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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Agricultural Land Management to Optimize Productivity and Natural Resource Conservation at Farm and Watershed Scales

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

Title: Resilience and vulnerability of beef cattle production in the southern great plains


Submitted to: USDA Miscellaneous Publication 1343
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 2013
Publication Date: April 29, 2013
Citation: Steiner, J.L. 2013. Resilience and vulnerability of beef cattle production in the southern great plains [abstract]. 2013 Southern Great Plains Drought Outlook and Assessment Briefing, March 8, 2013, Goodwell, Oklahoma. Available:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.

Technical Abstract: Climate variability and periodic drought is a defining characteristic of the Southern Great Plains. Beef cattle production, based on a variety of crop, pasture, and native rangeland forages, is the most important economic commodity in this region and dominates the agricultural landscape. Press coverage of 2012 drought frequently harkened back to the 1930’s drought, and while drought in the cornbelt received the most coverage; beef cattle areas, pastures, and forages were extremely hard hit. The 2011/12 drought has raised the public awareness of climate variability and extreme patterns and may help foster engagement of researchers, producers, and other stakeholders to explore alternative and complementary forages and grazing management strategies. There is a need to also increase focus on responses to extreme and prolonged heat as well as drought, including heat-stress impacts on animal efficiencies. The impacts of drought in depleting stock water supply is also an area that researchers need to include in their agendas. Strategies for recovery from drought must gradual, because producers must rebuild from a condition of depleted soils, vegetation, herds, and capital.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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