Grasslands of Central North America

Food and Agriculture Organization, North America

Type International Organization Publication
Organization Food and Agriculture Organization
Country Global
Region Central North America
Language English
Reference Pieper, Rex. (2005). Grasslands of central North America. In: Grasslands of the World. Rome: FAO.
Date modified May 2013

Chapter 6 of Grasslands of the World focuses on the grasslands management systems of central North America. While a majority of the chapter serves as a historical summary of grassland management practices, it also provides useful general management recommendations to ensure sustainable development of North American grasslands for future generations.

The chapter identifies the importance of geographically appropriate grazing systems that aim to balance stocking rates and available forage supply. Rotational grazing is carefully considered and recommended as a useful management tool–if the land is able to support the practice. The chapter also mentions prescribed burning as another useful tool in managing Great Plains grasslands and suggests three main reasons to burn in the Rangeland Burning section of the document: “1. To kill or suppress undesirable brush plants, 2. To prevent invasion of inferior species in the understory, 3. To increase forage production and thus grazing capacity.” The chapter also stresses the importance of increasing the resilience of grasslands to variable weather conditions such as drought.