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South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts
Faulstich Grassland Management Project

The Daybreak Ranch initiated a grazing management on-ranch demonstration in 2000 as part of the SD Grassland Management and Planning project. They were the first participant, and continued their leadership for grassland management implementation of the system in 2002. The Faulstich family, including Jim Faulstich (right) manages this 320 acre, 21 pasture grazing system with 2-3 rotations through the pastures each year.

 Crossbred Red Angus, South Devon, and Hereford replacement heifers are grazed on the system and bred with bulls during the grazing period. Most pastures are grazed for one day and then livestock moved, however due to pasture sizes and moisture received livestock may graze for three days before being moved.
The area grazed is native rangeland dominated by western wheatgrass, needle grass, and side oats grama. Occasional native grasses also include big bluestem, little bluestem, and switchgrass. Introduced cool season grasses, smooth brome and crested wheatgrass, are also present and significant in abundance in some of the pastures. One of the ranch's goals with the grazing system is to increase the native warm season grasses, especially big bluestem.


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To implement the grazing system the Faulstich's installed a water system consisting of an above ground pipeline and tanks and one-wire electric fences which have been left in place for the three years of grazing. In 2001, additional pipe was installed on the system and adjustments made to the pasture fences to reduce use of the pond as a livestock drinking source and protect the ponds shoreline and tailwater riparian areas. The pond in the pasture is viewed by the ranch as primarily a wildlife area with livestock water provided by an artesian well and rural water system. During 2002 water in all paddocks was supplied via pipeline.

 

The "Daybreak Ranch" hosted field days in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Attendance by producers and resource professionals varied from 40-60 over this three year period.

 

 

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