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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Integrated Forage-Cropping Systems: a Plan of Resaerch

Author
item Baumhardt, Roland

Submitted to: High Plains Beef Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 24, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The agricultural industry on the Texas High Plains includes intensive livestock and corp production that depends on irrigation supplied from the Ogallala. About 50% of farm land is in dryland production, but this percentage will increase as water for irrigation continues to decline. Integration of cattle grazing into dryland cropping systems is critical to the continued success of Texas High Plains agriculture. Few studies document the effects of cattle grazing on residue removal, soil compaction and the subsequent water conservation and crop yields for dryland cropping systems. Improved water conservation dictates that runoff of rain and evaporation of soil water be minimized. The overall objective of this study is to develop best management practices (BMPs) that integrate cattle grazing into the dryland cropping systems. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from various agencies with soils, crops, and cattle expertise will quantify cattle growth, crop yield, and soil and water conservation for integrated livestock and dryland cropping systems. The wheat-sorghum-fallow (WSF) dryland cropping systems that consistently produces two crops in three years will be adapted for cattle grazing. Forage production and consumption, grain yield, soil compaction, and permeability for grazed and ungrazed areas will be compared using both spatial analyses (geo-statistics) and analysis of variance (ANOVA). As the study evolves, different management practices to control livestock grazing impact on soil compaction, permeability, and runoff water quality will be identified and "BMPs" developed.

Technical Abstract: The agricultural industry on the Texas High Plains includes livestock and crop production, but much of this intensive production depends on irrigation supplied in decreasing amounts from the Ogallala. About 50% of farm land is in dryland production, but this percentage will increase as water for irrigation continues to decline. Integration of dryland cropping gsystems and livestock production is critical to the continued success of Texas High Plains agriculture. Few studies document the effect of cattle grazing on residue removal, soil compaction and the subsequent water conservation and crop yields for dryland cropping systems. Improved water conservation dictates that runoff of rain and evaporation of soil water be minimized from dryland cropping systems. The overall objective of this study is to develop best management practices (BMPs) that integrate cattle grazing into dryland cropping systems. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers with soils, crops, and cattle expertise and the combined resources of cooperating state and federal research and extension agencies will quantify cattle growth, crop yield, residue production, soil and water conservation for integrated livestock and dryland cropping systems. The wheat-sorghum-fallow (WSF) dryland cropping system that consistently produces two crops in three years will be adapted for cattle grazing. Forage production and consumption, grain yield, soil compaction, and permeability for grazed and ungrazed areas will be compared using both spatial analyses (geo-statistics) and analysis of variance (ANOVA). As the study evolves, different management practices to control livestock grazing impact on soil compaction, permeability, and runoff water quality will be identified and "BMPs" developed.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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