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Thesis (M.S.)--University of Nebraska--Lincoln, 1941. Department of Agronomy.


During the period of 1937 to 1940 the Department of Agronomy of Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station in cooperation with the Valentine sub-station conducted pasture studies in Cherry County, Nebraska. The purposes of these studies are: (1) to present an analysis of vegetation in tall and short grass rangelands; (2) to observe the activities of cattle on the range and (3) to study the effect of grazing upon vegetation. These studies consisted of several projects on both sandhill (tall-grass post climax) and hardland (short-grass disclimax) pastures. These two very different types of grassland afford an excellent opportunity for the comparisons of tall and short grass range. Both areas were grazed by high-grade, beef type cattle.

There is great diversity in the vegetation in the sandhills, but the hardland region had very uniform vegetation. Neither the rate of stocking nor the type of forage produced had any great effect upon the total hours of grazing or resting; but the cattle grazing on the hardlands (irrespective of rate of stocking) grazed and rested for shorter periods than those herds in the sandhills. Thus the length of the grazing and resting cycles, seems to be effected by the difference in the type of forage upon which cattle are grazing. Probably the most serious factor in the deterioration of the sandhill ranges is the improper distribution of grazing animals over the range area, resulting in extreme overgrazing on parts of the range and undergrazing on other parts. This is also a serious problem in the hardland pastures. The final aim in range research should be to discover means of securing the essential facts for a better range management program.

Advisor: A. L. Frolik and F. D. Keim.