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Glossary
TERMINOLOGY FOR GRAZING LANDS AND GRAZING ANIMALS
Vegetation  Grazing Land Kinds of Grazing Lands Ecological Land Types
Miscellaneous Management Concepts Area Terms Terms to Compare Animals
Land- &/or Forage to Animal Relationships Forage Measurement Terms Terms Referring to Time Grazing Methods
VEGETATION TERMS 
Aftermath
Forage grown following a harvest.
Browse
(n) Leaf and twig growth of shrubs, woody vines, trees, cacti, and other non-herbaceous vegetation available for animal consumption (v) To browse. The consumption of browse in situ by animals (see also Forage; Graze).
Forage
(n) Edible parts of plants, other than separated grain, that can provide feed for grazing animals, or that can be harvested for feeding. Includes browse, herbage, and mast. (v3) To search for, or to consume forage (see also (v) Browse (v) Graze). 
Forage crop
A crop of cultivated plants or plant parts, other than separated grain, produced to be grazed or harvested for use as feed for animals.
Forb
Any herbaceous broadleaf plant that is not a grass and is not grass-like (see also Legume; Grass; Grass-like). 
 
Grass
Members of the plant family Poaceae. 
Grass-like
Vegetation that is similar to grass in appearance and is usually a member of the plant family Cyperaceae (sedges) or Juncaceae (rushes). 
Herbaceous
Nonwoody. 
Herbage
The biomass of herbaceous plants, other than separated grain, generally above ground but including edible roots and tubers (see Herbaceous).
Legume
Members of the plant family Fabaceae. 
Mast
Fruits and seed of shrubs, woody vines, trees, cacti, and other non-herbaceous vegetation available for animal consumption. 
Pasturage
Not a recommended term. (see Forage; Pasture).  The recommended definition of pasture refers to a specific kind of grazing management unit, not that which is consumed, which is forage. Thus, pasturage is not a useful term. 
Residue
Forage remaining on the land as a consequence of harvest. 
Sward
A population of herbaceous plants, characterized by a relatively short habit of growth and relatively continuous ground cover, including both above and below-ground parts (Hodgson, 1979). 
Vegetation
(n) Plant life in general (Webster s, 1988). 
Vegetative
Non-reproductive plant parts, i.e. leaf and stem; in contrast to reproductive plant parts, i.e. flower and seed, in developmental stages of plant growth. The non-reproductive stage in plant development.
GRAZING LAND TERMS
Grazing land
Any vegetated land that is grazed or that has the potential to be grazed by animals.
KINDS OF GRAZING LANDS 
Agroforestry
Land use system in which woody perennials are grown for wood production with agricultural crops, with or without animal production. 
Agro-silvo-pastoral
Land use system in which woody perennials are grown with agricultural crops, forage crops, and livestock production. 
Cropland
Land devoted to the production of cultivated crops.  May be used to produce forage crops (see also Forage crop).  Provides basis for land use mapping unit.
Forest grazing
The combined use of forestland or woodland for both wood production and animal production by grazing of the coexisting indigenous forage, or vegetation that is managed like indigenous forage. 
Forestland
Land on which the vegetation is dominated by forest or, if trees are lacking, the land bears evidence of former forest and has not been converted to other vegetation. Provides basis for land use mapping unit. 
Grazable forestland
Forestland that produces, at least periodically, sufficient under story vegetation that can be grazed. Forage is indigenous or, if introduced, it is managed as though it were indigenous (Syn: grazable woodland, woodland range, forest range). 

Pastureland
Land devoted to the production of indigenous or introduced forage for harvest primarily by grazing. Pastureland generally must be managed to arrest success ional processes (see also Pasture). Provides basis for land use mapping unit. Pastureland can include some grassland. 

Range
Land supporting indigenous vegetation that is grazed or that has the potential to be grazed, and is managed as a natural ecosystem. Range includes grazable forestland and rangeland. 
