Column: Want to know more about plant growth and range management?

Grass just grows with a little water and sunlight right? Carbohydrates are created by photosynthesis working with minerals from the soil.

Grass just grows with a little water and sunlight right? Carbohydrates are created by photosynthesis working with minerals from the soil.

Not so simple, but if you want to now more check out this reference that was recently provided to the students of the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program at TRU by the instructor, Dan Denesiuk, for two modules of the Environmental Sustainabliity course during the past week.

This online course, located at www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/gmcourse/module_resources/module1/resources/howgrassgrows.swf,  is a great  short primer. We learn that there are three basic factors that we can manage with respect to grazing. First, the frequency, is the number of times a plant is defoliated during a period of time. Second, intensity, the proportional removal of plant material.

Third, the opportunity for growth and/or regrowth (timing or season) determined by environmental factors, season of removal, previous defoliation events, frequency and intensity.

The conclusion from the chart shown is that if you want your pasture plants to keep growing, you can’t allow your grazing animals to eat more than 50 per cent of the leaves, or the ability to recover the growth is seriously compromised and regrowth won’t happen for a month or so rather than immediately regrowing.

If you cut hay and set the cutter bar at eight inches rather than the typical four inches above the ground, the plants will recover faster. Similarly, the old rule of leaving stubble height at four inches when you move the livestock, probably is really outdated. Yet the West, they say, was built on this paradigm.

The Western rangelands won’t be sustained with this practice of taking more than 50 per cent of the leave matter.

Now don’t take it from me. You will have a chance to hear three experts and the subject of plant growth and range management.

They are going to be at Thompson Rivers University on June 24, in two weeks at the Williams Lake campus. They will be wrapping up this subject with the students, first with a classroom session and then a field trip. Cost to attend this seminar is $80. This is a highly subsidized cost.

TRU has money from industry funding sources on the condition that there be contributions by those attending. In my view, this is good value.

Lauch Fraser, professor from Kamloops who has headed a lot of research on Carbon sequestration will be there with one of his students (Dan Denesiuk, mentioned above) who has sampled soils and grasses in pastures in the Cariboo/Chilcotin and elsewhere.

The third speaker is Allen Dobb, a well-respected agrologist  who has recently written The Rangeland Seeding Manual. He has been doing work in the Cariboo on ground water supply, wildfire management, storage dams for agriculture and land claim settlements.

Come and learn more. We are bringing this opportunity close to home.

David Zirnhelt is a member of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association and chair of the advisory committee for the Applied Sustainable Ranching program which started at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake this January.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health has issued an overdose alert for 100 Mile House.
Interior Health issues overdose alert for 100 Mile House

Health officials encourage users to be careful and spread the word.

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Williams Lake’s YBC Bowlers Remy LeBlanc (back from left), coach Kevin McAlpine, Kara-lynn McAlpine, coach Lindsey Kelley, coach Lisa Mcalpine, Avrel Kidney (middle from left), Weston Kelly, Renee O’Hara, Lily Stewart, Brandon LeBlanc, Serena Kidney (front from left), Elsa Kunka and Colton Lendvoy have managed to carry on through the COVID-19 pandemic while following health guidelines. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Youth bowlers still throwing strikes, despite pandemic

Young bowlers have been able to carry on relatively unaffected due to the nature of the sport

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read