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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Put-and-take vs fixed stocking for defining 3 grazing levels by lambs on alfalfa-orchardgrass
Year: 1972
Author(s): Marten, G. C., Jordan, R. M.
Source Title: Agronomy Journal
Source Type: Journal
pages: 69-72
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Pasture researchers disagree concerning which of two basic methods of establishing grazing intensity (put-and-take vs. fixed stocking)leads to valid experimental units. Our purpose was to compare these two methods of determining the influence of grazing intensity on pasture potential of a mixture of Medicago sativa L. and Dactylis glomerata L. We used three grazing levels within each method and measured daily gains of lambs and live weight gains per ha. The methods yielded similar animal daily gains and live weight gains per ha over a 3-year period. An increase within levels of either grazing pressure (put-and-take method) or stocking rate (fixed stocking method) caused a decrease in lamb daily gains, accompanied by an increase in live weight gains per ha. The fixed stocking method resulted in understocking early in a season, which was offset by overstocking late in the season. Fixed stocking gave lower experimental error for lamb daily gain, but the methods had similar errors for gain per ha. After the 1st year alfalfa comprised less of the mixture under light grazing pressures than under heavy pressures. However, by the 3rd year the percentage of alfalfa was nearly identical in all treatments. We concluded that similar results can be obtained via put-and-take stocking and fixed stocking, provided the yield potential of the specific pasture type is known. The resources necessary to obtain yield potential of various forages under grazing in advance of a grazing trial represent a major disadvantage of a fixed stocking system