Rangeland
Land on which the indigenous vegetation (climax or natural potential) is predominantly grasses grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs and is managed as a natural ecosystem. If plants are introduced, they are managed as indigenous species. Provides basis for land use mapping unit. Rangelands include natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, many deserts, tundras, alpine communities, marshes and meadows. 
Silvo-pastoral
Preferred term is Forest grazing. 
ECOLOGICAL LAND TYPES 
Desert
Land on which the vegetation is absent or sparse, usually shrubby, and is characterized by an arid, hot to cool climate. 
Forestland
(See above). 
Grassland
Land on which the vegetation is dominated by grasses (see also Pastureland;
Rangeland). 
Marshland
Flat, wet, treeless land usually covered by water and dominated by marsh grasses, indigenous rushes, sedges, or other grass-like plants. 
Meadow
A tract of grassland where productivity of indigenous or introduced forage is modified due to characteristics of the landscape position or hydrology. (see also Grassland; Pasture; Pastureland; Rangeland). May be characterized as: hay meadow, native meadow, mountain meadow, wet meadow, or other designations. 
Prairie
Nearly level or rolling grassland, originally treeless, and usually characterized by fertile soil. 
Range
(
See Rangeland).
Savanna
Grassland with scattered trees or shrubs; often a transitional type between true grassland and forestland, and accompanied by a climate with alternating wet and dry seasons. 
Shrubland
Land on which the vegetation is dominated by shrubs. 
Steppe
Semi-arid grassland characterized by short grasses occurring in scattered bunches with other herbaceous vegetation and occasional woody species. 
Tundra
Land areas in arctic and alpine regions devoid of large trees, varying from bare ground to various types of vegetation consisting of grasses, sedges, forbs, dwarf shrubs and trees, mosses, and lichens. 
MISCELLANEOUS TERMS 
Graze
(v) To graze. The consumption of forage in situ by animals (see also Browse). This verb should be used in the active form with the animal as the subject. The verb should not be used in the passive voice so as to imply that a person is the subject or actor; i.e., cattle graze; people do not graze cattle. 
MANAGEMENT CONCEPT TERMS
Controlled grazing
Not an acceptable term. (see also
Grazing management; Grazing
method
; Grazing system; Rotational Grazing; Rotational stocking
) Controlled grazing has sometimes been used erroneously to describe increased grazing management. The control imposed is a matter of level or degree and is better described in terms of grazing management and grazing methods. 
Extensive grazing management
Grazing management that utilizes relatively large land areas per animal and a relatively low level of labor, resources, or capital (see also
Intensive grazing management).

Grazing land management
The manipulation of the soil-plant-animal complex of the grazing land in pursuit of a desired result. The definition may be applied to specific kinds of grazing land by substituting the appropriate term, such as grassland in place of grazing land. 

Grazing management
The manipulation of animal grazing in pursuit of a defined objective. 
Grazing method
A defined procedure or technique of grazing management designed to achieve a specific objective (s).  One or more grazing methods can be utilized within a grazing system. 
Grazing system
A defined, integrated combination of animal, plant, soil, and other environmental components and the grazing method (s) by which the system is managed to achieve specific results or goals. Descriptive common names may be used; however, the first usage of a grazing system name in a publication should be followed by a description using a standard format. This format should include at least the following information: number, size, kind, slope, erosion status, and soil classification of land units; number, kind, sex, size, and age of livestock; duration of use and non-use periods for each unit in the system; grazing method (s); type (s) of forage; and geographic location and elevation; type of climate, mean annual and seasonal temperatures, and precipitation. 
Holistic resource management
Not a recommended term. 
Intensive grazing management
Grazing management that attempts to increase production or utilization per unit area or production per animal through a relative increase in stocking rates, forage utilization, labor, resources, or capital (see also
Extensive grazing management) Intensive grazing management is not synonymous with rotational grazing. Grazing management can be intensified by substituting any one of a number of grazing methods that utilize a relatively greater amount of labor or capital resources. 
