Livestock Management

Livestock and Ranch Management

Research opportunities in livestock and ranch management include resources from the Santa Rita Experimental Range in southern Arizona and the V-V Ranch in central Arizona. 

For the Santa Rita, the following information can be found at Livestock Grazing History contain stocking rate for cattle in all pastures since 1916. Grass Utilization by Livestock since 2010 contains measures and locations of grass utilization following grazing for most pastures. Comparison of Planned Livestock Use and Actual Use Since 2006 shows dates of use for all pastures and number of cattle as well as density of cattle (animal grazing days per acre). Exclosure Transect Measurement provides measures of vegetation density, cover and mass on permanent transects inside and outside 22 livestock exclosures.      

At the V-V the following information can be provided upon request to the Superintendent of the V-V Ranch: artificial insemination practices, calf crop percentages, calf performance in weight gain and quality, and 77K SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) for all cows to support genomic analysis. 

image of Red Angus cow

Red Angus cows on the Santa Rita Experimental Range during winter. 

Recent research in Livestock and Ranch Management include: 

Brooks, Rachel J., Tolleson, Douglas R., Ruyle, George B., and Faulkner, Dan B.. 2021. A production-scale evaluation of nutritional monitoring and decision support software for free-ranging cattle in an arid environment. The Rangeland Journal. 43, 35-46. 

Gillan, J., McClaran, M.P., Swetnam, T., and Heilman, P. 2019. Estimating forage utilization with drone-based photogrammetric point clouds. Rangeland Ecology and Management 72: 575-585.  

Noelle, S., Lyons, T., Gorlier, A., McClaran, M.P., Nichols, M., and Rulye, G. 2020. How long before a second defoliation of actively growing grass plants in the Desert Grassland?  
Frontiers in Veterinary Science, section Animal Behavior and Welfare. 7, article 600734.  

Throop, H.L., S. Munson, N. Hornslein, and M.P. McClaran. 2021. Shrub influence on soil carbon and nitrogen in a semi-arid grassland is mediated by precipitation and largely insensitive to livestock grazing. Arid Land Research and Management.