Management of Canadian Prairie Rangeland

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada

Type Government Publication
Organization Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Country Canada
Region Canadian Prairies
Grass Type Short Grass, Mixed Grass, Tall Grass, Foothills Fescue, Aspen Parkland-Northern Fescue
Language English
Reference Bailey, A. et al. 2012. Management of Canadian Prairie Rangeland. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Canada.
Date modified May 2013

This document was created by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to provide information to range managers, ranchers, scientists and wildlife managers about management practices for Canadian natural grass rangelands. The document aims to provide management principles that will create well-managed systems able to meet the ranchers’ economic requirements, sustain ecosystem health for rangelands and livestock herds and provide an opportunity for the other wild plants and animals on the grasslands to flourish.

The document includes management principles that apply to both livestock and wildlife and outlines critical factors that can enhance natural grasslands. Principles include appropriate stocking rates, seasonally specific grazing plans, adequate animal distribution and the ability to withstand drought. Management goals should aim to maintain plant vigor and vegetative cover to do the following: protect the soil and perpetuate the grassland and forage resource, ensure continual growth of forage for grazing livestock and provide habitat and food for grassland species.

The document also mentions providing effective rest periods and outlines eight types of grazing systems (continuous, seasonal, rotation, switchback, deferred, short duration, complementary rotation and grazing for semi-arid prairies) and information regarding the costs and benefits of each.