Graziers Glossary

Grazier’s Glossary

AI: Artificial insemination.
Aftermath: Forage that is left or grown after a machine harvest such as corn stalks or volunteer wheat or oats. Also called the “Fat of the Land.”

Animal unit day: Amount of forage necessary to graze one animal unit (one dry 1100 lb beef cow) for one day.

Annual leys: Temporary pastures of annual forage crops such as annual ryegrass, oats, or sorghum-sudangrass.

AU Animal unit: One mature, non-lactating cow weighing 1100 lbs or its weight and class equivalent in other species. (Example: 10 dry ewes equal one animal unit.)

AUD: Animal unit day. Amount of forage needed to graze one animal unit for one day.

AUM: Animal unit month. Amount of forage needed to graze one animal unit for a month.

BCS: Body condition score. A 9-point scale to describe beef cow condition.

Blaze graze: A very fast rotation used in the spring to prevent the grass from forming a seedhead. Usually used with dairy cattle.

Body condition score: BCS. A 9-point scale to describe beef cow condition.

Break grazing: The apportioning of a small piece of a larger paddock with temporary fence for rationing or utilization purposes.

Breaks: An apportionment of a paddock with temporary electric fence. The moving of the forward wire would create a “fresh break” of grass for the animals.

BST: A hormone for increased milk production.

Carrying capacity: Stocking rate at which animal performance goals can be achieved while maintaining the integrity of the resource base.

Cash fat cattle: These are real cattle selling for real money in real time.

Cattle cycle: The ten to twelve year price cycle from peak to valley for breeding stock.

CDA: Cow-days/acre. The estimated number of cows that could graze the standing forage on one acre for one day.

Cell: A grouping of paddock subdivisions used with a particular set or class of animals. During droughts, several cells and their animals may be merged and operated as one large cell and herd for rationing purposes.

CHO: Carbohydrates.

Clamp: A temporary polyethylene covered silage stack made in the pasture without permanent sides or structures.

Composting: The mixing of animal manure with a carbon source under a damp, aerobic environment so as to stabilize and enhance the nutrients in the manure.

Concentrate: Grain or grain/meal mix.

Continuous grazing: See Continuous stocking.

Continuous stocking: Allowing the animals access to an entire pasture for a long period without paddock rotation.

Coppice: Young re-growth on a cut tree or bush.

Compensatory gain: The rapid weight gain experienced by animals when allowed access to plentiful high quality forage after a period of rationed feed. Animals that are wintered at low rates of gain and are allowed to compensate in the spring frequently weigh almost the same by mid-summer as those managed through the winter at a high rate of gain. Also know as “pop”

Creep grazing: Allowing calves to graze ahead of their mothers by keeping the forward paddock wire high enough for the calves to go under, but low enough to restrain the cows.

CRP: Conservation Reserve Program.

CWT: 100 pounds.

Deferred grazing: The dropping of a paddock from a rotation for use at a later time.

Dirty fescue: Fescue containing an endophytic fungus which lowers the animal’s ability to deal with heat. Fescue without this endophyte is called Fungus-free of Endophyte-free.

Dry matter: Forage after the moisture has been removed.

Easy feed silage: The bringing of silage to the animal with machinery. Opposite of self-feeding.

EPD: Expected Progeny Difference. A statistical expression of expected genetic effect of a known sire on his progeny.

Fat cattle : This was the original term for cattle that are “finished” and ready for slaughter. To be politically correct in this low-fat world, this term has been changed to Live Cattle by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Fats: The same as fat cattle, live cattle, and fed cattle. Indicates cattle are ready for slaughter.

Fed cattle: Used interchangeably with Fat or Live Cattle. This indicates they have been in a feedlot.

Feeder cattle: These are cattle weighing between 700 and 850 lbs.

Flogging: The grazing of a paddock to a very low residual. This is frequently done in the winter to stimulate clover growth the following spring.

Forbs: General term used to describe broad-leafed plants.

Free choice: Non-restricted feeding.

Frontal grazing: An Argentine grazing method whereby the animals grazing speed is determined with the use of a grazing speed governor on a sliding fence.

FSRC: Forage Systems Research Center located at the University of Missouri in Linneus.

Grazer: An animal that gathers its food by grazing.

Grazier: A human who manages grazing animals.

Grazing pressure: How deep into the plant canopy the animals will graze.

Green feeding: Direct grazing of corn.

Heavy feeders: Feeder cattle weighing over 800 lbs.

Heavy metal: Large machinery.

Heavy weights: In fat cattle, these would weigh over 1250 pounds.

Herd effect: Animal concentration that creates some impact on the landscape or environment.

Intake: Amount of forage an animal will consume. May be expressed as pounds of dry matter/head or as a percent of animal liveweight.

K: Potassium.

LAI: Leaf area index. A term used to describe the relative amount of leaf area-to-ground area.

Lax grazing: The allowing of the animal to have a high degree of selectivity in their grazing. Lax grazing is used when a very high level of animal performance is desired.

Leader:follower: A leader:follower grazing system is one in which two or more classes of livestock having distinctly different nutritional needs or grazing habits are grazed successively in a pasture.

Leader:follower grazing: The use of a high production class of animal followed by a lower production class. For example, lactating dairy cattle followed by replacements. This type of grazing allows both a high level of animal performance and a high level of pasture utilization. Also called first-last grazing.

Leaf area index: See LAI.

Legumes: Plants that bear fruits such as beans or clover. Most legumes have the capability for symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

Ley pasture: Temporary pasture. Usually of annuals.

