The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs
and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where
applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation,
genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's
income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to
all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication
of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's
TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of
discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence
Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202)
720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
West National Technology Support Center, Portland, Oregon, February 2007
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 1
Grazinglands Spatial Analysis Tool (GSAT Basic) is a stand alone decision support
tool utilized to inventory grazing resources and animals (domestic and wild). This
application is used to assess the relationship between grazing supply and animal
demand. It can help determine the best level of stocking to meet the needs of the
land and the grazing animals. GSAT was developed to assist in the conservation
planning process on grazing lands. This tool combines the inventory process of
grazinglands in combination with spatial analysis tools to provide accuracy and quick
alternative assessments for resource planning. This tool offers the land planner a
method to assess the forage supply in relationship to the animal demand. GSAT
offers a simple process to generate new files or access existing files through
Customer Service Toolkit (CST). Reports such forage and animal balance can be
generated as well as a comparative evaluation of each alternative which can be
saved in the customer’s file. Each of these reports can serve as documentation for
required management in agency programs.
♦ It can be used by NRCS personnel, Technical Service Providers, Cooperators
and/or other agencies wanting to participate in conservation planning process
as part of our grazing land planning programs nationwide.
♦ Users can import and integrate client and geographic information from
Customer Service Toolkit or other digitized sources of information.
♦ Determine spatial analysis of water and grazing distribution within GSAT.
♦ Inventory and analyze grazinglands leading to a balance between animal
demand and forage / roughage supply.
♦ Create supporting documentation for Prescribed Grazing Standard (528).
Output in graphic and / or tabular forms.
Note: Instructions on CST and ArcMap for users unacquainted with these tools are
located in the Appendix of this manual.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 2
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 – GSAT STARTUP..........................................................................4
CHAPTER 1.1 – CONSERVATION PLANNING WITH GSAT .................................................. 5
CHAPTER 2 - RESOURCE DATA .......................................................................6
CHAPTER 2.1 - ANIMALS ................................................................................................. 7
CHAPTER 2.2 - GROWTH CURVES ................................................................................... 8
CHAPTER 2.3 - ECOLOGICAL SITES/FORAGE SUITABILITY GROUPS................................ 10
CHAPTER 2.4 - FORAGE PARTITION PROFILES/PASTURE BUDGETING ............................ 12
CHAPTER 3 - CLIENT DATA.............................................................................14
CHAPTER 3.1 - LAND UNITS .......................................................................................... 15
Chapter 3.1.1 - Entering Land Units with GSAT Mapping Tools ..................................... 17
Chapter 3.1.2 –Entering Land Units Using GSAT Spreadsheets..................................... 18
CHAPTER 3.2 - INVENTORY SITES .................................................................................. 19
Chapter 3.2.1 - Entering Inventory Sites Using GSAT Mapping Tools ........................... 21
Chapter 3.2.2 - Entering Inventory Sites Using GSAT Spreadsheets ............................. 22
CHAPTER 3.3 – CALCULATING RESPONSE UNITS........................................................... 23
Chapter 3.3.1 - Entering Response Units Using GSAT Spreadsheets............................ 24
CHAPTER 3.4 - HERDS .................................................................................................. 25
CHAPTER 3.5 - ROUGHAGE ........................................................................................... 27
CHAPTER 4 - WATER POINTS, WATER DISTRIBUTION AND ADJUSTMENT
CHAPTER 4.1 – WATER POINTS .................................................................................... 28
CHAPTER 4.2 - ADJUSTMENTS LAYER ........................................................................... 31
CHAPTER 5 - REPORTS AND GRAPHS ..........................................................32
CHAPTER 5.1 - REPORTS .............................................................................................. 32
CHAPTER 5.2 - GRAPHS ................................................................................................ 35
CHAPTER 6 - GSAT WORK FLOW DIAGRAMS ..............................................37
6.1 - CST PLANNING METHOD ...................................................................................... 37
6.2 - GSAT STAND-ALONE PLANNING USING GSAT MAPPING TOOLS........................... 41
6.3 – GSAT STAND ALONE PLANNING USING DIRECT ENTRY ........................................ 44
APPENDIX A - CUSTOMER SERVICE TOOLKIT .............................................45
APPENDIX B - ARC GIS MAPPING ..................................................................49
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 3
Chapter 1 – GSAT startup
The user can import customer data from Customer Service Toolkit such as the
planned land units and soils data layers. Refer to Appendix A for instructions on CST
usage and ArcMap mapping in Appendix B if you are an unseasoned Toolkit user.
To export data from CST that has already been completed user should check out
customer folder, click on Tools in CST and select the drop down list and select
Export Customer Data. After the export tool has completed Click OK and click Tools
again, from the drop down list, click on GSAT to open the program from CST. Follow
the directions below to attain a Forage Animal Balance.
1. When the GSAT program opens the Plan tab is selected showing plan
information and customer information.
2. Select the Import from Toolkit button at the top of the window.
3. A Select a Customer window appears, Select the customer that you have
imported from CST that you wish to work with click OK.
4. A Select a Plan window appears, Select the plan you created in CST, This will
be consplan if you did not rename it in ArcMap. Click OK.
5. The session.xml file transfers customer data from CST into GSAT. This
information includes the customer’s name and address (from SCIMS) on this
page and field geospatial data which will be under the Forage tab.
6. Enter a scenario name in the Name field. Be specific as to what the scenario
is (e.g. “Brown Ranch Benchmark, 2007” or “Brown Ranch Alternative #1,
2008”). Whatever you enter here will appear on graphs and reports for the
7. Select the AU method you wish to use either Air Dry (30lbs/day) or Oven Dry
(26lbs/day). Whichever method you select, make sure all the data entered is
in these units: do not mix air-dry and oven-dry figures.
8. Select the start month of the plan and type in the Start Year of the plan. You
can alternatively use January as the start month and let the analysis tell you
which start month is more appropriate. You can change the plan start month
any time and check how the reports look (the reports and graphs are changed
9. Click on the Forage
tab and notice the
Geospatial land units
have been imported as
well as field attributes
(Name and Acres).
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 4
Chapter 1.1 – Conservation Planning with GSAT
GSAT can help you quickly and accurately develop: 1) forage and roughage supply,
2) herd and wildlife demand, and 3) the resulting balance on a planning unit during a
12-month period. The program can be used for conservation planning, contracting,
program eligibility, and status reviews (entering grazing records) among other uses.
Because it can quickly tell you the effects of changes to supply and demand, a
number of alternatives may be developed from a Benchmark to treat resource
1. Whenever possible, gather the resource inventory, productivity, and condition
information in the field with your client. Production values from soil surveys,
tech guides, ecological sites, forage suitability groups are generally not
recommended because they are usually based on the highest combinations of
management and productivity.
2. Know what data elements GSAT needs and what products it can deliver and
prepare your field data accordingly. Work with local experts and specialists to
develop and enter Resource Data that can be used in your work area
(animals, growth curves, ecological sites, and forage partition profiles).
3. Develop a Benchmark scenario to determine problems (and the magnitude of
the problems) with imbalances in supply and demand. Look at reports and
graphs to see if the overall balance is positive or negative, and if there are
months where any of the Accumulated Balances fall below zero; these are
indicators of shortages in forage or roughage and can indicate resource
4. Change the Plan Start Month on the Plan tab to more accurately model
carryover forages and roughages; seldom will the ideal planning year coincide
with the calendar year.
5. Review the Benchmark analysis with the client and determine which changes
can be made that are practical and feasible on the unit to eliminate resource
problems. Any of the data elements in GSAT may be changed to develop an
alternative or sets of alternatives. Make changes and check reports and
graphs as you plan. A few examples of what could be changed include:
a. Land Unit Layer: fence locations, forage partition profile, land use, add
b. Inventory Sites Layer: Ecological Site/Forage Suitability Group, Growth
Curve, Yield (productivity), add/modify inventory polygons
c. Water Point and Water Distribution Layers: add/modify water points,
change set water distances (change adjustment factors), recalculate
water distribution layer
d. Adjustment Layer: add/modify polygons, adjustment factors
e. Response Unit Layer: modify inventory site, growth curve, forage
partition profile, adjustment, and yield
6. Review the Alternative(s) analysis with the client and determine a selected
alternative or continue planning alternatives. Acceptable alternatives have a
positive overall balance and at no time does the Accumulated Balance go
below zero (check graphs and reports).
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 5
Chapter 2 - Resource Data
The Resource Data portion of the program stores data that can be used for all
clients. You can create local, regional, or even client-specific data. You can save,
export, and import data from other GSAT users or import data developed by
specialists. Exported files are small and can be emailed easily. The data is exported
in either XML or comma-delimited file types and can be viewed with Internet
Explorer or MS Excel, respectively.
Some data (ecological sites/numbers and growth curves, can be downloaded from
the ESIS database; click on the GSAT Downloads button on the left side of the
1. Click on the Resource Data button at the top of the page to begin entering
or importing the Animal, Growth Curves, Ecological Sites, and the Forage
Partition Profiles that will be used in the selected area. Notice that clicking
this tab opens a new database that allows you to enter localized resource
2. Note: Information for these databases only needs to be entered once for
each geographical area. It is likely that someone has already entered this
data for your area. If not, contact your area or state grazing specialist for
correct data to be used in planning. This information can be expanded to suit
specific client or local needs at any time.
