Pasture and Rangeland Monitoring

Pasture and Rangeland Monitoring

Pasture and Rangeland Monitoring

I’m KayDee Gilkey with the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report.

Without assessing and monitoring your livestock’s pasture or rangeland, it is difficult to determine whether your land’s plant communities are improving over time.

Educator and consultant Doug Warnock says that monitoring is an important tool in grazing land management.

Warnock: “Well, some of the main things would be what is happening in the plant community. Is it staying the same? Is it declining in terms of the undesirable plants? Is it improving? And so those are the kinds of things we want to gauge as we monitoring.”

There are many different monitoring programs available, Warnock says it is important to determine the level of effort and time you are willing to commit to as well as your objectives.

Warnock: “The main thing is that an individual should select a program that provides them the kind of information they can use. You should say, ‘What are my long-term goals, what are my shorter-term objectives? And then what kind of information do I need, to see how I am doing towards achieving those?’ Then you look for a program that gives you that kind of information.”?
Warnock shares additional monitoring tips, always monitor the same area of your pasture or rangeland in the same growth stage, which may or may not correspond with the same calendar date each year. More arid rangeland can be monitered every three to five years while irrigated or higher rainfall pasture land needs yearly assessment.

I’m KayDee Gilkey with the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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