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Data Extent

Data from: Can measurements of foraging behaviour predict variation in weight gains of free-ranging cattle?

Steers outfitted with neck collars supporting solar-powered GPS device

Technologies are now available to continuously monitor livestock foraging behaviours, but it remains unclear whether such measurements can meaningfully inform livestock grazing management decisions. Empirical studies in extensive rangelands are needed to quantify relationships between short-term foraging behaviours (e.g. minutes to days) and longer-term measures of animal performance. The objective of this study was to examine whether four different ways of measuring daily foraging behaviour (grazing-bout duration, grazing time per day, velocity while grazing, and turn angle while grazing) were related to weight gain by free-ranging yearling steers grazing semiarid rangeland. These data include measurements interpreted from yearling steer outfitted with neck collars supporting a solar-powered device that measured GPS locations at 5 minute intervals and used an accelerometer to predict grazing activity at 4 second intervals. Average daily weight gains of steers are included as well as an estimate of standing forage biomass derived from the Harmonized Landsat-Sentinel remote-sensing product. These data support research to advance knowledge regarding the use of on-animal sensors that monitor foraging behaviour, which have the potential to transmit indicators to livestock managers in real time (e.g. daily). This approach can help inform decisions such as when to move animals among paddocks, or when to sell or transition animals from rangeland to confined feeding operations.

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-104.79154586792 40.768971768364, -104.63876724243 40.768971768364, -104.63876724243 40.870170450813, -104.79154586792 40.870170450813, -104.79154586792 40.768971768364))
Ag Data Commons
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Central Plains Experimental Range is a ~6400 ha Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) Network site in northeast Colorado, USA (40˚50’N, 104˚43’W, 1645 m above sea level))
Temporal Coverage
August 1, 2019 to October 1, 2020
Data Dictionary
Contact Name
Augustine, David
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Program Code
005:040 - Department of Agriculture - National Research
Bureau Code
005:18 - Agricultural Research Service