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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Rangeland Resources & Systems Research » Research » Research Project #435268

Research Project: Adaptive and Flexible Grazing Management Strategies to Enhance Decision Making for Provision of Ecosystem Services in Shortgrass Steppe

Location: Rangeland Resources & Systems Research

Project Number: 3012-21610-002-24-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2018
End Date: Dec 31, 2021

Objective:
Objective 1 - Determine the potential for adaptive grazing management to enhance beef production, vegetation heterogeneity, and economic vitality in shortgrass steppe. Subobjective 1.1 – Compare responses of livestock and plants to adaptive grazing management and traditional grazing management Subobjective 1.2 – Determine the contribution of flexible stocking strategies, adjusted annually based on forecasted weather and forage availability, to the sustainable intensification of livestock production. Subobjective 1.3 – Determine the contribution of genetic variability (source population) in livestock, and its interaction with environmental variability and management strategies, to variability in livestock performance.

Approach:
The Cooperator and ARS will collaborate in the determination of the potential for adaptive grazing management and flexible stocking strategies to enhance decision-making for provision of beef production, vegetation heterogeneity, and economic vitality with climatic variability in agroecosystems representative of the shortgrass steppe. These efforts will utilize data from the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network as well as new cross-site Genetics (G) x Environment (E) x Management (M) and Product (P) experiments in the Great Plains. Staff with the Cooperator will collect data on vegetation, livestock gain, foraging behavior, diet quality, intake and grassland bird responses to adaptive grazing management and flexible stocking strategies with seasonal weather variability and extreme events.