3. An example data set is provided for import under My Documents/My GSAT
Files/Example Resource Data/.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 6
Chapter 2.1 - Animals
The Animals form allows you to enter data on the animal groups (Cattle, Sheep,
goats, etc.) that could be grazing in your geographical area. The animal’s records
can be edited at any time.
1. Choose the Animals tab to open the animals database
2. Click the New button to create a new record to enter animals. (The first time
you enter an animal kind or group, GSAT will automatically create a new
3. Enter the kind of animal you will be dealing with in the Name field. Then
animal kind could be sheep, cattle, horses or any other general animal type.
4. Under the Animal Class click the Add button to create the animal for each
5. An Animal Class window will appear. Enter a descriptive name for the animal
in the Name blank. If you are dealing with Cattle for the Kind of animal,
names could be Cows, Cows with calf, Bull, Steer, Heifer, etc.
6. Select the Sex of the animal.
7. Enter the weight of the animal.
8. Choose the intake of the animal as a percent body weight. This will calculate
the AUE for that animal.
9. Click OK.
10.Click the Add button to continue entering Animal groups.
11.When finished adding animal groups to the list click the Save button when
you are ready to move to the next animal kind. Note: When you are in a
particular screen, always use the buttons that come with that screen. The
buttons at the top of the GSAT program screen are to save the entire plans
to enter a
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 7
Chapter 2.2 - Growth Curves
The Growth Curves form allows you to build plant growth curves for the plant
communities (ecological sites or forage suitability groups) in your area. A growth
curve is a graph that details the percent of plant production each month in a year.
GSAT also calculates the accumulated amount of growth but it is not shown on the
screen. The upper portion of the screen allows you to describe the growth curve and
the lower portion of the screen lets you enter plant production percentages for each
month of the year.
1. While staying in the Resource Data Section, Click on the Growth Curves tab
to enter data into this data base.
2. Click the New button to create a new record to enter growth curves. (The
first time you enter information for a growth curve, GSAT will automatically
create a new Growth Curve Record.)
3. Enter the 6 digit ID for the growth curve in the field labeled Code. This code
should consist of the 2 letter postal code for your state and a four digit
numerical code. For Example: SD0001. Ecological sites and forage suitability
groups downloaded from ESIS will have the site or group number in this field.
The Code and Name must be unique to identify the record.
4. Enter the name of the growth curve in the field labeled Name. . Ecological
sites and forage suitability groups downloaded from ESIS will have the site or
group name in this field.
5. Write a brief description of the growth curve in the field labeled Description.
6. Enter the monthly percent of plant growth in the month fields under the
section labeled Percent of Total Growth by Month. Round these percents to
the nearest whole number. The total must equal 100 or an error message will
appear in the window. You can get these percents from clipping studies,
expert opinions, plant growth models such as PHYGROW, etc.
7. Click the Save button to save the record when you are ready to move to the
next growth curve.
8. You can
your state by
going to the
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 8
http://esis.sc.egov.usda.gov/ select Ecological Site Description, in the left
upper corner of the screen, select GSAT Downloads, select the type and follow
9. To save growth curve files, click the Export button, browse to the desired
folder, and give it a name that describes the file (so you will know what it is
10.After you have exported to a file on your hard drive, return to the GSAT
growth curves screen and select import. Browse to the folder where you
saved the file, select it and click Save. A pop up screen will notify you when
the curves have successfully been added to your database. Importing files
will append your resource data; records will only be overwritten when the
code and name are the same.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 9
Chapter 2.3 - Ecological Sites/Forage Suitability
The Ecological Sites form allows you to compile a list of the ecological sites, forage
suitability groups, or other land use identifiers found in your area. The Ecological
Sites form stores the data for future use in the program. Note: Only the Site Name
and Code are stored in this data base at this time. Code and Name must be unique
to identify the record.
1. While in the Resource Data screen, select the Ecological Sites tab.
2. Click the New button to add a new record. (The first time you enter
information for an Ecological Site, GSAT will automatically create a new
Ecological Site record.)
3. Enter the National Code for your ecological site in the Code field. Note: The
National code consists of the following:
a. 3 digit numerical MLRA
b. 2 digit alphabetical sub-MLRA
c. 3 digit Numerical site identification
d. 2 digit alphabetical postal abbreviation for your state
4. Type the descriptive name of the site in the Name field.
5. Add a description if necessary.
6. Click the Save button when you are ready to enter another site record.
7. When you are finished entering records, click the Save button and check to
see that all your records are present by clicking the drop down list.
You can download Ecological Site names for your state by going to the ESIS
website http://esis.sc.egov.usda.gov/ select Ecological Site Description, in
the left upper corner of the screen, select GSAT Downloads, select the type
and follow directions.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 10
8. To save site files, click the Export button, browse to the desired folder, and
give it a name that describes the file (so you will know what it is later).
9. After you have exported to a file on your hard drive, return to the GSAT
Ecological Sites screen and select import. Browse to the folder where you
saved the file, select it and click Save. A pop up screen will notify you when
the sites have successfully been added to your database.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 11
Chapter 2.4 - Forage Partition Profiles/Pasture
The Forage Partition Profile Form allows you to compile schedules for different types
of land. These profiles tell GSAT how Growth Curves are partitioned: different
portions of the growth curve may be used for different activities. These may be
designed to work over a geographical area or custom made for a particular client.
1. Under the Resource Data button, Click on Forage Partition
Profiles/Pasture Budgeting tab.
2. To enter a new profile record Click the New button. (The first time you enter
information for a Forage Partition Profile, GSAT will automatically create a
new Forage Partition Profile record.)
3. Type in the name of the profile in the Name field. This can be identifiers such
as All Graze, Harvest Roughage, etc. The Name must be unique to identify
4. Type in a brief Description of the profile such as year round grazing, hay
5. Click the Add button under Forage Partition Activity to begin adding the
6. A data entry window will appear. Enter the Start date and End dates of your
grazing or roughage practice activity. Select the management activity, and
then enter the harvest or grazing efficiency percentage. Click OK.
7. You can add as many rows in the activity section as needed to correctly
partition the management activity throughout the year. For instance, if you
wish to get 2 hay cuttings per year in July and October, enter 1/1/06 for start
date, 6/30/06 for end date, select Harvest Roughage, enter harvest % click
OK. Click the Add button again; a new window will appear for your second
cutting. Enter start date of 7/1/06, end date of 9/30/06, select Harvest
Roughage, enter the % harvest efficiency and click OK. This will get you to
the first of October.
8. To complete the year, you will need to add another row, and start date
10/1/06, end date 12/31/06, and select activity such as restricted use, or
always available, and enter the % harvest efficiency.
9. Click the Save button to save the record when you are ready to move to the
next Forage Partition Profile.
10.Click the New button to create the next Forage Partition Profile.
11.Use the Restricted Use choice when you will not graze a pasture or it is not to
be counted in the plan (farmstead or homestead, corrals etc.)
12.Use the Land Practice choice when you will remove the forage by something
other than grazing animals i.e. prescribed burning.
13.Forage Partition Profiles may be exported and imported the same way as
Animals, Growth Curves, or Ecological Sites/Forage Suitability Groups. Save
your files in a way that you will know where, and what they are.
14.This completes the Resource Data entry. Remember you can always return to
the Resource Data tab and add or adjust data to maximize client specific or
local specific resource needs.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 12
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 13
Chapter 3 - Client Data
The Client Data section is where you enter the forage and roughage supply and the
animal (livestock and/or wildlife) demand to reach a forage animal balance for your
client. We will go through the various steps beginning with the Land Units, then to
Inventory Sites. We will then go through the rest of the layers (drawn, imported or
calculated) ending up with the Response Unit layer which calculates the amount of
forage and roughage available for grazing. To get started, click on the Client Data
button at the top of the screen.
1. Open GSAT by clicking START, All Programs, USDA Applications, Grazing-
Pasture Tools, Grazingland and Spatial Analysis Tool, GSAT. (Notice that the
User Manual and Quick Start documents are also provided for your use.)
2. When the GSAT program opens, the Plan tab will be selected. Fill in the plan
information and the customer information. Be sure the correct AU method (Air
Dry (30lbs/day) or Oven Dry (26 lbs/day)) is selected. Click on the Save As
button to save the plan. Note: Whatever you enter in the Name field will
appear on all graphs and reports. Make the name meaningful; identify it as a
benchmark or alternative and enter the client’s name, unit name, planner
name, etc. Notice that the field will hold more text than can fit into the
visible portion of the field.
3. Browse to a directory that will be remembered for later retrieval. Be sure to
name the plan so you can identify it later. The default directory is My GSAT
Files (created under C:\Documents and Settings\firstname.lastname\My
Documents). You may alternatively choose to save the file in the checked-out
CST customer folder. A GSAT folder is created for every new client and can
serve as a repository for all GSAT-related files, reports, and shapefiles.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 14
Chapter 3.1 - Land Units
The Land Unit Layer allows you to define and describe the different management
units or fenced pastures of the client’s ranch. You can import this from CST, draw it
on the Map screen, or enter it in a simple spreadsheet.
1. Select the Forage tab on Main GSAT upper tab row then select the Map tab
on the lower row of tabs.
2. Select the Land Unit Layer button to the left of the screen. Note: The
green check mark in the box signifies that the layer is turned on (visible); you
must click on the button itself so that it is recessed to enter data for that
3. Notice that the .xml files transfer that was done through CST shows the
names (Field #) of the fields or management units and the acres associated
with each field. These are done when you apply attributes to each field when
mapping in CST.
