Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Plant Science


Native grasslands in South Dakota are extremely variable and have steadily declined in condition. Pasture techniques are currently available to modify vegetation composition and productivity to bring about higher yields. Development of pasture systems that increase forage production is of a major importance in South Dakota. Fransen found that tame pastures and interseeded native range produced more gain per hectare than native range. The average daily gain of the cattle dropped severely at the end of the season in native and native-interseeded range. However, the tame pastures required substantial inputs in terms of fertilizer nitrogen. The purpose of this study was to find a combination of tame and native or tame and native-interseeded pastures that would maintain the average daily gain of the cattle. A second objective was to try to reduce the fertilizer inputs on tame pastures by seeding the tame pastures with alfalfa. South Dakota studies over a 3-year period with native and native interseeded range were encouraging. Vigil pointed out that in native interseeded range, animal gain and carrying capacity increased by 51 and 60 percent, respectively, over non-interseeded ranges. In South Dakota, it is an acceptable practice to renovate pasture lands through interseeding. This method does not require prior seedbed preparation. Native range in South Dakota has produced an average of 2.16 animal unit months (AUM) of grazing per hectare, while a mixture of smooth bromegrass-intermediate wheatgrass and “Teton" alfalfa produced 3.25 AUM of grazing; and a series of four seasonal tame grass pastures produced a significant increase in animal production over native range. Shane, after reviewing several pasture systems, concluded that the most economically feasible system was native range followed by short and full season tame series.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds
Beef cattle -- Cow-calf system
Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- South Dakota
Beef cattle -- South Dakota -- Cow-calf system



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State