The Grazing
Response Index
A Simple and Effective Method to Evaluate
Grazing Management
Shane Green NRCS
With many slides ...
GRI History





Developed by CSU Extension (Roy Roath)
Early implementation by USFS (Dave
Bradford, Floyd Reed)
1999 R...
GRI in Agency Technical References
Grazing Response Index


The GRI is used to assess the effects of
grazing during the growing season, using
the following ...
Frequency
The number of times a plant is defoliated during
active growth.







Normally figure one defoliation ever...
Intensity
The amount of leaf material removed during the
grazing period. The key point being the amount
of leaf material l...
Opportunity
For plant growth and/or regrowth .



This criteria carries double the value of the frequency
and intensity c...
What Does the GRI Do?








The values are additive, providing a
positive, neutral, or negative rating for
assessing...
What the GRI does not do




Monitor or assess rangeland plant
communities or processes
Replacement for vegetation monit...
Graphic

Ecological
Processes

Plants

Grazing

Grazing Response
Index GRI
Utilization

Remote
Sensing

Apparent
Trend

Si...
Where does GRI fit in to our
work?





Stock and monitor approach
Lots of tools to monitor the land and
plants
Lack to...
Example 1:








The first example shows the Oak Ridge (BLM)
allotment (left side of fence) and the West Elk
(FS) al...
Oak Ridge (BLM)/West Elk (FS)
Prior to grazing

5-13-1999
Oak Ridge (L)/ West Elk (R), 6-4-99
Grazed 5/21-5/26/1999 / Ungrazed
Oak Ridge (L)/ West Elk (R), 7-9-99
45 days post-grazing / Ungrazed
Oak Ridge (L)/ West Elk (R), 9-9-99
105 days post-grazing / Ungrazed
Oak Ridge (L)/West Elk (R),10-20-99
145 days post-grazing / Grazed 9/20-10/10
How Would the GRI Rate This ?
1999
Oak Ridge
Frequency
Intensity
Opportunity
Total Response
West Elk
Frequency
Intensity
O...
Do these Grazing Responses relate
to Range Trend?
Oak Ridge

West Elk

7-23-91
Oak Ridge (L)/West Elk (R),

7-23-1991

8-10-2001
Example 3:




This example shows Bear Trap Park on the
Dyer allotment.
This example is based on historic photo
monitori...
Dyer C&H Bear Trap Park
10/15/1948
Allotment grazed seasonlong, 5/16-10/15, by 1,048
cow/calf pairs for 5,240
AUMs. SR – 3...
Dyer C&H Bear Trap Park
10/15/1948
Allotment grazed seasonlong, 5/16-10/15, by 1048
cow/calf pairs for 5,240
AUMs. SR – 3....
How Would the GRI Rate This ?
Dyer Allotment

1948

2000

2001

Frequency

-1

-1

+1

Intensity

-1

-1

+1

Opportunity
...
Example 4:






This example shows Corral Creek on the
Corral Gulch Pasture on the Mesa
allotment.
This allotment is m...
The Black Mesa Story

Corral Gulch
9/1/1992
Mesa C&H
Lower Mesa Unit
8/12/1991
Mesa C&H
Upper Mesa Unit
8/2/1991 35% Use
How Would the GRI Rate This ?
Mesa Allotment
Corral Gulch Pasture
Frequency
Intensity
Opportunity
Total Grazing Response

...
Summary of Grazing Response Values on Corral Gulch
Pasture of Mesa C&H Allotment, 1995-2007
95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 ...
Summary of Grazing Response
Values on Corral Gulch Pasture of
Mesa C&H Allotment, 1995-2007:






Positive values 8 o...
Mesa C&H
Corral Gulch 9-25-1995
Grazed 7/25-8/08 (15 days)
by1,782 cow/calf pairs &
155 yearlings.
313 mm Growing season
p...
Dry Fork C&H Allotment Example
oAllotment consists of 31,000 acres of
which 16,000 are considered unsuitable to
grazing.
o...
Summary of GRI Values on Apache Rocks – Deer Creek
Pasture of Dry Fork C& H Allotment, 1998-2009
98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 0...
Summary of Grazing Response Values
on Apache Rocks-Deer Creek Pasture of
Dry Fork C&H Allotment, 1998-2009:
(Data availabl...
Dry Fork C&H
Deer Creek Pasture
Deer Creek CM West View
6/18/1999
14 plant species
40% smooth brome
30% Kentucky bluegrass...
Summary of GRI Values on Sherwood Pasture of Dry
Fork C& H Allotment, 1998-2009
98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09

F

+2...
Summary of Grazing Response Values
on Sherwood Pasture of Dry Fork C&H
Allotment, 1998-2009:
(Data available for 11 of 12 ...
Dry Fork C&H
Sherwood Pasture
Elijah’s Park CM East View
6/18/1999
22 plant species
35% Kentucky bluegrass
20%western whea...
Dry Fork C&H
Sherwood Pasture
Elijah’s Park CM East View
6/18/2009
Pasture grazed from
7/6-18/2009
by ~500 head of cattle....
Summary of GRI Values on Ditch Pasture of
Dry Fork C& H Allotment, 1998-2009
98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09

+1 0 +1 ...
Summary of Grazing Response Values
on Ditch Pasture of Dry Fork C&H
Allotment, 1998-2009:
(Data available for 9 of 12 year...
Dry Fork C&H
Ditch Pasture
Upper Poison Gulch CM NE view
6/18/1999
22 plant species
30% smooth brome
70% Kentucky bluegras...
Grazing Response Index Summary:
The GRI is used to assess grazing management
using the following 3 criteria:






Freq...
Summary, continued:


Easy to understand and communicate.






Allows specialists summarize and communicate a
more co...
Summary, continued:




Provides a basis for adjusting grazing in
subsequent years.
GRI evaluations should correlate to ...
Where to take GRI from here


Proposed refinements





Geographic fine tuning
Adding an evaluation factor for physiol...
Are There Any Questions

?
The Grazing Response Index, A Simple and Effective Method to Evaluate Grazing Management, Shane Green NRCS
The Grazing Response Index, A Simple and Effective Method to Evaluate Grazing Management, Shane Green NRCS
The Grazing Response Index, A Simple and Effective Method to Evaluate Grazing Management, Shane Green NRCS
The Grazing Response Index, A Simple and Effective Method to Evaluate Grazing Management, Shane Green NRCS
The Grazing Response Index, A Simple and Effective Method to Evaluate Grazing Management, Shane Green NRCS
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The Grazing Response Index, A Simple and Effective Method to Evaluate Grazing Management, Shane Green NRCS

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The Grazing Response Index, A Simple and Effective Method to Evaluate Grazing Management, Shane Green NRCS