4. Select the field that you wish to enter data for (either click on the row in the
spreadsheet or the polygon on the map). The field selected will turn yellow
on the map and the associated spreadsheet line will turn blue.
5. Click on the Edit Feature button just above the map and spreadsheet. This
will open a Land Unit window to enter data for that field.
6. You can enter a description of the field in the description blank. This may be
helpful later on describing pastures to a client.
7. Click field marked Forage Partitioning Profile for a drop down the list of forage
partitioning profiles that you may select from. (The forage partitioning
profiles may be found in the Resource Data section of the program.)
8. The Acres field should be already calculated if you imported the layer from
9. The default Forage Partitioning Profiles (they can be changed at the Response
Unit level as well) must be entered for each field for calculations to be
completed. If you miss one, an error message will notify you when you try to
calculate the Response Unit Layer.
10. After all fields are populated you may move on to the Inventory Site Layer.
11. Note: It is a good idea to click the Save button at the top of the screen after
user enters data for each layer. This will save the information to the client’s
file. The first time you save a client’s file, a Save File window will appear.
Note that the directory it is saving to is My Customer_Files_Toolkit. User will
have to give the file a name and it will have a .gsat extension. Remember to
give the scenario a unique name that will help you identify the file later.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 15
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 16
Chapter 3.1.1 - Entering Land Units with GSAT
To enter data and draw a map using the GSAT Software without using
ArcMap or CST, use these instructions.
Many of the steps are somewhat like ArcMap in the way the user chooses to build the
layers necessary (land units, inventory sites, etc.) to attain the response units for
the area. The Land Units layer is simply the boundary and cross-fencing of a grazing
unit. Note: Use this method only for the simplest scenarios. Drawing multiple land
units (splitting, cutting, etc.) is easier and more accurate in CST. This method works
well though for simple units. Hand-drawn layers are not georeferenced and
cannot be exported and imported into ArcMap!
1. Click on the Forage and Map tabs. Here you will begin drawing the boundary
layer and or the land unit layer of the client’s property. First select the Land Unit
layer on the left of the screen. Select the Draw button.
2. A Cross will appear in the white window of the screen
3. Left click the mouse once to set starting point. Move around in a clockwise
direction and click again to set second corner point. When you are at your last
corner, double click mouse and line will snap to point 1. The boundary is now
4. Select the Split feature tool to develop Management Units or Land Units. A
drawing cross will appear when you enter the white surface of the mapping area.
Start outside the boundary and left click once to begin drawing the split line. Go
outside the boundary on the other side and double click to split the field.
Continue this until all fields are mapped in. Note: Click on the Select Arrow
when done to avoid drawing extra lines.
5. Now you may begin selecting fields and adding attributes to those fields such as
the Name, Description, Default Forage Partition Profile, and acres.
6. Attribute the land unit features by highlighting a polygon or row in the
spreadsheet and clicking the Edit Feature button.
7. Note: You
must set each
field to the
when you edit
feature for each
field! You can
also use the Set
to define the
total acreage –
you may still
need to adjust
the acreage on
each land unit
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 17
Chapter 3.1.2 –Entering Land Units Using GSAT
To enter data without drawing a map or using CST, use these instructions.
The Land Units layer is simply the boundary and cross-fencing of a grazing unit.
1. Click on the Forage, Map, and Land Unit tabs. Click on the Add button.
2. Enter the Name, Description, Forage Partition Profile, and Acres of the fenced
unit. Click on the OK button when you are done.
3. Continue entering and attributing fenced land units by selecting a row and
clicking the Add button.
4. Click on the Save button to save your work.
5. Note: You must enter the acres of each fenced unit: the Set Boundary Acreage
button on the Map tab will not work with this entry method.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 18
Chapter 3.2 - Inventory Sites
The Inventory Sites Layer allows you to identify different areas of different
productivity on your client’s ranch. These sites can be imported to the GSAT map
from the CST Ecological Site Map or productivity shape files created using Soil Data
Viewer. You may designate your inventory site as either an ecological site, forage
suitability group, or any other label as needed. If there are significant differences in
the productivity within the inventory sites, you can draw these areas in after the
import of the shape file has been done. For best results, make sure you have areas
of different productivity outlined (as polygons) and that you have either field-
collected data or other reliable production data to attribute each polygon. Having
the minimum number of polygons (rows in the spreadsheet) is recommended.
1. Click on the Inventory Site button on the left of the GSAT map screen.
2. Click on the Import button in the map section to import the ESD shapefile
you have saved earlier in CST.
3. An Open Window will appear. Move through the directory to where you saved
the shape file, highlight the file and click Open.
4. You now have a spread sheet and the site delineation lines on the map. The
acres of each inventory unit are calculated for you.
5. Note: When this process is done, many times there will be sections that have
“0” acres. These are slivers that are created, usually under fence lines. You
can highlight these areas on the spreadsheet and Click the Delete Selected
Features button to remove these unusable areas.
6. Select the inventory site you wish to start with. The site will now be in yellow
and the corresponding spreadsheet line will be blue.
7. Select the Edit Feature button above the spreadsheet. An Inventory Site
window will appear to enter descriptive resource data for that field.
8. Fill in the name blank with the field number, Description of the field (local
9. Click the drop down list for Ecological Site and select the correct Ecological
Site or Forage Suitability Group for that particular inventory site. (These are
stored in the Resource Data Database)
10.Choose the Growth Curve from the drop down menu in the growth curve
column. (These are stored in the Resource Data database.)
11.Enter the Yield for that particular inventory site. When all fields in the
window are complete, click the OK button when you are done.
12.Repeat for each inventory site.
13.A Name and Description can be entered for each site if so desired but is not
necessary for forage animal balance calculations.
14.Ecological Site, Growth Curve and Yield fields must be populated to get a
forage animal balance.
15.Click Save at the top of the Screen when you have completed entering
Inventory Site Data.
16.You are now ready to move on to the Response Units to calculate the total
supply of forage available for the client. Water Points, Water Distribution,
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 19
and Adjustments will be covered later. These resource factors do not have to
be supplied to get a basic forage animal balance.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 20
Chapter 3.2.1 - Entering Inventory Sites Using GSAT
When there are no soils or ESD shape files to import from CST, or it is feasible to
draw in inventory sites by hand, follow the instructions below to complete the task.
1. Click on the Inventory Site button on the left of the screen.
2. Click on the Draw button. A drawing crosshair will appear in the screen.
3. User must trace the ranch boundary again to set the inventory site boundary.
Be sure to stay as close to the boundary as possible to alleviate any extra or
missed acres in the inventory sites. Follow the same guidelines as in Chapter
3.1.1 to draw map.
4. Notice that the new inventory site boundary is in Green.
5. To split field click on the Split button. Start outside the boundary line and click
once. Follow your inventory site (Soil Line) clicking once for every turning point.
The more you click, the curvier the line will be if this is so desired.
6. Once you reach another boundary, double click on the outside of the line to
complete the drawing.
7. Notice the lines turn green and snap to boundary after double click.
8. When all inventory lines are drawn, click on the Select button so unwanted lines
will not be drawn.
9. Attribute the Inventory Site features by highlighting a polygon or row in the
spreadsheet and clicking the Edit Feature button.
10.Follow directions in Chapter 3.3 on to complete a GSAT plan without the use of
CST. There are no more drawing actions required with the stand alone GSAT
Basic (unless Water Points, Water Distribution, and Adjustments are desired).
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 21
Chapter 3.2.2 - Entering Inventory Sites Using GSAT
To enter data without drawing a map or using CST, use these instructions.
The Inventory Sites layer is simply the different productivity areas of a grazing unit.
1. Click on the Forage, Map, and Inventory Site tabs. Click on Add.
2. Enter the Name, Description, Acres, and productivity of the site. Select an
ecological site and growth curve from the drop-down menus.
3. Continue entering and attributing inventory units.
4. Click on the Save button to save your work.
5. The total of acres of the inventory sites must equal the total acres of the Land
Units. Note: In most cases the Inventory Sites polygons represented in the
spreadsheets should be the same area as the fenced Land Units for ease of
entry. If they are different, either draw the Inventory Units (and Set Boundary
Acreage) or import from CST.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 22
Chapter 3.3 – Calculating Response Units
The Response Unit calculates the amount of forage and roughage available for
grazing during the planning year. GSAT uses the Land Unit, Inventory Site, Water
Distribution, and Adjustments layers to create a layer that shows all the spatial
combinations of forage/roughage supply. Combinations of land use, fenced unit,
productivity, accessibility, forage partitioning, water distribution, and other
adjustments are automatically calculated.
You can calculate the response units anytime. When developing alternatives you can
re calculate the response units layer after changing fencing, land use, productivity,
etc. and view reports and graphs to see what your changes have been made to the
supply, demand, or balance. Note: If you make changes to rows/polygons in the
Response Unit layer and then recalculate response units, your changes will be lost.
Note: You must have the Land Units and Inventory Units layers created before using
the Calc Rsp Unit Layer button. You may alternatively have the additional Water
Distribution and Adjustments layers created to create a response unit layer with
more detail; depending on your client’s needs.
1. Click the Response Unit button on the left hand side of the screen to make it
the active layer.
2. Click the Calc Rsp Unit Layer button above the spreadsheet to create the
3. GSAT will automatically create this layer using the other layers as a
reference. Additionally, GSAT will automatically enter all of the information
that appears in the overhead spreadsheet.
