About 7 million hectares (17.5 million acres) in Kansas are rangeland and pastureland. The range research program at Hays focuses primarily on the mid- and shortgrass prairie region, or the western two-thirds of Kansas, which encompasses about 4.8 million hectares (12 million acres). The goal is to develop economically-viable, forage-based, beef-production systems for both cow-calf and stocker operations. Emphasis is on efficient conversion of forages to animal product and the assessment of range response and system sustainability. Energy and protein supplements, and planted forages that complement native range nutritionally, are studied in a systems context. The goal is to maintain diet quantity and quality at a level sufficient to meet cattle maintenance and growth requirements during various production phases and to extend the length of the grazing season. Cattle management alternatives such as varying stocking density and season of use, and land management inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, and burning, are tested to determine their effect on animal response and range improvement.
In the News
Grazing system that has benefitted steers can boost cow-calf operations too
May 6, 2019
Researchers at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center in Hays have found that a grazing system shown to be beneficial for the performance of steers also has great potential for cow-calf producers.
Clark County farmers continue recovery from historic fire
March 28, 2019
Range scientist Keith Harmoney from the Agricultural Research Center meet with farmers impacted by the Starbuck Fire that consumed approximately 660,000 acres last year. Harmoney discussed grass stand with local farmers.
Current Research Projects
- Growth Responses of Perennial Cool-Season Grasses Grazed Intermittently (PDF)
- Grazing Persistence of Perennial Cool-Season Grasses (PDF)
- Control and Utilization of Japanese Brome (PDF)
- Modified Intensive-Early Stocking on Shortgrass Rangeland (PDF)
- Old World Bluestem (PDF)
The above stated research has been partially sponsored by the J. H. Baker Trust.