can also reduce soil enzymatic activity.
Tillage can also influence the amount of organic matter in the soil. In addition, it can reduce soil C content. Soil C is important as a food source for microorganisms. When soil C is reduced, soil enzyme activities decrease.
Fertilization, mowing, weed control, and irrigation
Approximately 36% of the US and 48% of the Western States are covered by rangeland. Ranging from arid to humid, this grassy terrain is home to a diverse array of grasses and shrubs, many of which have been introduced to grazing cattle. These lands undergo a cyclic annual cycle of planting, renovation, and reaping. These aforementioned activities are aided by a hefty dose of fertilization, mowing, and watering.
While there is little or no formal study of this type of acreage, the science of grassy grazing is an art in its own right. The trick is to get the most out of the turf, in addition to keeping grazing cattle out of the adjacent neighbor’s yard. The benefits include reduced soil erosion, improved water infiltration, and a cleaner, healthier environment for the cattle. There are many ways to achieve this end, from grazing cattle with a heavy dose of fertilizer to using chemical treatments like aeration to improve the teeming soil microflora. To achieve these benefits, one should keep a keen eye on the weather. Those with a summer-long drought should consider a regular irrigation schedule during the winter months. Using fertilizers with an extended-release schedule, like a granular application of urea, may also have the effect of extending the life of the turf. The end result is an improved lawn in the long run.
Using an external monitor to monitor rangeland management practices is an expensive proposition. Those involved in the process, however, have a vested interest in doing so. In the semi-arid regions of the world, uncertainty in environmental responses is high. This translates into an incentive for farmers to err on the side of caution.
A similar technique is the use of native plants to produce good wildlife production. In general, these plants are compatible with livestock. If done correctly, they can increase carrying capacity. They also provide a protective buffer during periods of drought. In a nutshell, the best time to graze cattle on rangeland is before July 10 if you want to keep your livestock in the pasture.
In the name of full disclosure, it is probably a good idea to mention that monitoring rangeland management practices is not something that colonial administrations did. In fact, they were not too keen on enforcing a number of regulations, especially livestock fees. The good news is that the government has recently taken over the mantle of enforcement.
The best way to do this is to create a shared understanding of management through training courses and open discussion. It is also a good idea to implement management strategies based on a sound understanding of wildlife ecology. If done properly, wildlife will benefit from better rangeland management practices.
It is also a good idea to consider the benefits of using prescribed fire. Unlike conventional fires, prescribed fire does not burn the cropland itself. In fact, it is more likely to be used on rangeland.