4. The forage/roughage supply has now been calculated. Click Save at the top
of the screen to save client information that has been entered.
5. The user can make adjustments for forage availability in this screen by
selecting the response unit. Click on the Edit Feature button. Locate the
Adjustment field and enter the required adjustment. For instance a 40%
reduction in forage would be 60% usable forage and the number entered in
the adjustment field as shown above. More information on Adjustments will
be covered in Chapter 4.2.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 23
Chapter 3.3.1 - Entering Response Units Using GSAT
To enter data without drawing a map or using CST, use these instructions.
The Response Units layer is simply the combination of Land Units and Inventory
Sites of a grazing unit.
1. Click on the Forage, Map, and Response Unit tabs. Click on Add.
2. Enter the Name. Select a land unit from the drop-down menus – notice that the
forage partition profile is automatically selected. Select an inventory site from
the drop-down menus – notice that the growth curve and yield are automatically
selected. Enter the acres of this response unit.
3. Continue entering and attributing response units. Note: You can change any of
the default selections (although you generally shouldn’t need to while using this
method). Growth curve, forage partition profile, adjustment, acres, and yield
may all be changed at the response units level.
4. Click on the Save button to save your work.
5. The total of acres of the response units must equal the total acres of the Land
Units. Note: In most cases the Response Units polygons represented in the
spreadsheets should be the same area as the fenced Land Units and Inventory
Sites for ease of entry. If they are too different, use the drawing tools to create
a Land Units and Inventory Sites map and use the Calc Rsp Unit button to
create the Response Units (or import these two layers from CST).
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 24
Chapter 3.4 - Herds
This form allows you to define the client’s herd inventory and calculate demand. A
herd can only be comprised of a single species of animals but a single species can be
represented in multiple herds, e.g. three cattle herds, two goat herds and one sheep
herd sharing a pasture. It is important to note that you can simply specify a kind of
animal and the number of head for one class with an average AUE value and stop at
that point if you feel that it is sufficient to characterize demand of the herd. The
program will automatically fill the same number of head in each month and assign
the same monthly AUE value all through the year. However, if you want to represent
more than one class of animal and alter the demand profile of the herd you can go to
each month and adjust the animal numbers and/or the AUE values.
1. Click the New Herd button to create a new record to enter herd information.
The first time you enter a herd, GSAT will automatically create a new Herd
2. Name the herd in the Name Field. Naming conventions should reflect names
that the producer can readily recognize. If you anticipate splitting a herd at
some point such as 2 bulls going to one herd and 4 bulls going to another
herd during the breeding season, it is best to recognize those two groups as
two separate herds for scheduling purposes.
3. Select the Animal from the drop down list. (These are the animals and AUE’s
that you set up in the Resource Data.) If you wish to add an animal kind,
return to resource data animal’s screen and input the correct data. Return to
this screen and the new animals will be available for use.
4. Click on the Add Class button under the Annual Herd Structure, a Herd
Group Editor window will appear. Click on the Animal Class field and a drop
down list will appear with the animals that you have listed from the Resource
Data database for that animal class.
5. Enter the default head in the provided field and hit the tab key or click
somewhere in the table. The number of head values will automatically
populate in each month field for the entire year. Notice the default AUE is
populated as well.
6. If you feel the default AUE value is not correct for your situation, you can
change the value to fit your needs.
7. If you wish to adjust the monthly values, you may click into the desired field
and change the value in any month for example growing animals.
8. Enter the % forage demand and the % roughage demand for each month.
9. When all fields are completed to satisfaction for that animal, click OK.
10. Add as many Classes of animals for that herd as needed by clicking the Add
11. When you have the herd built, click the Add/Update Herd button to add the
herd to the client’s inventory.
12.To add another herd, Click the New Record button and repeat steps 2-11.
13.Click the Save button at the top of the GSAT screen to save work to Client’s
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 25
You now have the information stored to calculate a Forage Animal Balance. You can
go to the Graphs and Reports Tabs to view calculations. However, if you wish to add
water points, water distributions, and adjustment layers to further enhance the
resource forage animal balance for the client, follow the next set of instructions.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 26
Chapter 3.5 - Roughage
The Roughage form allows you to track and balance the roughage your client will
feed the herd(s). The Roughage form is designed to account for all of the harvested,
bought, or sold roughages that are used and/or available on the unit for the planning
year. You can model roughage supply in AUMs or Tons as preferred by your client.
Note: Demand for roughages is set in the Herds form and is only calculated on this
1. Click on the Roughage tab to open the roughage form.
2. Roughage harvested on site will be controlled by the forage partitioning
profiles applied to Land Units and/or Response Units. A harvest roughage
partitioning profile must be created and applied for the period growth will be
harvested for the appropriate management unit. Once a forage partitioning
profile has been applied to a management unit, the expected amount of
forage harvested will automatically be calculated in the first row; both
monthly yields and total annual yield will be calculated.
3. Enter the amount of stored or previously acquired roughage in the box
provided at the top left of the entry cells.
4. Next enter the amount of forage your client buys or sells and the appropriate
month in which your client chooses to do so.
5. Note the Demand for roughage, which is set in the Herd tab, Herd Editor
Window (not on the roughage screen). The demand is for all herds that have
some roughage demand set (by month).
6. Select the radio button to show how you want the roughage to be viewed,
either AU, AUM, or Tons.
7. When you are through, click the Save button to save your changes. Note:
The Roughage Summary report is a copy of this screen.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 27
Chapter 4 - Water Points, Water
Distribution and Adjustment Layers
These additional layers and tools allow the planner to do a more complex analysis of
grazing unit resources. Where distance to water affects livestock distribution and
forage utilization, the water points and calculated water distribution layers can show
where distribution problems exist and suggest alternatives for treating them.
The Adjustment layer can serve many functions; use this to describe limitations to
physical access (by livestock) due to slope, barriers, incompatible grazing land uses
(farm stead, gravel pit, water, blowouts), or any other constraint to the adjustment
factor you encounter. This layer may be designed in ArcMap or within GSAT and can
even substitute for the calculated water distribution layer.
Chapter 4.1 – Water Points
The Water Point Layer allows you to specify where the animals on your ranch will
have access to water. This will help GSAT predict grazing patterns or radii for the
animals. You can set water points manually within GSAT or import the shape file
from ArcMap in the same manner as importing Ecological Sites shape files.
1. Click the Water Point button to the left of the map in the Forage screen.
2. If you have previously created a water points shapefile in ArcMap, click on the
Import button, browse to the water points shapefile and import the water
points; proceed to step 8.
3. If you wish to create the water points shapefile within GSAT, click the Draw
Point icon to begin setting your water points.
4. Locate water sources within the planned land units.
5. Click once on the pond or tank to set the water point. A small blue dot will
appear to show that you have set the water point.
6. Continue finding and setting all remaining water points.
7. Notice as each water point is set a new row in the spreadsheet appears; you
can name and describe each point in these fields. You may want to number
the points or describe what type of livestock water access the point refers to.
Note: To describe a stream or other continuous source of livestock water,
enter points along the stream at ¼ to ½ mile intervals; the program will use
all of these points to calculate water distribution and will not artificially limit
availability to water.
8. Select a water point and click Edit Feature button to name and describe a
water point. Enter the desired information in the fields provided. Note: It is
much easier to click on a row in the spreadsheet rather than selecting a water
point on the map.
9. Click OK when you complete entering the desired information.
10.Once all the water points are identified, click the Set Water Distance button.
11.A Water Distance Screen will appear. A default set of numbers will be shown.
You can change the distance and adjustment factor by clicking in the
12.To add more fields, Click on the Add New Row button and enter the distance
in feet where adjustments to grazing behavior will take effect.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 28
13.Once you have your water distances and adjustment factors edited as
needed, click OK.
14. Note: A default set of water distances is provided. User should change these
distances to match the local region.
15.Click on Calc Water Layer button to calculate the Water Layer. This will
automatically create the water distance circles for the water layer.
16.Click on the Water Distribution button on the Left side of the screen.
17.This also creates new response units. Therefore you must go back to the
response unit layer and click the Calc Rsp Unit Layer button again to
calculate the new units.
18.This will be noticed on the Grazed Inventory Report on Available AUMs and
Potential AUMs. This will aid in the planning process on where and how many
water developments need to be added to facilitate prescribed grazing
19.Note: Slivers will once again be developed along fence lines or Ecological site
lines. These will show up as having “0” acres. You can delete these slivers
by selecting the row on the spreadsheet and clicking the Delete Selected
20.Once you have completed editing, click the Save button at the top of the
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 29
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 30
Chapter 4.2 - Adjustments Layer
The Adjustments Layer allows you to create areas to adjust for lower harvest
efficiency levels. For instance, an area with a steep slope may be grazed 70%
less than a flat area. Another example, shown below, is a cedar stand that only
has 20% of the available forage as the rest of the area surrounding it.
1. Click the Adjustments button from the Layers section at the left side of the
2. Click the Draw icon to begin setting your adjustments.
3. Go to the map and cross hairs will appear. Click once to begin your line, click
again at each turning point. When you are near the end, double click and the
lines will snap together giving you a polygon. Repeat for additional areas that
4. Click on Edit Feature button, an Adjustment window will appear. Enter a
description and an adjustment factor for each adjustment area that was
created. The adjustment factor is entered as a whole number, so an 80%
reduction would be 20% usable forage as in the case noted above.
