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A Walk Through the Pasture: News from CGREC

Kevin Sedivec, Interim Director – Central Grasslands Research Extension Center

The spring and early summer have been challenging and fun, to say the least. All the new range research studies needed new infrastructure, and the center needed housing for graduate students and summer technicians.

Because we had a great spring, almost all the new infrastructure was completed before the cows went to pasture. The new housing units arrived by late May, so students and technicians had housing for the summer.  We had a few issues with plumbing, but everyone seems happy with the living quarters.

We had a very good calving season with the nice weather. Although we had around 60 inches of snow, most of the moisture soaked into the ground and grass growth was excellent. Although May was dry (26 percent of normal), we received enough moisture to keep the grass growing.

Unlike much of North Dakota, which is in a prolonged drought, the Grassland Center was extremely fortunate and received 4.34 inches in June, or 152 percent of normal for the month. All the annual forage crops were seeded, and the alfalfa and most grass hay cut on time; we’re just waiting for it to dry enough to bale.

I want to introduce the graduate students working at the center and their projects:

Range Ph.D. students:

     Scott Veum – The interaction of prescribed burns and livestock grazing on plant community composition and small-mammal populations; major adviser: Ryan Limb

     Cameron Duquette – The interaction of prescribed burns and livestock grazing on bird nesting recruitment and success, and pollinator communities; major adviser: Torre Hovick

Animal Sciences Ph.D. student:

     Kacie McCarthy – Precision agriculture related to mineral intake and animal performance; major adviser: Carl Dahlen

Range M.S. students:

     Micayla Lakey – Effects of Kentucky bluegrass on fire behavior in mixed-grass prairie; major adviser: Devan M. McGranahan

     Megan Endreson – Impacts of early intensive grazing and patch burn on Kentucky bluegrass invaded rangelands; major adviser: Ryan Limb

     Haley Johnson – Effects of spring fire, livestock grazing,  and interaction of fire and grazing on western snowberry (buckbrush) nutritional quality and growth; major advisers:  Ryan Limb and Kevin Sedivec

     Jessalyn Bachler (also CGREC livestock technician) – Impacts of bale grazing poor-quality grass hay with and without supplementation on livestock performance, hay production, and soil chemical and physical properties; major advisers: Michael Undi and Kevin SedivecEchinacea hill

     Stephanie Becker (also CGREC livestock technician) – Use of alkane markers to track digestibility and performance on grazing heifers in mixed grass prairie; major advisers: Michael Undi and Kevin Sedivec

Animal Sciences M.S. student:

     Felipe Silve – Injectable trace mineral in embryo-transfer programs – impacts on embryo number, quality and pregnancy success; major adviser: Carl Dahlen

Until our next walk through the pasture, may the summer rains replenish your pastures, hay land and crops. Take time to enjoy your family, and take a walk (or ride a horse) through North Dakota’s beautiful prairies.

 

 

 

 

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