Cheatgrass range in southern ID: Seasonal cattle gains and grazing capacities

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Yearling cattle gained weight satisfactorily on cheatgrass range under rotational (moderate) and continuous (moderate and heavy) grazing systems during a 3-year study. This study was designed to determine effects of these systems on the rangeland-not on individual plant species. Assignment of these systems to different pastures each year precluded evaluation of long-term vegetal response to the treatments. Weight gain was greatest in late spring. Grazing capacity of the range and cattle gain per acre increased through the summer, then declined. Yearly variation in production of forage and beef was apparently due to weather. Grazing capacity and beef production increased under continuous heavy grazing, but possible vegetation changes not evaluated in this study make heavy grazing undesirable.