Location: Forage and Livestock Production Research
Project Number: 3070-21610-001-20-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2014
End Date: Jul 31, 2018
The overall goal is twofold: (1) to better understand vulnerability and enhance the resilience of beef-grazing systems in a world of increased climate variability, dynamic land-use, and fluctuating agricultural and energy markets through diversified forage sources, improved grazing management, multiple marketing options, strategic drought planning, and improved decision support systems for evaluation of alternative options; and (2) to safeguard and strengthen ecosystem services of rangelands and croplands in the region.
This project will use an interdisciplinary and community-based participatory approach to organize research, education and extension activities. 1. We will develop a community-based extension/education program to engage beef cattle ranchers and farmers in the process of research design, implementation and delivery. 2. We will develop a functional network of monitoring sites at the scales of plot, field, farm, landscape, and watershed that will represent gradients of climate, water, land use, and beef cattle production systems in the region. 3. We will combine geospatial technology, biogeochemical models, hydrological models, and in-situ data to estimate, monitor, and forecast carbon, nitrogen, and water dynamics in the region; we will also use advanced regional-scale climate-land (including agriculture) models to provide information to the users. 4. We will develop standard methodologies to measure and model C, N, and water footprints of beef cattle production systems and develop best management practices and technology that would reduce C, N, and water footprints, carry out life cycle analysis, and develop enterprise-specific decision support tools that will assist beef cattle producers and farmers to make risk-based management and decision-making.