727-1 Assessing the Effect of Cattle Grazing Alone and with Goats on Animal Performance and Nutritive Value of Pastures Established on Reclaimed Coal-Mined Lands.

Poster Number 348

See more from this Division: C06 Forage and Grazinglands
See more from this Session: Forage Ecology and Environmental Science (Posters)

Wednesday, 8 October 2008
George R. Brown Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E

A. Ozzie Abaye1, Daryl Webb1, Guillermo Scaglia2, Christopher Teutsch3 and Jean-Marie Luginbuhl4, (1)245 Smyth Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
(2)603 LSU Bridge Rd, Iberia Research Station, LSU Agricultural Center, Jeanerette, LA
(3)Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Virginia Tech, Blackstone, VA
(4)Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
The grazing behavior of animals can have a profound impact on the botanical composition, production, and persistence of plant species as well as forage nutritive value and animal performance.   A grazing experiment was conducted on reclaimed coal-mined lands during the 2006 and 2007 growing season at the Powell River Research and Education Center near Wise VA. The objectives of the experiment were to compare the effects of mixed grazing cattle and goats, cattle grazing alone, and no grazing control on animal performance and changes in nutritive value of forages, and specific plants such as sericea lespedeza (Sericea lespedeza), autumn olive(Elaeagnus umbellata Thunb.)  and multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora Thunb.). The experimental design was a completely randomized design with three replications for the grazed treatments and two replications for the no grazing control.  Three times during the grazing season, forage samples were randomly obtained in each replicate to determine nutritive value. Animals were weighed three times during the grazing season. The nutritive value of sericea lespedeza, autumn olive and multiflora rose generally were within the acceptable level for all livestock classes and thus animal gains were not compromised. The nutritive value of these three species were better than of pasture.  Cattle performance was not different among the grazing treatments.  The sum of cattle and goat gains in the mixed grazing treatment resulted in greater total animal output per hectare compared to cattle grazing alone. This two year research project showed that the nutritive value of undesirable invasive plant species were greater than of pasture and that overall total animal output was greater under mixed grazing than for cattle grazing singly. However, mixed grazing cattle and goats may not be sustainable in the long-term since the quantity of invasive browse species were reduced in this treatment.

See more from this Division: C06 Forage and Grazinglands
See more from this Session: Forage Ecology and Environmental Science (Posters)

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