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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FORAGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR SMALL-SCALE RUMINANT PRODUCTION IN THE APPALACHIAN REGION Title: Terminology Revisited: Effective Communications for the Agricultural Community

Authors
item Turner, Kenneth
item Belesky, David

Submitted to: Journal of Extension
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 28, 2009
Publication Date: April 28, 2010
Repository URL: http://www.joe.org/joe/2010april/a5.php
Citation: Turner, K.E., Belesky, D.P. 2010. Terminology Revisited: Effective Communications for the Agricultural Community. Journal of Extension. 48(2):Article Number 2FEA5.

Interpretive Summary: Pasture-based finishing systems for meat goats, sheep and cattle are growing rapidly in the eastern USA, particularly on small farms. Increasing demand for pasture-raised meat and dairy products requires renewed efforts to communicate the best practical information as effectively as possible. Many producers are new-comers to livestock and pasture management. Learning and understanding new terminology to communicate with advisory personnel and experienced grasslanders is essential. Much effort in the early 1990s was dedicated by various groups to foster communication by defining and encouraging the use of common terminology in agricultural research and extension efforts. We emphasize the need for a renewed use of a consistent and unified terminology, and consider some common soil-forage-livestock terms to help improve our dialogue concerning grazing management on pasturelands. The information is useful to producers, educators and researchers involved in production and management of soil, forages and livestock. It will benefit forage-livestock production in the US by encouraging the communication of the best practical information as effectively as possible for soils, plants, and livestock in pasture and range environments.

Technical Abstract: Pasture-based finishing systems for meat goats, sheep and cattle are growing rapidly in the eastern USA, particularly on small farms. Increasing demand for pasture-raised meat and dairy products requires renewed efforts to communicate the best practical information as effectively as possible. Many producers are new-comers to livestock and pasture management. Learning and understanding new soil, plant, and livestock terminology to communicate with advisory personnel and experienced grasslanders is essential. Both the physical and chemical attributes of soils in pastures can be manipulated to provide a favorable environment for forage growth. The number of plant species on earth are estimated at somewhere between 250 to 500 thousand; of this estimate, 19,000 species occur in the USA, but only a small fraction have economic value at this time. Forage is a general term that includes herbages, forbs, and browse. Forage quality and nutritive value are often times misused interchangeably. Defined forage terms become important when describing and classifying ruminant species (cattle, sheep, and goats) for management purposes. Grazing management is the best planned use of ruminants to harvest forage from the pastureland. Specific grazing methods have been refined to accommodate doe-kid, ewe-lamb, or cow-calf pairs; weaned animals; non-lactating females; and breeding sires. Authors, reviewers, and editors must again strive for and incorporate standardized terminology used in grazing research into publications. An update is also needed to many of the terminology publications generated in the early 1990s with the objective of creating a standardized terminology for soils, plants, and livestock in pasture and range environments.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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