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Cold temperate steppe

Cold steppes are low-production, brittle environments. This steppe in western Colorado, U.S.A. averages 14" (360 mm) precipitation yearly.

Jim Howell
grazing cattle
Stock density: 400 yearlings on 35 acres (14 ha) for 2 days. Once long recovery periods create adequate forage, use high stock densities and short grazing periods to achieve even forage utilization and well-distributed animal impact.
Jim Howell
knee-high grass & flowers
Growing season: Steppes tend to get their precipitation spread out over the whole year, so rains rarely build on each other. Biological productivity is much lower than tropical grasslands that get the same precipitation in a four-month summer growing season. On the cold steppe, cool temperatures and a short growing season also limit productivity.
Jim Howell
dry knee-high grass
Dormant season: Due to slow growth, recovery periods between grazings must be long -- up to several years in some cases -- to avoid grazing plants before they're fully recovered.
Jim Howell
short plants, scant litter
Soil surface in dormant season: Low productivity makes providing adequate litter to protect the soil surface a challenge. Overrest is less of a problem in this type of environment, since accumulating enough standing forage to shade and weaken plants can take years.