The demonstration projects are examining the effects of late-season grazing by cattle on cheatgrass-dominated, fire-prone public and private lands in the Great Basin.
UNR’s Gund Ranch, north of Austin, NV, a part of CABNR, conducted an initial pilot demonstration.
- UNR faculty member in charge: Barry Perryman
- Initiated in 2007 and is continuing
- 750 acres, 150 head of cattle, 45-day grazing period in the fall of each year
- Cheatgrass and other invasive species significantly reduced after three years of treatment
- Cattle gained weight (1 – 1.5 pounds per day) during project
- The pasture is now dominated by crested wheatgrass, native bunch grasses and shrubs.
Roaring Springs Ranch, Frenchglen, OR, private land
- UNR faculty members in charge: Barry Perryman and Bob Alverts
- Initiated in 2012 and continuing
- 1,400 acres, 1,600 head of cattle, 60 day grazing period in year one
- Cheatgrass reduced from 1,500 to 2,000 lbs. to less than 200 lbs. per acre after initial grazing treatment
- Perennial grasses and shrubs re-establishing on grazed pasture
The Drewsey Field Ranch project was initiated in 2012 and continues. A total of 14,000 acres were grazed with 333 head of cattle for a 90 day grazing period. Cheatgrass and other invasives were removed after two years, cattle gained one pound per day during the project and crested wheat grass, native bunch grass and shrubs are being established at the site. Read the project report.
Bell Ranch, Imlay, NV
- Cheatgrass monoculture
- Project initiated in December 2014
TS Ranch (owned by Newmont Mining), Dunphy, NV
Strategic fall cattle grazing can provide opportunities for cheatgrass management, improve perennial grass production in cheatgrass infested areas, and maintain body condition of cattle in the Great Basin (Schmelzer et al. 2014). In October and November 2014, year 1 of a planned 3 year production scale (i.e., 6,000 acres and 800 cows) study was conducted at the TS Ranch near Dunphy, Nev. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of fall cattle grazing to reduce standing biomass of cheatgrass.
- Pinion and juniper had variable but similar tree water use ranging from 10 liters to 68 liters per day
- Pinion and juniper had similar tree canopy rainfall interception rates averaging from 44 5 of total rainfall applied, over a range of storm sizes from 2;2 mm to 25 mm per hour
- Pinion and juniper treatments on a blacksage hillslope produced areas with slash, these areas had no difference in total runoff relative to areas with no slash, but slash reduced sediment yield to one fifth of that in areas with no slash with simulated rainfall
- These results will contribute valuable field validation data to the integrated watershed model.
Research and Demonstration Projects