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Data Extent

Data from: USDA ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) legacy livestock production (1916-2016) under various rangeland managements with stocking rate and seeded crested wheatgrass

NGPRL Cattle

Established in 1912, the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) is a USDA Agricultural Research Service facility located in Mandan, Morton County, North Dakota. In 1916, NGPRL scientists established a long-term rangeland management research project focusing on developing the most appropriate stocking rates for rangelands in the region. The research project ran for 100 years and included pasture 62, a heavily stocked pasture, and 66, a moderately stocked pasture for the entire time. Also, in 1931, pasture 37 was converted from smooth bromegrass to crested wheatgrass, which was both lightly and moderately stocked. NGPRL's grazing season is traditionally May-October which reflects the surrounding region. Animals may be put on slightly later or pulled earlier due to extreme weather conditions or events (e.g. drought, blizzard). The legacy livestock production data from these pastures include 100 years (1916-2016) of livestock production data from pastures 62 and 66 and 84 years (1932-2016) from pasture 37. Pasture 37 was fertilized annually in spring with 40 pounds nitrogen urea [46-0-0] per acre until 2010 and after that it was fertilized intermittently. Grazing treatments on these pastures were applied with stocking rates calculated in 1916 based on 600 lb. animal. Stocking rates were adjusted when pasture sizes were decreased, and this information is included in the data dictionary for the stocking rate and AUM data table. Please note data is missing from 1984 and 1985 from all the pastures.
Johnson Thatcher Sarvis established the experiment in 1915 and managed it until 1940. The experiment was continued by George Rogler from 1940 to 1952, Russell Lorenz and George Rogler from 1953 to 1973, Russell Lorenz from 1974 to 1979, Lenat Hofmann from 1980 to 1992, and James Karns from 1993 to 2002. Numerous technicians and part-time students were also involved in the day-to-day management and conduct of the experiment. We would like to recognize these scientists and support staff for their extraordinary foresight and determination in skillfully managing and continuing this experiment into the twenty-first century. Thanks also to Holly Johnson at the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory for organizing, cataloging, and annotating the publications from the long-term experiment.

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-100.92251300812 46.763324987104, -100.90148448944 46.763324987104, -100.90148448944 46.771496898225, -100.92251300812 46.771496898225))
Ag Data Commons
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
The USDA ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) is within the temperate steppe ecoregion of the continental United States and on the eastern edge of Agroecoregion No. 1 in the northern Great Plains. The long‐term mean annual temperature and precipitation of 4°C and 456 mm, respectively, with an average frost-free period of 131 days. The predominant soil at the site is a Parshall fine sandy loam (coarse‐loamy, mixed, superactive, frigid Pachic Haplustoll) with 0 to 2% slope.
Temporal Coverage
January 1, 1916 to December 31, 2016
Data Dictionary
Contact Name
Johnson, Holly
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Program Code
005:040 - Department of Agriculture - National Research
Bureau Code
005:18 - Agricultural Research Service