Livestock Extension


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2018 NDSU Beef and Sheep Report

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Range and Pasture

This page has information on the basic principles of range and pasture management including: grazing readiness, stocking rates, carrying capacity, forage production, monitoring and plant identification. Implementing these principles optimizes forage and livestock performance while ensuring the sustained health and production of range and pasture resources.

Ranchers Guide to Grassland Management IV
This guide is intended to serve as a quick reference for ranchers looking for information on grazing management. As such, it does not attempt to cover any single topic in great depth. Instead, it provides general information on a variety of subjects related to range, pasture and hay land management.

NDSU Extension Range and Forage Production Sample KitsClipping Forage Production
This publication is guide to help determine forage production of range, pasture, and other grazing resources. Once forage production for a grazing resource has been determined, carrying capacity and stocking rate can be calculated.

Determining Pasture Rental Rates
Livestock producers and landowners have asked for a simple and fair method to determine pasture rental rates. This tends to be a difficult question to answer as prices can vary from region to region due to market demand and supply. Several methods are available to computing a pasture rental rate.

NDSU Range & Pasture Calculator 
The Range & Pasture Calculator is a web-based tool that helps you calculate stocking rate, carrying capacity and pasture rental rates.

Determining Carrying Capacity and Stocking Rates for Range and Pasture in North Dakota
Establishing the correct stocking rate is critical in optimizing forage performance and maintaining animal performance while ensuring the sustained health and production of the grassland resources.

Download the NDSU Grazing Calculator: this app calculates forage production, carrying capacity and stocking rate for various grazing resources.

Determining Grazing Readiness for Native and Tame Pastures
Proper pasture and range management begins early in the spring. A major decision to be made is: when to start grazing?

Brome 3-leaf 2017   Western 3.5-leaf 2017

Ecological Sites of North Dakota
This publication is a Pictorial Guide of Ecological Sites Common to North Dakota.Upper James River

Riparian Complex Ecological Sites of North Dakota
This publication is a pictorial guide of the valley, streams and plant communities common in riparian complex ecological sites in North Dakota. This guide is intended to aid in the interpretation of riparian ecological site descriptions and assist in identification of riparian complex ecological sites when developing management plans for riparian ecosystems.

The North Dakota Grazing Monitoring Stick: A Way to Measure Range and  Pasture Utilization
A Grazing Monitoring Stick can be a fast, user-friendly tool for measuring and monitoring utilization of pasture and rangeland. Utilization measures the percent of the plant that has been removed by grazing animals. Monitoring utilization of grass can determine livestock removal date and prevent overgrazing.

Grazing Monitoring Stick
Order Grazing Stick button

Strategies for Managing Drought in the Northern Plains
The purpose of this drought response plant is 1) to describe the drought indicators and response triggers that will be used to determine if drought response actions are needed and 2) to provide landowners and managers a range of management options that will allow for a flexible and rapid response to drought.

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