RESEARCH STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE SMALL FARM EFFICIENCY WITH A SPECIAL FOCUS ON LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY PRODUCTION
Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center
2009 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To develop and use tools focused on the issues of small farmers with a focus on issues that impact animal health and farm production efficiency.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Cooperative research has lead to improved strategies to reduce stress and disease in livestock and poultry. However, novel approaches are needed to further optimize and quantify production efficiency of small farms. Novel foraging strategies and the use of natural compounds will be tested to reduce stress and eliminate parasites and pathogens in production systems. University partners will assess the economic impact of new methods thereby providing small producers with tools to determine the feasability of incorporating research findings into production practices. Both undergraduate and graduate students will work with both parties to achieve project goals.
To optimize risk management of small farmers involved in biofuel forage production, in situ studies have been completed. Four ruminally cannulated steers were used to determine ruminal in situ disappearance kinetics of dry matter and neutral detergent fiber of "Hampton" Big Bluestem and Miscanthus giganteus harvested on three dates (4 June, 8 July, and 31 July 2009) in west-central Arkansas. The nutritive values of these forages will be evaluated. Currently, samples are being analyzed in collaboration with the ARS location in Marshfield, WI. An undergraduate from Morehead State University and University of Arkansas graduate student were involved in this research.
The ADODR communicated through monthly e-mails and phone conversations.