Rest
To leave an area of grazing land ungrazed or unharvested for a specific time, such as a year, a growing season, or a specified period required within a particular management practice (
Rest period; Ungrazed; Syn: Spell).
Stockpiling forage
(v) To allow forage to accumulate for grazing at a later period. Forage is often stockpiled for autumn and winter grazing, after or during dormancy or semi-dormancy, but stockpiling may occur at any time during the year as a part of a management plan. Stockpiling can be described in terms of deferment, and forage accumulation. 
Ungrazed
(i) The status of grazing land that is not grazed by animals. (ii) The status of plants or plant parts that are not grazed by animals (see also
Rest).
TERMINOLOGY OF AREA 
Grazing management unit
The grazing land area used to support a group of grazing animals for a grazing season. It may be a single area or it may have a number of subdivisions (see also Paddock; Pasture). 
Paddock
A grazing area that is a subdivision of a grazing management unit, and is enclosed and separated from other areas by a fence or barrier (Grazing management unit; Pasture).
Pasture
(i) A type of grazing management unit enclosed and separated from other areas by fencing or other barriers and devoted to the production of forage for harvest primarily by grazing (see also Grazing management unit; Paddock; Pastureland; (ii) See Forage). 
TERMINOLOGY TO COMPARE ANIMALS
Animal unit
One mature non-lactating bovine weighing 500 kg and fed at a maintenance level, or the equivalent, expressed as (weight)0.75,in other kinds or classes of animals. The use of animal unit in a publication should be followed by a description using a standard format. This format should include at least the following information: kind (species and breed), class, sex, size, age, and physiological status of livestock.
Forage intake unit
An animal with a rate of forage consumption equal to 8 kg dry matter/day. Assuming that one animal unit has a dry matter intake rate of 8 kg/day (NRC, 1984), any animal may be represented as a certain fraction or multiple of the animal-unit, based solely on its rate of forage intake per day. An animal which has a forage intake rate larger or smaller than 8 kg dry matter/day will have an animal-unit-equivalent which is a proportionate fraction or multiple of one animal unit (adapted from Scarnecchia and Kothmann, 1982) The use of forage intake unit in a publication should be followed by a description using a standard format. This format should include at least the following information: forage species and cultivar, stage of growth, plant height, and forage mass.
LAND- AND/OR FORAGE-TO-ANIMAL RELATIONSHIPS 
Carrying capacity
The maximum stocking rate that will achieve a target level of animal performance, in a specified grazing method, that can be applied over a defined time period without deterioration of the ecosystem. Carrying capacity is not static from season-to-season or year-to-year and may be defined over fractional parts of years. The average carrying capacity refers to the long term carrying capacity averaged over years, whereas the annual carrying capacity refers to a specific year. 
Forage allowance
The relationship between the weight of forage dry matter per unit area and the number of animal units or forage intake units at any one point in time; a forage-to-animal relationship. The inverse of grazing pressure. May be expressed as forage mass per animal unit or forage intake unit (forage mass/animal unit at a specific time). This definition can be appropriately altered to be specific to herbage or browse by substituting these terms in place of forage. 
Grazing pressure
The relationship between the number of animal units or forage intake units and the weight of forage dry matter per unit area at any one point in time; an animal-to forage relationship. May be expressed as animal units or forage intake units to forage mass (animal units/forage mass at a specific time). 
Stocking density 
The relationship between the number of animals and the specific unit of land being grazed at any one point in time (see also
Stocking rate). May be expressed as animal units or forage intake units per unit of land area (animal units at a specific time/area of land). 
Stocking rate
The relationship between the number of animals and the grazing management unit utilized over a specified time period (see also
Stocking density). May be expressed as animal units or forage intake units per unit of land area (animal units over a described time period/area of land). 
TERMINOLOGY REFERRING TO MEASUREMENTS OF FORAGE
Available forage
That portion of the forage, expressed as weight of forage per unit land area, that is accessible for consumption by a specified kind, class, sex, size, age, and physiological status of grazing animal (see also
Forage Allowance; Forage mass).  Not a preferred term.  Forage is a defined entity. That which is available for grazing is hypothetical but has value as a concept. This term often is used erroneously for forage mass
Available pasture
Not a recommended term. (see also
Available forage; Pasture). Pasture refers to a specific type of grazing management unit, not to that which is consumed. 