Lignin: “Woody,” non-fiber components of plant cell walls. It is completely indigestible to animals at any stage of a plant’s maturity. Lignin concentration increases as plants mature.

Lodged over: Grass that has grown so tall it has fallen over on itself. Most grasses will self-smother when lodged. A major exception is tall fescue and for this reason it is a prized grass for autumn stockpiling.

Management-intensive Grazing (MiG): The thoughtful use of grazing manipulation to produce a desired agronomic and/or animal result. This may include both rotational and continuous stocking depending upon the season.

Mixed grazing: The use of different animal species grazing either together or in a sequence.

Mob grazing: A mob is a group of animals. This term is used to indicate a high stock density.

N: Nitrogen

Oklahoma bop: A low stress method of dehorning stocker and feeder cattle whereby a one to two inch stub of horn is allowed to remain. Widely used in the South and Southwest.

OM: Organic matter in the soil.

P: Phosphorus

Paddock: A permanently fenced pasture subdivision.

Pastureland: Land used primarily for grazing purposes.

Pop: Compensatory Gain.

Popping paddocks: Paddocks of high quality grass and legumes used to maximize compensatory gain in animals before sale or slaughter.

Pugging: Also called bogging. The breaking of the sod’s surface by the animals’ hooves in wet weather. Can be used as tool for planting new seeds.

Put and take: The adding and subtracting of animals to maintain a desired grass residual and quality. For example, the movement of beef cows from rangelandto keep a rapidly growing tame stocker or dairy pasture from making a seedhead in the spring and thereby losing its quality.

Range: A pasture of native plant species including mixtures of grasses, forbs, and browse.

Rate of passage: The time it takes for forage to pass through the digestive tract and be eliminated from an animal.

Rational grazing: Andre’ Voisin’s term for Management-intensive Grazing. Rational meant both a thoughtful approach to grazing and a rationing out of the forage for the animal.

Residue: Dead plant litter lying on the soil surface.

Residual: The desired amount of grass to be left in a paddock after grazing. Generally, the higher the grass residual, the higher the animal’s rate of gain and milk production. This can be expressed either sward height or forage mass. Example: We could have a four-inch residual of a 1500lb/acre residual.

Rollback: Light cattle usually sell for a higher price than heavier cattle due to their lower body maintenance. The price spread between light and heavy cattle is called the rollback. See also Value of Gain.

Rumen: The fermentation vat of a ruminant’s stomachs.

Ruminants: Hooved livestock with multiple stomachs and which chew their cud.

Seasonal grazing: Grazing restricted to one season of the year. For example, the use of high mountain pastures in the summer.

Self feeding: Allowing the animals to eat directly from the silage face by means of a rationing electric wire or sliding headgate.

Set stocking: The same as continuous stocking. Small groups of animals are placed in each paddock and not rotated. Frequently used in the spring with beef and sheep to keep rapidly growing pastures under control.

Silage: Pickled forage.

Silage clamp: A wall-less, but covered and consolidated pile of silage.

Solar panel: Green and growing leaves of grasses, forbs and legumes.

Split-turn: The grazing of two separate groups of animals during one grazing season rather than only one group. For example, the selling of one set of winter and spring grazed heavy stocker cattle in the early summer and replacing them with lighter cattle for the summer and fall.

SPF: Specific-pathogen-free classification for pig breeding stock.

Spring flush or lush: The period of very rapid growth of cool season grasses in the spring.
Standing hay: The deferment of seasonally excess grass for later use. Standing hay is traditionally dead grass. Living hay is the same technique but with green, growing grass.

Steers: Castrated male cattle.

Stock density: The number of animals on a given unit of land at any one time. This is traditionally a short-term measurement. This is very different from stocking rate which is a long term measurement of the whole pasture. For example: 200 steers may have a long-term stocking rate of 200 acres, but may for a half a day all be grazed on a single acre. This acre while being grazed would be said to have a stock density of 200 steers to the acre.

Stocker cattle: Animals being grown on pasture between weaning and final finish. Stocker cattle weights are traditionally from 300 to 550 lbs.

Stocker cow: A young cow less than five years old.

Stocking rate: A measurement of the long-term carrying capacity of a pasture. See stock density.

Stockpiling: The deferment of pasture for use at a later time. Traditionally this is in the autumn. Also known as “autumn saved pasture” or “foggage.”

Strip grazing: The use of a frequently moved temporary fence to subdivide a paddock into very small breaks. Most often used to ration grass during winter or droughts.

Sward: The grass portion of the pasture.

Swath grazing: The cutting and swathing of small grains into large double-size windrows. These windrows are then rationed out to animals during the winter with temporary electric fence. This method of winter feeding is most-often used in cold, dry winter climates.

TDN: Total digestible nutrients.

Transhumance: The moving of animals to and from seasonal range or pasture. For example, the driving of cattle from winter desert range to high mountain summer range.

Value of gain: The net value of gain after the price rollback of light to heavy cattle has been deducted. To find the net value of gain, the total price of the purchased animal is subtracted from the total price of the sold animal. This price is then divided by the number of cwts. of gain. Profitability is governed by the value of gain rather than the selling price per pound of the cattle.

VDMI: Voluntary dry matter intake. What the animal will consume on its own.

Wintergraze: Grazing in the winter season. This can be on autumn saved pasture or on specially planted winter annuals such as cereal rye and annual ryegrass.

Yearling feeder: Cattle older than weaned calves. A true yearling would be older than one year of age and less than two years of age. Most cattle will weigh between 600 and 750 pounds at one year of age.


More FAQ

Your Questions Answered...
Date: Monday, 15 August 2011

Copyright © 2011 Stockman Grass Farmer | All rights reserved.