5. Once you have completed the adjustment layer, you will need to return to the
response unit layer and click the Calc Rsp Unit Layer again to calculate the
newly added units.
6. Note: It is possible that slivers will be created for this new Response Unit
Layer and they can be deleted by selecting the rows on the spreadsheet with
“0” acres and clicking the Delete Selected Features button.
7. Once you have all of your adjustments edited to your satisfaction, click the
Save button at the top of the GSAT screen.
This completes the Data Entry section for GSAT. You may go back at any time and
edit or change the data on the spreadsheets to build scenarios for your client. When
you change or add a new scenario, you can either save over the clients file by
clicking on the Save button at the top of the GSAT screen or you can click the Save
As button and give this scenario a new name.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 31
Chapter 5 - Reports and Graphs
Check the reports and graphs frequently; they are automatically updated and change
as you change components of the supply or demand. There are several types to
meet your client’s needs.
Chapter 5.1 - Reports
The Reports tab has seven sub—tabs to choose from and you have the ability to
select the output in AUs, AUMs or Tons just as in the Graphs section. The reports
1. Total Balance
2. Production Summary
3. Grazed Forage Inventory
4. Grazed Forage Balance
5. Roughage Summary
6. Roughage Balance
7. Herds Summary
The Production Summary, roughage summary and Herds Summary are spreadsheets
by month of the resources on the ranch that are printable and savable. The
Production Summary is a spreadsheet calculated from data input of the grazable
forage on the client’s ranch. The roughage summary is a spreadsheet of the
roughage table that was compiled in client inventory section. The Herds Summary is
a spread sheet identifying the herds that are grazing on the ranch broken down by
each herd and animal class within the herd.
The remaining reports add have the calculations of the forage/roughage supply and
the animal demands reported by month. The Total Balance report is a spreadsheet
depicting the entire supplies and demands throughout the year. The Grazed Forage
Balance and the Roughage Balance are spreadsheet that single out each supply and
demand. The Grazed Forage Inventory, as shown in the picture below, breaks down
the ranch by management unit or fields.
Within each management unit is the response unit and ecological site or forage
suitability group associated with it. These were calculated in the Forage section
when you calculated the response units. For each of the new response units the
acres, yield, Adjustment factor, Stocking Rate, Potential AUM, and Available AUM are
shown and a subtotal for each management unit are depicted. The potential AUMs
are what the site could actually produce when everything is as good as could be and
the adjustment factor is 100%. The available AUMs are what is actually being
consumed according to the adjustment factor that has been assigned to that
particular area. Hence your concentrated planning efforts will take effect in these
Note: Reports can be saved in a number of formats; one of the most useful is the
single or multi sheet MS Excel format. You can save a report to Excel and then
create your own custom reports, add graphs, text, etc. to meet the needs of the
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 32
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 33
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 34
Chapter 5.2 - Graphs
The graphs tabs are set up with several sub—tabs to allow you to get the information
that you desire for a client. Under the Graph tab there are 6 different categories to
choose from. These are:
1. Forage Balance
2. Forage Supply and Demand
3. Roughage Supply and Demand
4. Total Forage and Roughage Accumulated
5. Total Forage Accumulated
6. Total Roughage Accumulated
You have the option of selecting whether you want a line or a bar graph, and you can
select the output units in AUs, AUMs, or Tons. This is strictly a user’s or client’s
preference. Each graph can be printed to add to the client’s plan by clicking the
Print button. You can save the graphs to the customers file by clicking the Save
button. A Save window will appear for user to navigate to the desired folder to store
this information. Saving in the Customer’s CST file in the GSAT folder will be
Note: you can change the appearance of graphs by right-clicking in the title area
and changing colors, fonts, sizes, and even the graph title.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 35
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 36
Chapter 6 - GSAT Work Flow Diagrams
6.1 - CST Planning Method
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 37
6.1 - CST Planning Method, continued
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 38
6.1 - CST Planning Method, continued
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 39
6.1 - CST Planning Method, continued
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 40
6.2 - GSAT Stand-Alone Planning Using GSAT
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 41
6.2 - GSAT Stand-Alone Planning Using GSAT
Mapping Tools, continued
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 42
6.2 - GSAT Stand-Alone Planning Using GSAT
Mapping Tools, continued
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 43
6.3 – GSAT Stand Alone Planning Using Direct
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 44
Appendix A - Customer Service Toolkit
Customer Service Toolkit (CST) is the planning software used for planning and
reporting purposes. GSAT has now been integrated with CST to allow field office
personnel the ability to import geospatial information built in ARC GIS as well as the
Follow the directions below to acquire a customer:
Note: When you start Toolkit, a message asking if you want to synchronize with the
NCPDB appears. click Yes.
1. Open CST. In the Check in/out screen as shown in Figure 1.0, select your
county from the drop down list. click Go.
2. The WEBCAAF warning screen will appear, click Continue.
3. Enter your WEBCAAF credentials.
4. The figure below shows the customers available for that county, select
5. Click the Check Out button to move the customer to the checked out folders
area on the right.
6. If you already have a customer checked out, go to the Folders tab and proceed
beginning with step 34, below.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 45
7. If you do not have customers in the National Conservation Planning Database or
you need to create a new customer then select File, from drop down list, select
8. The USDA Service Center Information Management System (SCIMS) screen will
appear as shown below.
9. Check the National Search block to broaden your search results.
10.You can select Location State and Service Center when you know there is a
client in the system.
11.Fill in the customers name in the Last or Business field.
12.Fill in the customer’s first name. Click the Search button.
13.A new screen will appear with a list of potential customers that you can choose
14.Go through the field and select the customer that is who you wish to work with.
Note: In the CST training database you will not affect any customer’s actual
data. The names are real but the data and plan you put together will not appear
anywhere but on your screen, to protect the innocent.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 46
15.If you do not find the customer you seek in the database, you can select anyone
for training purposes. If this is a real plan and the customer is not in the
database, you will need to contact your CST coordinator or SCIMS coordinator to
input your customer’s data in this database.
16.Double Click on the Green Customer’s Name
17.An Enter Customer Information for Customer’s Name will appear.
18.In this screen, when your county that you have permissions for is selected, the
Customer Root Folder should be populated for you.
19.Select the County that you will be using.
20.Enter a Business in the Company/Business field. Note: There can be no spaces
in this name.
21.Enter a name or number in the Identifier field. (no spaces)
22.Click OK. You have now created a customer file that can be checked out.
23.Go back to CST and check out your client.
24.If this is your first time in CST you may need to set GIS preferences.
25.Select File and from the drop down list choose preferences.
26.A Toolkit Preferences screen will appear as shown below.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 47
27.Select the GIS Tools tab at the top of the new window.
28.Check the Advanced button.
29.Check the All Planning Land Units button.
30.Click on the drop down menu for Default Map Projection. You will need to select
the NAD 1983 UTM Zone for your county. Contact your GIS personnel to get
this information if you do not know. If this is set wrong your GIS experience will
not be satisfactory.
32.You are now back in the CST main screen.
33.Click on the Folders tab at the top of the screen.
34.This shows the folders that you have checked out. Select the customer you wish
to work with and double click left mouse button or click the open folder icon on
35.You are now in the customers plan folder.
36.To begin building your plan map click on the Customer File tab at the top.
37.On the left side of the screen. Click on the ArcGIS_Projects folder.
38.If a plan already exists, then select the plan name.mxd and double click left
mouse button. If no plan exists, then select the ToolkitGIS_Template.mxd.
39.This will take you into ArcMap Mapping program to begin adding data and
digitizing the customer’s land units.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 48
Appendix B - ARC GIS Mapping
1. The map document opens with no data added. Click the Add Data button.
2. Choose the folder where the Geodata is stored (C:\geodata or F:\geodata). Click
Add. If the folder where your geodata is stored is not displayed in the window,
click the Connect To Folder button and navigate to the correct location where
the geodata is stored
3. Click on the ortho imagery folder and click Add.
4. Click on the filename of the ortho image file to select it and click Add.
5. Once the ortho image is added, use the zoom tool to zoom to the customers land.
6. The customer’s land is displayed on the screen. Create a new toolkit layer by
clicking the STAR tool to digitize the customer’s land units.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 49
1. The New Toolkit layer dialog box appears. Check the planned land unit’s
checkbox; click the checkbox to create a new plan database with a new land
unit layer. In the Layer Name field Consplan will be automatically filled in,
you may change this if you wish. Click OK.
2. A pop up window appears that asks you to Use features from a source layer?
3. The Land Unit Editor bar appears. This can be moved to a convenient location
if so desired.
4. Click the add field icon or polygon to begin digitizing the fields.
5. Digitize the outside boundary of the fields first. Click left mouse button once
to begin in a selected corner of the property.
6. Click the left mouse button at each directional change as you move around
the outside property boundary.
7. Continue clicking at each change in direction, double click at the last corner
when if forms a straight line to the beginning point.
8. The outside boundary is now digitized. Next, split the field into individual
9. Click the Select Field button, click anywhere within the digitized outside
boundary and it will change color (light blue) signifying that it is selected.
10.The Split Field button becomes active, Click it.
11.Click once outside the boundary where your management unit will begin, click
at any change in direction for the line and double click outside the boundary
when the management unit is complete.
12.The field is now split and you will have two management units.
13.The next field to be split must be selected. Click the Select Field button.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 50
14.Once field changes color, repeat split field steps.
15.Continue to select and split fields to create all fields or management units
needed for the plan.
