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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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ARRA - Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El Reno, Oklahoma

Contractor Information


Related Links

Link to ARS Recovery Act Info.


Link to USDA Recovery Act Info.


Link to White House's Recovery.gov site.
Recovery.gov


Photo: An ARS ecologist collects samples
An ARS ecologist collects samples to determine the availability and quality of forage in an experimental pasture.

Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El Reno, Oklahoma

  • Scope of work under Recovery Act

Amount: Less than $130,000

Repair of critical deferred maintenance including replacing HVAC system and components in the campus west laboratory facility.

Milestones - To be updated as milestones are completed.

Construction Photos


Research at the Grazinglands Research Laboratory

Between 6 and 9 million stocker calves pass through the southern Great Plains annually. Wheat-based stocker calf production is a very large proportion of that production. There are 6 to 7 million acres of wheat in OK alone. About 50 to 80 percent of those Oklahoma acres are grazed by 2 million stocker calves annually, with an economic value approaching $1 billion.

Scientists at the Grazinglands Research Laboratory develop better ways to raise beef including ways to make better management decisions that take into account economic and environmental risks. They integrate all facets of production for the southern Great Plains including tradeoffs and integrated crop, forage, and livestock systems under variable climate, energy and market conditions. By making farming and beef production more sustainable and economical, it helps keep beef available and affordable for consumers and keeps farming viable in the southern Great Plains

Among the improved management strategies the lab has developed is a “grain-on-grass” system, which uses more time in the pasture and feeds less grain. This reduces costs for producers and supplies high-quality beef products for consumers.

The lab also works to reduce the impact of beef production on the environment, especially the impact on water and soil resources. The lab quantifies impacts on watersheds and develops risk-based climate information in support of conservation efforts, watershed management, and environmental stewardship. This includes quantifying interactive effects of land use, management, and variable climate on soil compaction, infiltration, sediment and nutrient movement, surface water supplies, ground water recharge and return flows.

Research units:

Forage and Livestock Production Research Unit

Develop a knowledge base and guidelines for sustainable grazing-based livestock production systems which are based on a near-continuous supply of diverse, high-quality forages and to integrate forages into sustainable biomass and multi-purpose crop production systems.

Between 6 and 9 million stocker calves pass through the southern Great Plains annually. Wheat-based stocker calf production is a very large proportion of that production. There are 6 to 7 million acres of wheat in OK alone. About 50 to 80 percent of those Oklahoma acres are grazed by 2 million stocker calves annually, with an economic value approaching $1 billion.

Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

  • Quantify interactive effects of land use, agricultural management, climate, and the water cycle on agricultural and hydrologic systems; and to develop planning tools to evaluate and manage environmental and economic risks under variable climate, energy, and market conditions.
  • Quantify environmental impacts of conservation practices in Oklahoma watersheds, in collaboration with the nation-wide Conservation Effects Assessment Project.
  • Evaluate and adapt seasonal climate forecasts and develop risk-based decision support tools for agricultural and natural resource management.
  • Identify multi-year climate variations, quantify their impacts on watershed hydrology, and develop risk-based climate information in support of agricultural decision making, conservation efforts, watershed management, and environmental stewardship.
  • Quantify interactive effects of land use, management, and variable climate on soil compaction, infiltration, sediment and nutrient movement, surface water supplies, ground water recharge and return flows.
  • Integrate remote sensing estimates with other data to monitor and predict root zone soil water content at regional scales.
  • In collaboration with the Forage & Livestock Production Research Unit, develop a remote sensing technology for rapid determination of forage quality in the field



Project Photographs Before Construction

Repairs to be done in El Reno Repairs in El Reno
Repairs needed in El Reno Repairs in El Reno

Project Photographs During Construction



Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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