Forage accumulation
The increase in forage mass per unit area over a specified period of time. This definition can be appropriately altered to be specific to herbage or browse by substituting these terms in place of forage. 
Forage mass
The total dry weight of forage per unit area of land, usually above ground level and at a defined reference level (see also
Available forage; Herbage). This definition can be appropriately altered to be specific to herbage or browse by substituting these terms in place of forage.
TERMINOLOGY REFERRING TO TIME 
Animal unit day
The amount of dry forage consumed by one animal unit per 24-hour period. Animal unit day is used to express the quantity of forage intake for a period of time and may be extrapolated to other time periods, such as week, month, or year (see also Animal unit;
Forage intake unit).
Deferment
The postponement or delay of grazing to achieve a specific management objective (see also
Deferred grazing; Rotational grazing). A strategy aimed at providing time for plant reproduction, establishment of new plants, restoration of plant vigor, a return to environmental conditions appropriate for grazing, or the accumulation of forage for later use. 
Grazing cycle
The time elapsed between the beginning of one grazing period and the beginning of the next grazing period in the same paddock where the forage is regularly grazed and rested. One grazing cycle includes one grazing period plus one rest period. 
Grazing event
The length of time that an animal grazes without stopping (see also
Grazing period).
Grazing period 
The length of time that grazing livestock or wildlife occupy a specific land area (see also
Grazing event). 
Grazing season
(i) The time period during which grazing can normally be practiced each year or portion of each year. (ii) On U.S. public lands, an established period for which grazing permits are issued. It may be the whole year or a very short time span, and is normally a function of forage mass and climate. In this context, the vegetative growing season may be only a part of the grazing season.
Period of occupation
The length of time that a specific land area is occupied, whether by one animal group, or by two or more animal groups in succession (see also
First-last grazing; Forward creep grazing; Period of stay).
Period of stay
The length of time that a particular animal group occupies a specific land area (see also
First-last grazing; Forward creep grazing; Period of occupation). Period of occupation and period of stay differentiate between the total time a specific land area is utilized and the time that a particular group of animals is using said land area. The term is useful in describing grazing methods such as first-last grazing. The period of occupation is the total time that a specific land area is utilized and may involve several different groups of animals moving through in sequence, as in first-last grazing or in migrations. It differs from grazing period in that grazing may or may not be involved. (Example: feeding hay on pasture in winter when ice prevents grazing). The period of stay defines the fractional part of the period of occupation that any one of the two or more animal groups occupy the specified land area. It constitutes only a part of the period of occupation. 
Rest period
The length of time that a specific land area is allowed to rest (see also
Rest; Syn: Spelling period). 
METHODS OF GRAZING
Alternate stocking
The repeated grazing and resting of forage using two paddocks in succession. 
Continuous grazing
Not a recommended term because animals do not graze continuously. If used it is synonymous with
Continuous stocking
Continuous stocking
A method of grazing livestock on a specific unit of land where animals have unrestricted and uninterrupted access throughout the time period when grazing is allowed (see also
Rotational stocking; Set stocking). The length of the grazing period should be defined. 
Creep grazing
The practice of allowing juvenile animals to graze areas that their dams cannot access at the same time. 
Deferred grazing
The deferment of grazing in a non-systematic rotation with other land units (see also
Deferment). 
First-last grazing
A method of utilizing two or more groups of animals, usually with different nutritional requirements, to graze sequentially on the same land area. (Syn: leader follower, preference follower, top and bottom grazing.
First-last grazing is the preferred term.) If more than two groups of animals are grazed sequentially, this would be described as first, second, and last grazing. 
Fixed stocking
Not a recommended term. (see
Set stocking).
Flip-Flop grazing
Not an acceptable term (see also
Alternate stocking).
