ANNUAL RANGE FORAGE PRODUCTION AND QUALITY
Forage production and species composition is largely controlled by four factors: precipitation, temperature, soil characteristics and plant residue (residual dry matter).
Precipitation and temperature control the timing and characteristics of four distinct phases of forage growth: break of season (germination and onset of growth), winter growth, rapid spring growth, and peak forage production.
Annual rangeland forage production has been measured annually at the San Joaquin Experimental Range since 1935, UC Hopland Research and Extension Center since 1951 and UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center since 1979.
The forage year can be divided into three seasons based on the adequacy of beef cattle weight gains: inadequate green season (fall-late winter), adequate green season (late winter – late spring) and inadequate dry season (late-spring to fall).
Protein, energy, vitamins and minerals in annual rangeland forage decline as the growing season progresses. Conversely, fiber and lignin increase as forage plants mature.
At the same stage of maturity legumes are usually higher in protein than filaree and filaree is usually higher than the grasses.
Range Forage Production Report (add farm advisor local monitoring data)
1935 to present San Joaquin Experimental Range, Madera County
1954 to present Hopland Research and Extension Center, Mendocino County
- George, Mel, Jim Bartolome, Neil McDougald, Mike Connor, Charles Vaughn and Gary Markegard. 2001. Annual Range Forage Production. ANR Publ. 8018, Div. of Agric. And Nat. Res., Univ. of Calif., Oakland, Calif. 9 pgs.
- George, Melvin and Marya Bell. 2001. Using Stage of Maturity to Predict the Quality of Annual Range Forage. ANR Publ. 8019, Div. of Agric. And Nat. Res., Univ. of Calif., Oakland, Calif. 7 pgs.
- George, Melvin, Glenn Nader, and John Dunbar. 2001. Balancing Beef Cow Nutrient Requirements and Seasonal Forage Quality on Annual Rangeland. ANR Publ. 8021, Div. of Agric. And Nat. Res., Univ. of Calif., Oakland, Calif. 9 pgs.
- George, Melvin, Glenn Nader, Neil McDougald, Mike Connor and Bill Frost. Annual Rangeland Forage Quality. 2001. ANR Publ. 8022, Div. of Agric. And Nat. Res., Univ. of Calif., Oakland, Calif. 13 pgs.
- McDougald, Neil K., William E. Frost, and Ralph L. Phillips. 2001. Livestock Management During Drought. ANR Publ. 8034, Div. of Agric. and Nat. Res., Univ. of Calif., Oakland, Calif. 6 pgs.
- Bentley J.R. and Talbot M.W. (1951) Efficient use of annual plants on cattle range in the California foothills. U.S. Dep. Agric. Circ. 870. 52 p.
- George, M. R. , C. A. Raguse, W. J. Clawson, C. B. Wilson, R. Willoughby, N. K. McDougald, D. A. Duncan and A. H. Murphy. 1988. Correlation of degree-days with annual herbage yields and livestock gains. J. Range Manage. 41:193-197.
- George, M. R. , W. A. Williams, N. K. McDougald, W. J. Clawson and A. H. Murphy. 1989. Predicting peak standing crop on annual range using weather variables. J. Range Manage. 42(6):508-513.
- Gordon, A. and A.W. Sampson. 1939. Composition of common California foothill plants as a factor in range management. Calif. Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. 627.
- Hart, G.H., H.R. Guilbert and H. Goss. 1932. Seasonal changes in the chemical composition of range forage and their relation to nutrition of animals. Calif Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. 543. 62 p.
- Murphy, A.H. 1970. Predicted forage yield based on fall precipitation in California annual grasslands, J. Range Manage. 23:363-365.
- Pendleton D.F., J.W. Menke, W.A. Williams and R.G. Woodmansee. 1983. Annual grassland ecosystem model. Hilgardia 51:1-44.
- Pitt, M.D. and H.F. Heady. 1978. Response of annual vegetation to temperature and rainfall patterns in northern California. Ecology 59:336-350.