Range Condition: Key To Sustained Ranch Productivity
By Allan McGinty and Larry D. White
What Is Range Condition?
Range condition can be described as the “state of health” of the range. More specifically, range condition is an ecological measure of the current condition of the range as compared to the potential (often called “climax”). Plant species composition is the criteria used to make this determination.
Range condition is evaluated for each range site on a ranch. Range sites are those areas which have the potential for prducing similar amounts and kinds of vegetation (i.e.,shallow hillside site, deep upland site, draw site, etc.). Sites are determined by climatic, soil, topographic and vegetational features. A complete listing and description of all range sites on a ranch can be obtained from the Soil Conservation Service (SCS).Range condition is determined by comparing the present vegetation composition of a range site to the potential, as described by the SCS technical guide. For example, the predicted species composition of a desert grassland-loamy range site, at its highest ecological potential, is 90% grass, 5% woody species and 5% forbs More...