16.After all units are created, select the editor drop down list in the Land Unit
Editor toolbar. Click Stop Editing.
17.Click Yes in the dialog box to save the edits.
18.Close the Land Unit Editor Toolbar.
19.To add Land Unit Attributes after all management units are digitized, the
Attribute Tool. Each management unit should have data recorded for them
including field number, tract number, land use etc.
20.In the dialog box, select the consplan layer to attribute, click OK.
21.The attribute Tool opens. Click within a field to attribute. The selected field is
shaded blue. Enter the tract number and field number, enter the NRCS land
use and Local land use if they have been entered for the county.
22.Click Apply to save the data for the first field. Then click in the next field to
select it. Fill in the data for each field and click Apply. When the last field is
attributed click OK and this will close the attribute tool screen.
23.The fields now have data tied to them that will be exported in the xml file to
24.Now add soils inventory to your planned land units.
25.Soils are stored in the Geodata database on your computer or server just as
ortho_imagery was. Follow steps 1-5 above to add soils data layer to your
26.Check the box next to soils to turn layer on.
27.The soils layer appears. If you like you can make the soils appear with
multiple colors or as hollow polygon lines.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 51
28.Once the soils layer is active, you can now clip soils to your planned land
29.Create as soils inventory for the customer by clicking the Soils Map and
Inventory Tool on the USDA Toolbar.
30.A pop up window appears for soils map and inventory. Choose the Land Units
Layer and the soils layer. Check the boxes for the Soils Inventory Report
display Options that you desire and Click OK.
31.A Soils inventory report is created. The file is automatically saved in
customer’s folder. Close file when you are ready to continue.
32.A new layer is created with only the customer’s soils. At this point you can
un-check the box to display the county soils layer.
33.To change the soil symbols right click on the soil map layer, and then click
34.The layer properties window opens, click on the Symbology tab.
35.Under the show window click on Categories.
36.Click on Unique Values and change the Value Field to MUNAME or MUSYM.
37.Click the Add All Values button.
38.All the soils are added.
39.To Create an Ecological Site Layer Click on Soil Data Viewer button.
40.Select soil map layer window appears. Select the soil map layer created for
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 52
41.Soil Data Viewer window appears. Under the Available Folders window, click
the + sign by the Ecological Site Folder and then select Ecological Site Name.
42.Select the Report Options tab at the top right side of the window.
43.Notice all the soils in the unit are listed and highlighted.
44.Click the Generate Map button in the lower middle right part of the screen.
45.This creates an Ecological Site map Layer. You can change the symbols here
46.Note: You can get production reports from the soil data viewer as well as
other reports that are listed in the left side attribute folders list.
47. For this layer to be used in GSAT, you must first convert it to a shape file.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 53
48.Right click on Ecological Site Name Layer, scroll down and select Data, go
over and select Export Data. Note: This menu option will only be visible if
you have checked the Advanced features button in Toolkit Preferences.
49.An Export Data Window appears. Click the Browse Folder button and
choose where the data should go and rename it to something that will be
useful and memorable so you can find it again and you will know what
information it contains.
50. Click Save then OK. A screen will appear showing export progress. When
this is complete a new screen will appear asking if you would like to add this
export as a layer. Click Yes.
51. With the new shapefile loaded you can change the symbology to polygon
lines (no fill). Also look at the Attributes table and the map and see if there
are polygons that have the same productivity.
52.With the Editor open, you can use the M button to merge rows in the
Attributes table or polygons on the map to reduce the number of
polygons/rows. Note: The fewest number of polygons/rows is desirable for
importing into GSAT – each row will need to be attributed; excess duplication
will waste valuable time.
53. Save your edits and stop the editor.
54. The basic inventories needed for GSAT are now complete in ArcMap.
55.Save the customer’s ArcMap plan.
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56.Go back to CST by clicking the link at the bottom of the computer screen.
57. At the top of the CST screen click on Tools.
58.Select Export Customer Data
59. An Export window will appear showing progress. Click on Close when
60.Click on Tools once again.
61.Select GSAT from drop down menu.
This will take you directly to the GSAT program to begin forage animal balance
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 55
Accessibility The ease with which an area can be reached by people or penetrated
and grazed by animals. The ease with which herbivores can reach plants or plant
Adjustment Change in animal numbers, seasons of use, kinds or classes of animals,
or management practices as warranted by specific conditions.
Adjustment factor A value used to adjust the recommended stocking rate for
landscape attributes that limit capture of forage, such as distance to water, slope,
barriers, terrain, or site preference.
Aftermath Crop residue and/or regrowth of forage crops, including growth of
volunteer plants, used for grazing after a machine harvest.
Air-dry weight The weight of a substance, usually vegetation, after it has been
allowed to dry to equilibrium with the atmosphere, usually without artificial heat.
Allowable use (1) The degree of utilization considered desirable and attainable on
various parts of a ranch or allotment considering the present nature and condition of
the resource, management objectives, and levels of management. (2) The amount of
forage planned to be used to accelerate range improvement.
Animal class Age and/or sex groups of a kind of animal (e.g., cow, bull, calf,
weaner steer, weaner heifer, yearling steer, yearling heifer, 2-year old heifer, 3-year
old heifer, ox).
Animal kind The common name of a kind or species of animal (e.g., cattle, sheep,
goat, horse, white-tailed deer).
Animal-month A month's tenure upon grazing land by one animal. Must specify
kind and class of animal. Not synonymous with animal-unit month.
Animal-unit An animal unit (AU) is one mature cow of approximately 1,000 pounds
and a calf up to weaning, usually 6 months of age, or their equivalent.
Animal-unit-day The amount of forage required by an animal unit for 1 day. The
NRCS uses 30 pounds of air dry forage or 26 pounds of oven dried forage per day as
the amount of feed needed to meet this requirement. The pounds of feed needed to
meet an animal's daily requirement is usually calculated by taking 2.5 to 3 percent of
the animal's body weight.
Animal-unit-equivalent The amount of forage consumed by the different kind and
class of animals expressed as a portion of an animal unit.
Animal-unit-month The amount of forage required by an animal unit for 1 month.
Air-dry: 30 lbs/day or 912.5 lbs/month
Oven-dry: 26 lbs/day or 790.8 lbs/month
Animal-unit-year The amount of forage required by an animal unit for 1 year,
equal to 12 AUMs.
Air-dry: 30 lbs/day or 10,950 lbs/year
Oven-dry: 26 lbs/day or 9,490 lbs/year
Aspect The predominant direction of slope of the land.
AU Abbr. for Animal-unit. (Usually no periods)
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 56
AUM Abbr. for Animal-unit-month. (Usually no periods)
AUY Abbr. for animal-unit-year. (Usually no periods)
Available forage (Animal oriented.) That portion of the forage production that is
accessible for use by a specified kind or class of grazing animal. (Plant and animal
oriented.) It is the consumable forage stated in digestible dry matter per land unit
area that can be removed by grazing livestock without damage to the forage plants.
See Usable forage; same except stated as dry matter per land unit area.
Balanced operation (1) A livestock enterprise that provides sufficient feed and
forage resources during each season to promote continuous satisfactory maintenance
and production of its livestock and game. (2) An operation that integrates the kinds,
classes, and numbers of animals (livestock or wildlife) to effectively use available
forage resources to maintain continuous, sustainable production. (3) An operation
that integrates various livestock, wildlife, and recreational enterprises which most
effectively uses available forages and other range resources to maintain continuous,
Bench mark (1) A permanent reference point. (2) In range inventory, it is used as a
point where changes in vegetation through time are measured. (3) In soils, it is used
to designate a major soil series that is representative of similar soils. (4) In
economics, data that are used as a base for comparative purposes with similar data.
(5) A surveyor's mark made on a permanent landmark that has known position and
Carrying capacity The maximum stocking rate possible without inducing permanent
or long-term damage to vegetation or related resources. The rate may vary from
year to year in the same area as a result of fluctuating forage production.
Class of animal Description of age and/or sex-group for a particular kind of animal;
e.g., cow, calf, yearling, ewe, doe, or fawn.
Complementary pasture Short-term forage crop or perennial pasture used for
special purposes, to extend grazing seasons, or to enhance productivity of the ranch.
Deferment Delay of livestock grazing in an area for an adequate period to provide
for plant reproduction, establishment of new plants, or restoration of vigor of existing
plants. See Deferred grazing and Rest.
Deferred grazing Postponing grazing or resting an area for a prescribed period,
usually to meet a specific management objective.
Deferred-rotation Any grazing system, that provides for a systematic rotation of
the deferment among pastures. The time of the rest period generally changes in
Degree of use The proportion of current year's forage production that is consumed
and/or destroyed by grazing animals. May refer either to a single species or to the
vegetation as a whole. Syn. Use.
Drouth (drought) plan The livestock operator's contingency plan to make
necessary adjustments during unfavorable years of low forage production.
Ecological site A distinctive kind of land with specific physical characteristics that
differs from other kinds of land in its ability to produce a distinctive kind and amount
Forage (n) All browse and herbage that is available and acceptable to grazing
animals, or that may be harvested for feeding purposes. (v) Act of consuming
forage. Syn. graze.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 57
Forage allocation The planning process or act of apportioning available forage
among various kinds of animals; e.g., elk and cattle.
Forage allowance Weight of forage per unit of animal demand at any instant of
time. It is the inverse of grazing pressure and synonymous with herbage allowance.
