Recovery of Pasture Forage Production Following Winter Rest in Continuous and Rotational Horse Grazing Systems

Jennifer R. Weinert, Carey Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Winter rest is commonly recommended to aid in regrowth of spring forage in horse pastures. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of previous grazing method (continuous [CON] vs. rotational [ROT]) on recovery of pasture production following a period of winter grazing exclusion. Pasture forage yield, persistence, and quality were assessed monthly in two horse pastures, one CON and one ROT, from April to August 2017. Herbage mass was greater in ROT in May (ROT 2,701.8 ± 176.0; CON 1,439.0 ± 155.06 kg/ha; P =.0008), June (ROT 3,778 ± 21.59; CON 2,507.0 ± 274.7 kg/ha; P =.0007), and July (ROT 4,755.8 ± 263.1; CON 3,627.8 ± 318.66 kg/ha; P =.0053), while sward height only differed by grazing system in May (ROT 21.87 ± 0.68; CON 13.02 ± 0.68 cm; P <.0001). Overall, prevalence of planted grass species was greater in ROT (35.17 ± 2.47%) than CON (22.67 ± 0.92%; P =.0009). Furthermore, there was an association between pasture forage composition and grazing management system at all sample points other than in August (P <.05). In addition, sward components were most affected by previous grazing system in April and May, with a greater proportion of live leaf in ROT than CON (P <.03). These results demonstrated that even after prolonged rest, previous management of pasture influenced forage regrowth. Findings of this study support the implementation of ROT grazing practices as a means of optimizing long-term pasture production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-37
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Volume70
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

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forage production
Horses
pastures
grazing
horses
winter
Poaceae
forage
sward
regrowth
forage composition
pasture management
rotational grazing
grazing management
forage yield
management systems
grasses
leaves

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Equine

Cite this

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title = "Recovery of Pasture Forage Production Following Winter Rest in Continuous and Rotational Horse Grazing Systems",
abstract = "Winter rest is commonly recommended to aid in regrowth of spring forage in horse pastures. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of previous grazing method (continuous [CON] vs. rotational [ROT]) on recovery of pasture production following a period of winter grazing exclusion. Pasture forage yield, persistence, and quality were assessed monthly in two horse pastures, one CON and one ROT, from April to August 2017. Herbage mass was greater in ROT in May (ROT 2,701.8 ± 176.0; CON 1,439.0 ± 155.06 kg/ha; P =.0008), June (ROT 3,778 ± 21.59; CON 2,507.0 ± 274.7 kg/ha; P =.0007), and July (ROT 4,755.8 ± 263.1; CON 3,627.8 ± 318.66 kg/ha; P =.0053), while sward height only differed by grazing system in May (ROT 21.87 ± 0.68; CON 13.02 ± 0.68 cm; P <.0001). Overall, prevalence of planted grass species was greater in ROT (35.17 ± 2.47{\%}) than CON (22.67 ± 0.92{\%}; P =.0009). Furthermore, there was an association between pasture forage composition and grazing management system at all sample points other than in August (P <.05). In addition, sward components were most affected by previous grazing system in April and May, with a greater proportion of live leaf in ROT than CON (P <.03). These results demonstrated that even after prolonged rest, previous management of pasture influenced forage regrowth. Findings of this study support the implementation of ROT grazing practices as a means of optimizing long-term pasture production.",
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Recovery of Pasture Forage Production Following Winter Rest in Continuous and Rotational Horse Grazing Systems. / Weinert, Jennifer R.; Williams, Carey.

In: Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, Vol. 70, 01.11.2018, p. 32-37.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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