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‘Rotatinuous’ stocking: An innovation in grazing management to foster both herbage and animal production

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Schons, R. M. T., Laca, E. A., Savian, J. V., Mezzalira, J. C., Schneider, E. A. N., Caetano, L. A. M., Zubieta, A. S., Benvenutti, M. A. and Carvalho, P. C. d. F. (2021) ‘Rotatinuous’ stocking: An innovation in grazing management to foster both herbage and animal production. Livestock Science, 245 . p. 104406. ISSN 1871-1413

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2021.104406

Publisher URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871141321000147

Abstract

‘Rotatinuous’ stocking is a grazing management strategy based on animal behavioural responses to sward structure which is designed to maximize herbage intake per unit of grazing time. It is an alternative to traditional grazing management practices focusing on pasture use efficiency and maximizing herbage accumulation and harvesting. To investigate this approach, Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) pastures grazed by sheep were evaluated in 2014 and 2015 under two contrasting grazing management strategies. Paddocks were distributed under a complete randomized block design with four replicates. Grazing management strategies were: traditional rotational stocking (RT), with pre- and post-grazing sward heights of 25 and 5 cm, respectively, and ‘Rotatinuous’ stocking (RN), with pre- and post-grazing sward heights of 18 and 11 cm, respectively. Thirty-two castrated Texel × Polwarth crossbred lambs were randomly allocated to treatments. As a consequence of grazing strategies, the stocking cycles were 12 and 4, with resting periods of 13 and 35 days, respectively, for RN and RT treatments. Herbage production, total herbage harvested, and feed conversion efficiency were 28%, 20%, and 40%, respectively, greater for RN than for RT treatment. Although the stocking rate was lower, the average daily gain per animal and live weigh gain per hectare were 153% and 43%, respectively, greater for the RN treatment. Despite the RN treatment being orientated to maximize herbage intake per unit of grazing time, it results in greater total herbage production and harvesting. We conclude that the ‘Rotatinuous’ stocking strategy is not necessarily reversed by low herbage harvesting efficiency. This innovation in grazing management conciliates high herbage and animal production at the same time.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:Herbage harvest Intake rate Pasture production Sheep performance Rotational stocking Sward structure
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Farm economics. Farm management. Agricultural mathematics
Animal culture > Cattle
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Deposited On:22 Feb 2021 02:56
Last Modified:22 Feb 2021 02:56

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