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Tracking Cattle Grazing: GPS and Diet Selection with Mitchell Stephenson
October 12, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Domestic livestock on extensive landscapes make grazing decisions at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Research in western Nebraska is using innovative technologies to explore how cattle make decisions at the grazing patch (area selected during a grazing bout) and what variables influence diet selection at the individual plant level. The objective of this research is to determine what variables influence grazing distribution and grazing pressure at defined locations. With this knowledge, producers can better manage livestock grazing through targeted grazing for defined ecosystem management objectives.
Mitch Stephenson is an Assistant Professor and Range and Forage Management Specialist at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, NE. Stephenson’s research is focused on better understanding spatial and temporal relationships between vegetation dynamics and precipitation and how this influences cattle grazing behavior and forage availability. Research in the Nebraska Panhandle is currently evaluating livestock behavior and targeted grazing strategies to better manage cheatgrass within perennial grass/cheatgrass systems. Other research includes strategies for annual forages within crop and livestock management systems and on-ranch variability in rangeland health and productivity in the Nebraska Sandhills.