  1. 1. The Grazing Response Index A Simple and Effective Method to Evaluate Grazing Management Shane Green NRCS With many slides borrowed from Dave Bradford, USFS ret.
  2. 2. GRI History    Developed by CSU Extension (Roy Roath) Early implementation by USFS (Dave Bradford, Floyd Reed) 1999 Rangelands Article
  3. 3. GRI in Agency Technical References
  4. 4. Grazing Response Index  The GRI is used to assess the effects of grazing during the growing season, using the following criteria:  Frequency (measured by Duration) of grazing.  Intensity of grazing.  Opportunity for growth before grazing OR regrowth following grazing.
  5. 5. Frequency The number of times a plant is defoliated during active growth.      Normally figure one defoliation every 7 days, during active growth. As growth slows down figure one defoliation every 10 days, or longer depending on actual growth periods. One defoliation is positive and rates +1 Two defoliations is neutral and rates 0 Three or more defoliations is negative and rates -1
  6. 6. Intensity The amount of leaf material removed during the grazing period. The key point being the amount of leaf material left for the plant to continue photosynthesis.     Light defoliation (> 65% leaf material remaining) +1 Moderate (50-64% leaf material remaining) 0 Heavy defoliation (< 50% leaf material remaining) -1 Generally a grazing intensity of <50% of leaf material removed allows the plant to meet it’s needs and continue growth.
  7. 7. Opportunity For plant growth and/or regrowth .  This criteria carries double the value of the frequency and intensity criteria. Full season to grow/regrow +2 Most of season +1 Some chance 0 Little chance -1 No chance -2  This incorporates Time and Duration of grazing.     
  8. 8. What Does the GRI Do?     The values are additive, providing a positive, neutral, or negative rating for assessing the grazing impacts for the year. This gives you an assessment of how your grazing strategy worked this year. Provides a basis for planning next year’s grazing use. Accounts for more than just utilization to assess grazing effects
  9. 9. What the GRI does not do   Monitor or assess rangeland plant communities or processes Replacement for vegetation monitoring and assessment
  10. 10. Graphic Ecological Processes Plants Grazing Grazing Response Index GRI Utilization Remote Sensing Apparent Trend Similarity Index (Range Condition) SVAP Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health Proper Functioning Condition PFC Weather and Climate Trend Photo Plots, Cover, Nested Frequency, Species composition Multiple Indicator Monitoring MIM Soil Survey Assessment Monitoring
  11. 11. Where does GRI fit in to our work?    Stock and monitor approach Lots of tools to monitor the land and plants Lack tools to evaluate grazing – GRI helps to fill this void.
  12. 12. Example 1:     The first example shows the Oak Ridge (BLM) allotment (left side of fence) and the West Elk (FS) allotment (right side of fence). Both allotments are managed with multi-pasture grazing strategies. Oak Ridge is grazed by 305 cow/calf pairs, owned by 2 permittees, from 5/106/15, with 10 pastures. West Elk is grazed by 1250 cow/calf pairs, owned by 7 permittees, from 5/1510/10, with 30 pastures.
  13. 13. Oak Ridge (BLM)/West Elk (FS) Prior to grazing 5-13-1999
  14. 14. Oak Ridge (L)/ West Elk (R), 6-4-99 Grazed 5/21-5/26/1999 / Ungrazed
  15. 15. Oak Ridge (L)/ West Elk (R), 7-9-99 45 days post-grazing / Ungrazed
  16. 16. Oak Ridge (L)/ West Elk (R), 9-9-99 105 days post-grazing / Ungrazed
  17. 17. Oak Ridge (L)/West Elk (R),10-20-99 145 days post-grazing / Grazed 9/20-10/10
  18. 18. How Would the GRI Rate This ? 1999 Oak Ridge Frequency Intensity Opportunity Total Response West Elk Frequency Intensity Opportunity Total Response +1 0 +1 +2 0 0 +2 +2
