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Environmentally imposed problems of the range beef cattle industry in eastern Oregon Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/td96k325t

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  • Beef cattle ranches provide a substantial portion of income in Oregon. Range beef cattle ranches are located on land having relatively low productivity and value. The ranches of interest for this study were among the largest and most extensive in the state. The purpose of the study was to examine the physical environment of eastern Oregon rangelands, and the environmentally imposed problems facing cattle ranchers. An attempt was made to determine the possible future direction of eastern Oregon beef ranches. The analysis revealed several major environmental problems. Most limiting is the lack of water, retarding forage growth, restricting livestock grazing, and inhibiting stock movement. The biotic productivity of rangelands is low, with concurrent low forage production, thereby lowering feed efficiency by forcing cattle to travel farther for feed than if they were on pasture. Many areas suffer from historic overgrazing, a practice not yet halted. Distance provides major problems by isolating ranchers from town, stores, and schools, and increasing the time required for tasks away from the ranch base. It may be concluded that ranches may expect increasing pressure as alternative uses for the land are developed. However, range beef cattle ranching is expected to survive on a more limited scale if improvements in cattle's genetic qualities, ranch and range management are made.
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