stocker cattle, prescribed fire, grazing


Objective: Our objective was to document the effects of prescribed fire timing on yearling beef cattle performance, native plant composition, and forage biomass ac­cumulation in the Kansas Flint Hills.

Study Description: Our study took place at the Kansas State Beef Stocker Unit located northwest of Manhattan, KS. Pastures were assigned to one of three prescribed burn treatments: early spring (April), mid-summer (August), or early fall (October). Treatments were applied and yearling heifers (n = 360) were subsequently grazed from May to August. Native plant composition and forage biomass were evaluated annually in late June and early July.

The Bottom Line: The first year of data from a six-year study indicated that prescribed fire timing affected stocker cattle performance and forage biomass availability but not basal cover of forage grasses and forbs.

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