  19. 19. Do these Grazing Responses relate to Range Trend? Oak Ridge West Elk 7-23-91
  20. 20. Oak Ridge (L)/West Elk (R), 7-23-1991 8-10-2001
  21. 21. Example 3:   This example shows Bear Trap Park on the Dyer allotment. This example is based on historic photo monitoring, looking at three years 1948, 2000 and 2001.
  22. 22. Dyer C&H Bear Trap Park 10/15/1948 Allotment grazed seasonlong, 5/16-10/15, by 1,048 cow/calf pairs for 5,240 AUMs. SR – 3.0 acres/AUM. Precipitation for season was 105%. 10/12/2000 Allotment grazed multipasture rotation, 6/1610/10, by 425 cow/calf pairs for 2,150 AUMs. This pasture grazed 8/11-10/05 in 2000. SR – 5.8 acres/AUM. Precipitation for season was
  23. 23. Dyer C&H Bear Trap Park 10/15/1948 Allotment grazed seasonlong, 5/16-10/15, by 1048 cow/calf pairs for 5,240 AUMs. SR – 3.0 acres/AUM. Precipitation for season was 105%. 10/15/2001 Allotment grazed multipasture rotation, 6/16-10/10, by 375 cow/calf pairs for 2,150 AUMs. This pasture rested in 2001. SR – 5.8 acres/AUM. Precipitation for season was 89%.
  24. 24. How Would the GRI Rate This ? Dyer Allotment 1948 2000 2001 Frequency -1 -1 +1 Intensity -1 -1 +1 Opportunity -2 +1 +2 Total Grazing Response -4 -1 +4
  25. 25. Example 4:    This example shows Corral Creek on the Corral Gulch Pasture on the Mesa allotment. This allotment is managed using a multipasture grazing strategy. The allotment is grazed by 2,000 cow-calf pairs/yearlings, 6/26-10/20.
  26. 26. The Black Mesa Story Corral Gulch 9/1/1992
  27. 27. Mesa C&H Lower Mesa Unit 8/12/1991
  28. 28. Mesa C&H Upper Mesa Unit 8/2/1991 35% Use
  29. 29. How Would the GRI Rate This ? Mesa Allotment Corral Gulch Pasture Frequency Intensity Opportunity Total Grazing Response 1995 2007 0 0 +1 +1 0 0 +1 +1
  30. 30. Summary of Grazing Response Values on Corral Gulch Pasture of Mesa C&H Allotment, 1995-2007 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 F 0 0 0 +1 0 +1 -1 I 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 -1 +1 0 0 0 +1 0 O +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 -1 +1 -1 0 +1 +1 +1 +1 T +1 +1 +1 +2 0 0 +1 +1 +1 +1 0 -1 0
  31. 31. Summary of Grazing Response Values on Corral Gulch Pasture of Mesa C&H Allotment, 1995-2007:     Positive values 8 of 13 years (62%). Neutral values 4 of 13 years (31%). Negative values 1 of 13 years (7%). Grazing Responses can and do relate to long-term vegetative trend.
  32. 32. Mesa C&H Corral Gulch 9-25-1995 Grazed 7/25-8/08 (15 days) by1,782 cow/calf pairs & 155 yearlings. 313 mm Growing season precipitation or 169%. 10-10-2007 Grazed 7/15-7/29 (15 days) by1,883 cow/calf pairs 104 yearlings. 215mm Growing season precipitation or 116%.
  33. 33. Dry Fork C&H Allotment Example oAllotment consists of 31,000 acres of which 16,000 are considered unsuitable to grazing. oThe allotment is grazed by up to 630 cattle owned by 5 different permittees. oThe allotment has nine pastures, that are grazed from 3 to 32 days. oCattle graze the Deer Creek/Apache pasture first every year; graze the Sherwood pasture every other year and graze the Ditch pasture last every year.
  34. 34. Summary of GRI Values on Apache Rocks – Deer Creek Pasture of Dry Fork C& H Allotment, 1998-2009 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 -1 0 I -1 0 0 0 -1 O 0 T -2 +1 +2 +1 +2 -1 -1 -2 -2 -1 0 0 -1 No Data 0 Pasture rested 0 No Data -1 No Data F 0 -1 +1 +1 0 -1 +1 -1
  35. 35. Summary of Grazing Response Values on Apache Rocks-Deer Creek Pasture of Dry Fork C&H Allotment, 1998-2009: (Data available for 8 of 12 years)     Positive values 3 of 8 years (38%). Neutral values 0 of 8 (0%). Negative values 5 of 8 years (62%). Grazing Responses can and do relate to long-term vegetative trend.
