Next Article in Journal
Feeding Diets Moderate in Physically Effective Fibre Alters Eating and Feed Sorting Patterns without Improving Ruminal pH, but Impaired Liver Health in Dairy Cows
Previous Article in Journal
Effect of Lignocaine and a Topical Vapocoolant Spray on Pain Response during Surgical Castration of Beef Calves
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Animals 2019, 9(4), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040127

Effect of Increasing Species Diversity and Grazing Management on Pasture Productivity, Animal Performance, and Soil Carbon Sequestration of Re-Established Pasture in Canadian Prairie

1
Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1, Canada
2
Swift Current Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Swift Current, SK S9H 3X2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 23 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
  |  
PDF [1682 KB, uploaded 19 April 2019]
  |  

Simple Summary

Canadian grasslands are recognized for providing high quality forage for grazing livestock and wildlife. The study was conducted on a re-established pasture in a Western Canadian semi-arid climate to investigate the effect of pasture species mixture and grazing management on pasture productivity, animal performance, and soil carbon sequestration. Pasture productivity and animal response were independent of pasture mixture but affected by grazing management. Average pasture dry matter productivity was greater with deferred-rotational grazing while pasture quality and animal gain were higher with continuous grazing. Soil carbon change varied with pasture seed mixture and grazing management interaction where pasture with 7-species mixture under continuous grazing had the lowest soil carbon gain.

Abstract

The objective of the study was to determine the effect of type of pasture mix and grazing management on pasture productivity, animal response and soil organic carbon (SOC) level. Pasture was established in 2001 on 16 paddocks of 2.1 ha that had been primarily in wheat and summer fallow. Treatments consisted of a completely randomized experimental design with two replicates: two pasture mixes (7-species (7-mix) and 12-species (12-mix)) and two grazing systems (continuous grazing (CG) and deferred-rotational grazing (DRG)). Pasture was stocked with commercial yearling Angus steers (Bos Taurus, 354 ± 13 kg) between 2005 and 2014. All pastures were grazed to an average utilization rate of 50% (40% to 60%). Average peak and pre-grazing pasture dry matter (DM) yield and animal response were independent of pasture seed mixture but varied with grazing management and production year. Average peak DM yield was 26.4% higher (p = 0.0003) for pasture under DRG relative to CG (1301 kg ha−1). However, total digestible nutrient for pasture under DRG was 4% lower (p < 0.0001) as compared to CG (60.2%). Average daily weight gain was 18% higher (p = 0.017) for CG than DRG (0.81 kg d−1), likely related to higher pasture quality under CG. Soil carbon sequestration was affected by seed mixture × grazing system interaction (p ≤ 0.004). Over the fourteen years of production, pasture with 7-mix under CG had the lowest (p < 0.01) average SOC stock at 15 cm (24.5 Mg ha−1) and 30 cm depth (42.3 Mg ha−1). Overall, the results from our study implied that increasing species diversity for pasture managed under CG may increase SOC gain while improving animal productivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Canada; grazing management; pasture mixture; re-established pasture; soil carbon Canada; grazing management; pasture mixture; re-established pasture; soil carbon
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Alemu, A.W.; Kröbel, R.; McConkey, B.G.; Iwaasa, A.D. Effect of Increasing Species Diversity and Grazing Management on Pasture Productivity, Animal Performance, and Soil Carbon Sequestration of Re-Established Pasture in Canadian Prairie. Animals 2019, 9, 127.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top