Jornada Experimental Range research

TitleJornada Experimental Range research
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1964
AuthorsHerbel C.H.
MagazineThe Cattleman
Date Published1964
Keywordsblack grama rangeland, Jornada Experimental Range, reducing stock, research, water distribution
AbstractResults of 47 years of study on the Jornada Experimental Range in New Mexico have shown that a 50 percent improvement of black grama rangeland can be obtained by: (1) Reducing stocking during the growing season to half the average number the area will carry for the year, (2) not overstocking during the remainder of the year, (3) better distribution of stock watering places so cattle will not have to travel over 2.5 miles to water, and (4) placing salt or salt-meal mix away from water to draw cattle to areas otherwise lightly grazed or ungrazed. A flexible stocking program is a necessity in the Southwest because fluctuatingforage crops are a fact-of-life in this area. To assume that a range unit can be stocked at a constant level based on "average years" is inviting catastrophic destruction of the range resource. If a range unit must be stocked at a constant level,it must be at a low enough level so forage species are not extensively overgrazed during the inevitable drought periods. This, of course, would result in a waste of forage during average and above-average years. Thus, to make maximum use of the forage resource without inflicting irreparable damage, it becomes necessary to have some form of flexible stocking.