Forage inventory An estimate of available forage in each pasture and for the
operating unit as a whole; used to project stocking rates and feed requirements for
specific time periods (i.e., annually, grazing season, rotation cycle)
Forage production The weight of forage that is produced within a designated
period in a given area. The weight may be expressed as either green, air-dry, or
oven-dry. The term may also be modified as to time of production, such as annual,
current year's, or seasonal forage production.
Forage reserve Standing forage specifically maintained for future or emergency
Forage suitability groups Soils with similar species adaptation, production
potential, and management needs. A planning tool for species selection, practice
selection, management options, forage production levels, and recommended initial
Forage utilization The percentage of available forage actually consumed by the
grazing animal based on net forage accumulation that occurs prior to and while they
occupy the pasture unit.
Geographic Information System A spatial type of information management
system that provides for the (GIS) entry, storage, manipulation, retrieval, and
display of spatially oriented data.
Graze (1) (vi) The consumption of standing forage by livestock or wildlife. (2) (vt)
To put livestock to feed on standing forage.
Grazeable forest land Land capable of sustaining livestock grazing by producing
forage of sufficient quantity during one or more stages of secondary forest
Grazed rangeland Rangeland that is used primarily for the production of livestock.
Grazed rangelands include native plant communities and those seeded to native or
introduced species, or naturalized by introduced species, that are ecologically
managed using range management principles.
Grazing capacity The total number of animals that may be sustained in a given
area based on total forage resources available, including harvested roughages and
concentrates. See Carrying capacity.
Grazing distribution Dispersion of livestock grazing within a management unit or
Grazing land (1) Collective term used by NRCS for rangeland, pastureland, grazed
forest land, native and naturalized pasture, hayland, and grazed cropland. Although
grazing is generally a predominate use, the term is used independent of any use. (2)
Land used primarily for production of forage plants maintained or manipulated
primarily through grazing management. Includes all lands having plants harvestable
by grazing without reference to land tenure, other land uses, management, or
Grazing management The manipulation of grazing and browsing animals to
accomplish a desired result.
Grazing management plan A program of action designed to secure the best
practicable use of the forage resources by manipulation of the grazing animal.
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 58
Grazing period The length of time that animals are allowed to graze on a specific
Grazing pressure (1) Animal-demand per unit weight of forage at any instant; i.e.,
AU/T; an animal/forage relationship. (2) The relationship between the amount of
forage utilized by grazing animals on a given area.
Grazing season (1) The time interval when animals are allowed to use a certain
area. (2) On public lands, an established period for which grazing permits are issued.
May be established on private land in a grazing management plan
Grazing system A specialization of grazing management that defines systematically
recurring periods of grazing and deferment for two or more pastures or management
units. Descriptive common names, such as Merrill, Hormay, or South African
switchback, may be used. However, the first usage of a grazing system name in a
publication should be followed by a description using a standard format. This format
shall consist of a numerical description in the following prescribed order: the number
of pastures (or units), number of herds, length of grazing periods, length of
deferment periods for any given unit in the system followed by an abbreviation of the
unit of time used. Examples:
• Merrill system (4-3;12: 4 mo.) is a grazing system with 4 pastures, 3 herds of
livestock, a 12-month grazing period, and a 4-month deferment period.
• South African switchback (2-1;3:3,6:3,3:6 mo.) is a grazing system with 2
pastures, 1 herd, and a grazing schedule of 3 months grazing, 3 months deferment,
6 months grazing, 3 months deferment, 3 months grazing, 6 months deferment.
• High intensity, low frequency (HILF) (14-1; 12:156 da.) A grazing system
consisting of 14 pastures, 1 herd, a 12-day grazing period, and a 156-day deferment
period for each pasture.
Growing season That portion of the year when temperature and moisture permit
Harvest Removal of animal or vegetation products from an area of land.
Harvest efficiency The total percent of vegetation harvested by a machine or
ingested by a grazing animal compared to the total amount of vegetation grown in
the area in a given year. For continuous grazing, harvest efficiency usually averages:
Rangeland 25-30 percent
Pastureland 30-45 percent
Grazed cropland 10-35 percent
Machine harvest 70-80 percent
Harvest interval The length of time that occurs between forage cuttings.
Hay The herbage of grasses, legumes, or comparatively fine-stemmed forbs cut and
cured (dried) to preserve forage for later use as livestock feed.
Hay crop Forage crops traditionally harvested for dry hay that can also be ensiled.
Heifer A female of the cattle species less than 3 years of age that has not borne a
Herd An assemblage of animals usually of the same species.
Improved pasture Grazing land permanently producing introduced or domesticated
native forage species that receives varying degrees of periodic cultural treatment to
enhance forage quality and yields and is primarily harvested by grazing animals.
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Initial stocking rate A safe starting stocking rate assumed to ensure against
excessive grazing utilization. It is intended as a guide until experienced yields can be
determined and realistic stocking rates established for a given area.
Kind of animal An animal species or species group, such as sheep, cattle, goats,
deer, horses, elk, antelope.
Land use class The classification of land based on the primary use and associated
management practices (i.e., rangeland, pastureland, hayland, native pastureland).
Livestock Domestic animals used for the production of goods and services.
Livestock exclusion Land closed to grazing by domestic livestock.
Management unit In GSAT this is synonymous with pasture or field number.
Nonuse (1) Absence of grazing use on current year's forage production. (2) Lack of
exercise, temporarily, of a grazing privilege on grazing lands. (3) An authorization to
temporarily refrain from placing livestock on public ranges without loss of preference
for future consideration.
Oven-dry weight The weight of a substance after it has been dried in an oven at 60
degrees for 48 hours.
Overstocking Placing a number of animals in a given area that will result in overuse
if continued to the end of the planned grazing period
Overuse Utilizing an excessive amount of the current year's plant growth which, if
continued, will result in deterioration.
Paddock (1) One of the subdivisions or subunits of the entire pasture unit. (2) A
relatively small enclosure used as an exercise and saddling area for horses, generally
adjacent to stalls or a stable. Syn. pasture.
Pasture (1) Grazing lands comprised of introduced or domesticated native forage
species that are used primarily for the production of livestock. They receive periodic
renovation and/or cultural treatments such as tillage, fertilization, mowing, weed
control, and may be irrigated. They are not in rotation with crops. (2) A grazing area
enclosed and separated from other areas by fencing or other barriers; the
management unit for grazing land. (3) Forage plants used as food for grazing
animals. (4) Any area devoted to the production of forage, native or introduced, and
harvested by grazing.
Pasture budget A plan developed to allocate forage to one or more groups of
livestock over the grazing season. It is used to identify shortfalls and excesses in
forage production, and to evaluate alternatives to either meet or reduce forage
demand. It indicates when and how much excess forage to harvest and conserve.
Pastureland See Pasture.
Percent use Grazing use of current growth, usually expressed as a percent of the
current growth (by weight) that has been removed. See Degree of use.
Permanent water A watering place that supplies water at all times throughout the
year or grazing season.
Planned grazing system A system in which two or more grazing units are rested
and grazed in a planned sequence over a period. Planned grazing systems are
designed and applied to meet the needs of the vegetation, the animals, and the
overall objectives of the operator.
Plant growth curve The percent growth occurring on a specific location expressed
as a monthly percent of the total yearly production. GSAT uses growth curves to
project daily, monthly, and yearly production on various vegetative areas. Growth
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 60
curves reflect differences in ecological condition, composition of warm-season and
cool-season annuals, herbaceous species, and level of woody plant components.
Premature grazing Grazing before range readiness; may be allowable if done
infrequently and followed by adequate rest.
Prescribed grazing The controlled harvest of vegetation with grazing or browsing
animals, managed with the intent to achieve a specified objective
Productivity The rate of production per unit area, usually expressed in terms of
Proper grazing use Grazing at an intensity that will maintain enough cover to
protect the soil and maintain or improve the quantity and quality of desirable
Proper harvest efficiency The level of harvest efficiency that meets management
objectives for range improvement, sustained current levels of production, and short
Proper stocking Placing a number of animals in a given area that will result in
proper use at the end of the planned grazing period.
Proper use A degree of utilization of current year's growth that, if continued, will
achieve management objectives and maintain or improve the long-term productivity
of the site. Proper use varies with time and systems of grazing.
Proper woodland grazing Grazing wooded areas at an intensity that will maintain
adequate cover for soil protection and maintain or improve the quantity and quality
of trees and forage vegetation.
Range Rangelands, native and naturalized pasture, forest and woodlands, and
riparian areas that support an understory or periodic cover of herbaceous or shrubby
vegetation useful for grazing or browsing by wildlife and/or livestock and that are
amenable to range management principles or practices.
Rangeland Land on which the historic climax plant community is predominantly
grasses, grasslike plants, forbs, or shrubs. Includes lands revegetated naturally or
artificially when routine management of that vegetation is accomplished mainly
through manipulation of grazing. Rangelands include natural grasslands, savannas,
shrublands, most deserts, tundra, alpine communities, coastal marshes, and wet
Rangeland ecological site A distinctive kind of land with specific physical
characteristics which differs from other kinds of land in its ability to produce a
distinctive kind and amount of vegetation.
Rangeland inventory (1) The systematic acquisition and analysis of resource
information needed for planning and for management of rangeland. (2) The
information acquired through rangeland inventory.
Range management The art and science of manipulating, using, and conserving
native grazing land resources to benefit society.
Range plan Syn. management plan.
Range readiness The defined stage of plant growth at which grazing may begin
under a specific management plan without permanent damage to vegetation or soil.