Forward creep
A method of creep grazing in which dams and offspring rotate through a series of paddocks with offspring as first grazers and dams as last grazers. A specific form of first-last grazing (see also
First-last grazing). 
Frontal grazing
A grazing method that allocates forage within a land area by means of a sliding fence that livestock can advance to gain access to ungrazed forage. 
High intensity grazing
Not an acceptable term (see also
Grazing management; Intensive grazing management). This is a relative concept that is best described in terms of grazing management and grazing method. 
Intermittent grazing
A method that imposes grazing for indefinite periods at irregular intervals. 
Leader-follower grazing
Not a recommended term. See
First-last grazing 
Low density grazing
Not an acceptable term. This is a relative concept that is best described in terms of
grazing management and grazing method
Mixed grazing
Grazing by two or more species of grazing animals on the same land unit, not necessarily at the same time but within the same grazing season. 
Mob grazing
In the management of a grazing unit, grazing by a relatively large number of animals at a high stocking density for a short time period. 
Multispecies grazing
Not an acceptable term. Multi refers to many, while this grazing method most often employs only two animal species. Thus, mixed more accurately describes this method of grazing. See
Mixed grazing
Non-selective grazing
Utilization of forage by grazing animals so that all forage species and/or all plants within a species are grazed (see also
mob grazing) Non-selective grazing is generally attempted by using high stocking rates or high stocking densities during short time periods. In practice, non-selective grazing is achieved rarely. 
Preference-follower grazing
Not a recommended term. See
First-last grazing
Put-and-take stocking
The use of variable animal numbers during a grazing period or grazing season, with a periodic adjustment in animal numbers in an attempt to maintain desired sward management criteria, i.e., a desired quantity of forage, degree of defoliation, or grazing pressure. 
Ration grazing
Confining animals to an area of grazing land to provide the daily allowance of forage per animal (see also
strip grazing).
Rest-rotation grazing
Not a recommended term. See
Rotational stocking
Rotational deferred
Systematic rotation of deferment among land areas within a grazing management unit. 
Rotational grazing
Not a recommended term. If used it is synonymous with
Rotational stocking.
Rotational stocking
A grazing method that utilizes recurring periods of grazing and rest among two or more paddocks in a grazing management unit throughout the period when grazing is allowed (see also
Continuous stocking). The lengths of the grazing and of the rest periods should be defined. Words such as controlled or intensive are sometimes used in an attempt to describe the degree of grazing management applied to this grazing method. These words are not synonyms for rotational stocking. 
Seasonal grazing
Grazing restricted to one or more specific seasons of the year. 
Sequence grazing
The grazing of two or more land units in succession that differ in forage species composition. Sequence grazing takes advantage of differences among forage species and species combinations, grown in separate areas for management purposes, to extend grazing seasons enhance forage quality and/or quantity, or achieve some other management objective.
Set stocking
The practice of allowing a fixed number of animals on a fixed area of land during the time when grazing is allowed (
Variable stocking
Short duration grazing
Not an acceptable term. A subjective term that can best be described in terms of
Grazing methods, Grazing periods, and Rest periods
Strip grazing
Confining animals to an area of grazing land to be grazed in a relatively short period of time, where the paddock size is varied to allow access to a specific land area (see also
Ration grazing). Strip grazing may or may not be a form of rotational stocking, depending on whether or not specific paddocks are utilized for recurring periods of grazing and rest.
Top and bottom grazing
Not an acceptable term. See
First-last grazing
Variable stocking
The practice of allowing a variable number of animals on a fixed area of land during the time when grazing is allowed (see also
Set stocking).

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REFERENCE

This Glossary is taken with permission directly from http://www.forages.css.orst.edu/Topics/Pastures/Grazing/Terminology/grazterm_body.html   
a site developed by Forage Information Systems.


Web authors Michelle and Jeremy Sweeten
Questions?  Contact Keith Johnson
Copyright 2000 Purdue University Agronomy Extension
Last updated: December 18, 2001