  36. 36. Dry Fork C&H Deer Creek Pasture Deer Creek CM West View 6/18/1999 14 plant species 40% smooth brome 30% Kentucky bluegrass Trace wheatgrass Trend uncertain. Dry Fork C&H Deer Creek Pasture Deer Creek CM West View 6/15/2009 21 plant species 80% smooth brome 5% Kentucky bluegrass Trace wheatgrass &Baltic rush Trend slightly upward.
  37. 37. Summary of GRI Values on Sherwood Pasture of Dry Fork C& H Allotment, 1998-2009 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 F +2 +1 +2 0 0 0 +1 Pasture rested +3 +1 +1 0 Pasture rested +2 0 0 Pasture rested 0 +1 Pasture rested Pasture rested T No Data O Pasture rested I +1 0 +1 +2
  38. 38. Summary of Grazing Response Values on Sherwood Pasture of Dry Fork C&H Allotment, 1998-2009: (Data available for 11 of 12 years)      Positive values 4 of 6 years pasture was grazed (67%). Neutral value 1 of 6 years pasture was grazed (17%). Negative values 0 of 8 years (0%). No data 1 of 8 years pasture was grazed (16%) Pasture rested 6 of 12 years (50%).
  39. 39. Dry Fork C&H Sherwood Pasture Elijah’s Park CM East View 6/18/1999 22 plant species 35% Kentucky bluegrass 20%western wheatgrass Trace Letterman needlegrass Trend estimated upward. Dry Fork C&H Sherwood Pasture Elijah’s Park CM East View 6/18/2009 29 plant species 25% Kentucky bluegrass 5% western wheatgrass 5% Letterman needlegrass Trend upward.
  40. 40. Dry Fork C&H Sherwood Pasture Elijah’s Park CM East View 6/18/2009 Pasture grazed from 7/6-18/2009 by ~500 head of cattle. Dry Fork C&H Sherwood Pasture Elijah’s Park CM East View 10/07/2009 GRI Rating F = +1 (13 days) I = 0 (moderate) O = +1 (most of season) TGRI = +2
  41. 41. Summary of GRI Values on Ditch Pasture of Dry Fork C& H Allotment, 1998-2009 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 +1 0 +1 +1 -1 +1 I 0 -1 -1 +1 +1 +1 +1 -1 +1 O -1 T 0 +1 +1 +1 0 +2 +2 +2 -2 -2 +4 +3 +4 0 -1 No Data +1 0 No Data +1 No Data F -1 +1
  42. 42. Summary of Grazing Response Values on Ditch Pasture of Dry Fork C&H Allotment, 1998-2009: (Data available for 9 of 12 years)    Positive values 5 of 9 years (55%). Neutral values 3 of 9 (33%). Negative values 1 of 8 years (12%).
  43. 43. Dry Fork C&H Ditch Pasture Upper Poison Gulch CM NE view 6/18/1999 22 plant species 30% smooth brome 70% Kentucky bluegrass Trace Columbia needlegrass Trend estimated upward. Dry Fork C&H Ditch Pasture Upper Poison Gulch CM NE view 7/23/2009 38 plant species 30% smooth brome 40% Kentucky bluegrass 7% Columbia needlegrass Trend upward.
  44. 44. Grazing Response Index Summary: The GRI is used to assess grazing management using the following 3 criteria:    Frequency (measured by duration) - The number of times a plant is defoliated during active growth. Intensity - The amount of leaf material removed during the grazing period. The key point being the amount of leaf material left for the plant to continue photosynthesis. Opportunity For plant growth before grazing and/or re-growth following grazing.
  45. 45. Summary, continued:  Easy to understand and communicate.    Allows specialists summarize and communicate a more comprehensive picture of grazing management effects Fills a void in the landscape of monitoring and evaluation tools with a focus on the management rather than the resource. Considers more than just utilization  Incorporates stock density, time and duration of grazing, and plant growth and re-growth.
  46. 46. Summary, continued:   Provides a basis for adjusting grazing in subsequent years. GRI evaluations should correlate to longterm trend monitoring.
  47. 47. Where to take GRI from here  Proposed refinements    Geographic fine tuning Adding an evaluation factor for physiological stage of plant growth when grazed Agency collaboration and endorsement  Need for an update and published interagency technical reference, akin to the Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health or Creeks and Communities efforts.
  48. 48. Are There Any Questions ?
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