Overview of the Forage Resource and Beef Production on Crown Land in British Columbia

 This paper, originally published in 1993 in the Canadian Journal of Animal Science reviews the geographic extent, distribution, plant communities, forage productivity and animal production of Crown range in British Columbia. Over 10 million ha of Crown range is distributed among 11 biogeoclimatic zones. Forestland comprises nearly 80% of the landbase grazed. In the southern interior, the most important zones include Bunchgrass, Ponderosa Pine, Interior Douglas-Fir and Montane Spruce Zones. Forage yields vary from as much as 2700 kg ha-1 on grassland to >100 kg ha-1 under dense forest canopy. On seeded clearcuts, however, production may exceed 1500 kg ha-1. Average daily gains for steers and calves on forest range vary from 0.8 to 1.1 kg d-1. In the central interior and Peace River areas, the Sub-Boreal Pine-Spruce, Sub Boreal Spruce and Boreal White and Black Spruce provide most of the forage for beef cattle. Seventeen community pastures, comprising of nearly 170 000 ha, produce almost 50,000 animal-unit months (AUMs) of forage for cattle in this region. Forage production potential is high, especially on community pastures, but the grazing season is generally only 4-5 mo. Management of livestock and forage on Crown land in British Columbia may be more complex than in other of regions of Canada because of the diversity of vegetation and climate and the extensive overlap of range use with other resource interests. Consequently, livestock and forage management needs to modified to produce optimal returns to the livestock industry within an integrated framework.

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  For more information about the content of this document, contact Grant Lastiwka.
This document is maintained by Linda Hunt.
This information published to the web on May 3, 2004.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 8, 2014.

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