Response of Herbaceous Vegetation to Short Duration Grazing in Central West Texas
Short Duration Grazing (SDG) played a significant role in grazing management practices in Texas during the 1980s. The Soil Conservation Service estimates that about 320 ranches in Texas use SDG or cell grazing on over 1.3 million acres. The objective of this study was to evaluate basal cover of herbaceous vegetation in the SDG system as affected by plant community and by distance from cell center over a 10-year period. There was an increase (P < 0.05) in percent basal cover of perennial herbaceous plants for the 2 vegetation mixes studied during the 10-year period. The increase in basal cover may be attributed to SDG but the primary cause of the positive response was probably the favorable precipitation received during the study period. Basal cover of herbaceous vegetation was also affected (P < 0.05) by distance from cell center. Differences in basal cover with distance from cell center suggest that uniform utilization by livestock did not occur within our cell.