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ARS Home » Plains Area » Miles City, Montana » Range and Livestock Research » Research » Research Project #419356


Location: Range and Livestock Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The purpose of this agreement is to carry out cooperative research and to set forth understandings between the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Montana State University (MSU) for joint projects and co-location of MSU and/or ARS personnel at research sites and facilities in Montana. 1. It is understood and agreed that while all parties are interested in basic and applied research: a. The ARS is concerned with results having regional or national application. b. The Montana State University and its Agricultural Experiment Station and Extension Service programs conduct research and outreach that addresses economic viability and environmental sustainability impacting agriculture, natural resources, and consumers in Montana while providing information that encourages the application of research-based knowledge for end users in Montana and the region/nation. c. The Montana State University and its College of Agriculture and departments within the College as well as other MSU Colleges and departments are engaged in research on a wide array of areas, such as: ruminant health and production, rangeland and watershed management, animal/plant breeding and genetics, soil sciences, plant sciences, molecular biology, crop health and production, water quality, crop improvement, pest management, irrigation and water management, bioenergy and environmental management covering both basic and applied problems. 2. Investigations, as described in the attachments, as well as other joint projects to be determined, will be in cooperation with the MSU and MAES, MSU Extension Service, MSU College of Agriculture and related departments within the College, and other MSU Colleges, departments and units as appropriate to the joint projects.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The objective of this agreement is to develop long-term sustainable rangeland, watershed and ruminant management practices for the Northern Great Plains (NGP) and associated intermountain regions and to identify technologies that optimize the use of the region's soil, native vegetation and water resources with positive environmental impacts. This includes: (1) the development of sustainable soil, nutrient, fire, weed control and water conservation technologies for rangeland management systems that improves native plant diversity, water conservation and nutrient use efficiency and maintains and improves desirable rangeland health; (2) advances technologies through the use of genomics and animal breeding to improve accuracy and time interval in genetic selection of beef cattle; (3) develop best management practices for sustainable rangeland beef production through efficient nutrition, reproduction and growth for a high quality protein food for human consumption and improve the quality of life for rangeland managers; (4) the incorporation of advanced water conservation technologies, conservation tillage, soil, nutrient and pest management strategies that improves water and nutrient use efficiencies, and maintains and improves desirable soil physical and chemical properties, and to reduce purchased inputs for crop production agriculture in the region; (5) enhanced biological control of target weeds, diseases and insects; (6) sequester C and reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to agricultural field crop activities. Research projects will be undertaken at both ARS and MSU facilities. Participating in-house projects: Miles City, MT (Range and Livestock Research): 5434-31000-016-00D/412786 and 5434-21630-002-00D/412890 NP's 101/Food Animal Production and 215/Rangeland, Pasture, and Forages Sidney, MT (Agricultural Systems Research): 5436-13210-005-00D/414426 NP's 216/Agricultural System Competitiveness and Sustainability and 211/Water Availability and Water Management Sidney, MT (Pest Management Research): 5436-22000-014-00D/419024 and 5436-22000-015-00D/419022 NP's 304/Crop Protection and Quarantine and 215/Rangeland, Pasture, and Forages

3. Progress Report:
Collaborative efforts in research and outreach were successfully completed. Research goals were pursued investigating sheep and beef cattle nutrition, genetics and meat quality, noxious weed treatment sustainability, irrigation efficiency, soil microbiology and invasive plant biocontrol objectives. Cooperative Outreach efforts organized by Extension were support and engaged in by all parties to this agreement. Multiple meeting invitations for educational presentation were extended to ARS scientists throughout Montana by MSU extension service. Plans are underway to recruit and house an MSU Beef Cattle Extension Specialist at USDA-ARS Fort Keogh. Multiple students worked or implemented research protocols alongside MSU and ARS scientists. MSU College of Agriculture and Fort Keogh are collaborating on joint participation in the Great Plains regional Climate Change Hub.

4. Accomplishments