Rested pastures with plentiful bugs are a good deal for cattle and sage grouse alike
This story appeared Oct. 12 in beefmagazine.com
Ranchers and other boots-on-the-ground land managers have long known that rotational grazingis a management tool that can improve soil and pasture health. And by improving soil and pasture health, you improve the entire soil and pasture ecosystem, not just grazing.
Now there’s a new study that adds to the body of evidence regarding this truth. Hayes Goosey is leading a unique four-year study near Roundup, Mont., to investigate a key part of sage grouse diet in spring and summer, particularly for the growing chicks. Specifically, he’s looking for arthropods that are important for nutrition: beetles, the larvae of butterfly and moths, grasshoppers and crickets, spiders, and ants.
Preliminary findings of the study after two field seasons reveal that the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) rest-rotation grazing program is working when it comes to boosting the abundance of arthropods. The results show that the rested or deferred pastures host the most arthropods across all species.
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