Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Branch Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2002
Publication Date: January 1, 2002
Papers presented in this symposium on integrating research in ranch management systems detailed a comprehensive approach for analyzing the environmental, ecological, production and economic consequences of different livestock management scenarios in managed grasslands. Although certain aspects of our multidisciplinary project apply specifically to concerns in the south Florida region, many of these same concerns exist throughout the southeastern United States and other regions where managed grasslands are a viable alternative to other land uses. Future directions for integrated research in grass-based livestock production systems should continue to examine how managed grasslands can simultaneously support economically viable livestock production, conserve and restore biodiversity, and provide ecosystem services. This research should contribute to a wider appreciation of the potential multiple benefits of grazing land in agricultural landscapes. Such research should consider various dimensions of developing or maintaining grazing land in the context of other production alternatives, increasing development pressure, conservation goals, and changing social and economic values. The ultimate goal of such programs will be to develop efficient management systems that use grasslands and rangelands to enhance or maintain water quality, conserve soil resources, benefit wildlife populations, and increase landscape diversity, while maintaining livestock health and nutrition and contributing to economic viability of producers.