Usually applied to seasonal range.
Range suitability The adaptability of a range to grazing by livestock and/or game
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 61
Re-entry interval Time span that must pass after application of a pesticide before it
is safe to enter the treated area. It applies to people and livestock.
Recovery period The length of time occurring between grazing periods on
rotationally stocked pastures. Synonymous with rest period that is animal oriented
terminology. Although relieved of grazing pressure, the forages are recovering their
photosynthetic area early on, and near the end of the recovery period they are
replenishing food reserves and resuming root growth.
Related resources Those resources that bear relationship to one another because
of common location and interdependency, such as range, game, recreation,
watershed, soil, or timber.
Residual stubble (grazing) height The height of the forage stand after being
grazed, whether intermittently or continuously. When grazed continuously,
monitoring must be done regularly as it means at any moment in time under that
Response unit A relatively homogeneous area within a management unit in GSAT.
Response units are defined by soils, range sites, range condition, slope classes,
distance to water, barriers, brush densities, past practices resulting in different plant
communities, and/or suitability groups.
Rest The absence of grazing by livestock to benefit plants for regrowth between
grazing periods, for critical periods of plant growth and development, or for critical
periods of plant establishment. Syn. deferment.
Rest period A period of deferment included as part of a grazing system.
Restricted area An area on which grazing tenure is limited.
Rest-rotation See Grazing system.
Rotation grazing A type of grazing system and involves moving grazing animals
from one pasture to another to achieve a desired management objective.
Roughage Plant materials containing a low proportion of nutrients per unit of
weight. Generally bulky and coarse, high in fiber, and low in total digestible
nutrients. Roughage may be classed as either dry or green.
Seasonal distribution (1) The progressive grazing in a sequence of moves from
one part of a range to another as vegetation develops. (2) The normal occurrence of
precipitation at different periods of the year.
Seasonal distribution of growth The tabular or graphical display of monthly
increments of total annual or availability forage production available for grazing. It
may record growing forage production throughout its growing season or the
deferment and release later in the year of accumulated grazeable forage mass to
Seasonal grazing Grazing restricted to a specific season.
Seasonal use (1) Synonymous with seasonal grazing. (2) Seasonal preference of
certain plant species by animals.
Seasonal zone An area of rangeland that livestock and wildlife prefer at certain
Selective grazing The grazing of certain plant species, individual plants, or plant
parts on rangeland to the exclusion of others.
Short-duration grazing A grazing system with five or more pastures where the
rest period is usually at least four times greater than the grazing period. See Grazing
GSAT Basic User’s Guide page 62
Slope A slant or incline of the land surface measured in degrees from the horizontal,
or in percent (defined as the number of feet or meters change in elevation per 100 of
the same units of horizontal distance); may be further characterized by direction
Soil (1) The unconsolidated mineral and organic material on the immediate surface
of the earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants. (2) The
unconsolidated mineral matter on the surface of the earth that has been subjected to
and influenced by genetic and environmental factors of parent material, climate
(including moisture and temperature effects), macro- and micro-organisms, and
topography, all acting over a period of time, producing soil, which differs from the
material from which it was derived in many physical, chemical, biological, and
morphological properties and characteristics.
Soil map unit A map unit is a collection of soil areas or miscellaneous areas
delineated in a soil survey. They may encompass one or more kinds of soil or one or
more kinds of soil and a miscellaneous area, such as rock outcrop. They are
identified by a unique map symbol in a survey area. There are four kinds of map
units; consociations, complexes, associations, and undifferentiated groups.
Soil map unit components The components of a map unit are: (1) The named
soil(s) or miscellaneous areas that are dominant and co-dominant in extent. (2)
Similar soils or miscellaneous areas that may be extensive, but not as extensive as
the named components. (3) Dissimilar soils or miscellaneous areas that are minor in
extent. Soil map unit components are rated and assigned to forage suitability
Spot grazing Repeated grazing of small areas while adjacent areas are less
Spring Flowing water originating from an underground source.
Spring development Improving spring and seeps by excavating, cleaning, capping,
or providing collection and storage facilities.
Spring-fall range Rangeland that is grazed primarily during the spring and fall.
Stable The condition of little or no perceived change in plant communities that are in
relative equilibrium with existing environmental conditions; describes persistent, but
not necessarily culminating stages (climax) in plant succession. Implies a high
degree of resilience to minor perturbations.
Stage of maturity (forage) The developmental status of a forage crop used to
describe a point in time in its progress towards maturity and assess its readiness for
harvest as an edible forage or for its seed.
Standing crop The amount of forage available to a target grazing animal at a given
Stocking The human placement of animals onto a management unit so they can
graze or browse the plant resource. The term grazing is often erroneously used in
place of stocking. Cattle have only one grazing method, while people have devised
several stocking methods. Some stocking methods actually prevent livestock from
grazing certain areas for a time.
Stocking density The relationship between number of animals and area of land at
any instant of time. It may be expressed as animal-units per acre, animal-units per
section, or AU/ha.
Stocking plan The number and kind of livestock assigned to one or more given
management areas or units for a specified period.
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Stocking rate The number of specific kinds and classes of animals grazing or
utilizing a unit of land for a specific period of time. May be expressed as animals per
acre, hectare, or section, or the reciprocal (area of land/animal). When dual use is
practiced (e.g., cattle and sheep), stocking rate is often expressed as animal units
per unit of land or the reciprocal.
Stockpiling Allowing standing forage to accumulate for grazing at a later period,
often for fall and winter grazing after dormancy.
Stock water development Development of a new or improved source of stock
water supply, such as well, spring, or pond, together with storage and delivery
Strip grazing Confining grazing animals to a specified portion of a grazing area for a
limited time. Strip grazing usually refers to temporarily subdividing a grazing area
into subunits with temporary fences so grazing for short periods, often 4 hours or
less, can be achieved.
Stubble The basal portion of herbaceous plants remaining after the top portion has
been harvested either mechanically or by grazing animals.
Suitability (1) The adaptability of an area to grazing by livestock or wildlife. (2) The
adaptability of a particular plant or animal species to a given area.
Suitable range (1) Rangeland accessible to a specific kind of animal and which can
be grazed on a sustained yield basis without damage to the resource. (2) The limits
of adaptability of plant or animal species.
Summer range Rangeland, particularly in the mountainous Western States, that is
grazed primarily during the summer growing season.
Supplemental cropland pasture An annual forage crop planted between two
primary cultivated crops to provide supplemental grazing of enhanced nutritive
quality during periods of low production and/or forage quality on other pastures or
Sustained yield Production of specified resources or commodities at a given rate for
a designated unit of time.
Tame pasture Implies the forages growing on the land unit have been purposely
cultivated by people as opposed to being wild growth of random origin. In permanent
pastures it is often a combination of the two mechanisms and, therefore, a rather
subjective and imprecise term. Synonymous with improved pasture.
Tank A reservoir of any construction for water storage.
Total annual production The total annual production of all plant species of a plant
Turnout Act of turning livestock out on rangeland at the beginning of the grazing
Under grazing The act of continued underuse.
Under stocking Placing a number of animals in a given area that will result in
underuse at the end of the planned grazing period.
Understory Plants growing beneath the canopy of other plants. Usually refers to
grasses, forbs, and low shrubs under a tree or shrub canopy.
Underuse A degree of use less than the desired use.
Undesirable species (1) Species that are not readily eaten by animals.
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Ungulate A hoofed animal, including ruminants, but also horses, tapirs, elephants,
rhinoceroses, and swine.
Unsuitable range Range that has no potential value for, or which should not be
used for, a specific use because of permanent physical or biological restrictions.
When unsuitable range is identified, the identification must specify what use or uses
are unsuitable (e.g., unsuitable cattle range).
Usable forage The portion of the standing forage crop that can be grazed off
without damage to the forage plants. It varies by plant species, season of use, and
companion plant species that need favoring to promote their continued existence in
the stand. The pasture management section refers to it also as available forage.
Use (1) The proportion of current year's forage production that is consumed or
destroyed by grazing animals. May refer either to a single species or to the
vegetation as a whole. Syn., degree of use. (2) Utilization of land for a purpose, such
as grazing, bedding, shelter, trailing, watering, watershed, recreation, forestry, and
Utilization Syn., use.
Variable rotational stocking A stocking method that adjusts the recovery period
between grazing periods to the variable growth rate of the forage species being
grazed. It attempts to offer a uniform forage allowance to livestock each day of the
grazing season through the allocation of forage by sequential grazing of paddocks.
Variable stocking The practice of varying the stocking rate through the plant
growing season with the objective of utilizing forage at a rate similar to its growth
rate. This can be done by either varying the number of animals on a set acreage or
varying the acreage offered to a set number of animals.
Water gap (1) A specially constructed fence across a drainage. The fence is easily
moved by the forces of a flood, thus preventing damage to the permanent fence. (2)
An opening or fenced area providing access to a developed or natural water supply
permitting one watering facility to serve two or more pastures.
Wildlife Undomesticated vertebrate animals considered collectively, with the
exception of fish.
Winter range Range that is grazed during the winter months.
Yearling An animal approximately 1 year of age. A short yearling is from 9 to 12
months of age and a long yearling is from 12 to 18 months.
Yearlong grazing Continuous grazing for a calendar year.
Yearlong range Rangeland that is, or can be, grazed yearlong.
Yield (1) The quantity of a product in a given space and/or time. (2) The harvested
portion of a product.
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