One of the primary objectives of the rangeland management is to protect and improve rangeland resources such as vegetation, soil, water, and wildlife. To accomplish this, various management practices are employed. They include:
- Grazing management
- number and distribution of animals
- seasonal grazing
- mixed animal species grazing
- Vegetation management
- weed control (by chemical, biological, or mechanical means)
- seeding of rangelands by either native or introduced plant species
- fertilization of rangelands
All of the management practices mentioned above can either improve or degrade rangeland soils and they should be applied according to recommendations developed for a particular region. Rangeland management should be designed in such way that it prevents or reduces soil degradation, specifically, erosion and compaction.
Learning objective for week 2
Evaluate the extent of grazing impacts on soil physical properties.
Student tasks for week 2
- Review the soil data collected at the Lac du Bois Range (see the attachments). These data were collected as a part of the project funded by the Beef Cattle Industry Development Fund and the Matching Investment Initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
- Review background information on management practices carried out on the study sites.
- Gain basic understanding of soil quality concept.
NOTE: Before next week’s session, your team should research any gaps in knowledge regarding the guiding questions for today’s session.
Guiding questions for week 2
- Based on the data that you received, what can you infer about the effects of time of grazing on soil physical properties?
- Based on the data that you received, what can you infer about the effects of grazing (stocking) rate on soil physical properties?
Key references for week 2
- Evans, C.R.W., M. Krzic, K. Broersma, and D.J. Thompson. 2012. Long-term grazing effects on grassland soil properties in southern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 92: 685-693.
- Rangeland ecology and management by Heady, H.F., and Child, R.D. 1994.Westview Press Inc. Boulder, CO. [this book is available on 2-hour reserve in the Woodward Library]
- Canadian System of Soil Classification by Agriculture Canada Expert Committee. 1998. (3rd edition) available at http://sis.agr.gc.ca/cansis/publications/manuals/1998-cssc-ed3/cssc3_manual.pdf
- Rangeland Handbook for BC by Campbell, C.W. and Bawtree A.H. 1998. BC Cattlemen’s Association, Kamloops, BC.203 p. [this book is available on 2-hour reserve in the Woodward Library]