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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Rangeland Resources & Systems Research » Research » Research Project #440726

Research Project: Adaptation Strategies for Livestock Grazing in a Changing Climate

Location: Rangeland Resources & Systems Research

Project Number: 3012-21610-003-042-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Dec 31, 2023

Objective:
Objective 1 - Evaluate adaptation strategies for livestock grazing in the semiarid, shortgrass steppe with a changing climate. Subobjective 1.1 - Compare responses of livestock weight gains with flexible removal dates in the grazing season compared to traditional grazing management (season-long grazing). Subobjective 1.2 - Determine the within-grazing season temporal pattern of livestock weight gain through direct measurements and emergent technology (walkover weighing scales, and psuedo-daily predicted livestock weight gains from remote sensing of forage amount and quality) to ranchers when weight gains plateau for informing adaptation strategies.

Approach:
The Cooperator and ARS will collaborate in evaluating adaptation strategies for livestock grazing in shortgrass steppe with a changing climate. These experimental efforts will compare responses of flexible removal dates in the grazing season to traditional grazing management, and determine the within-grazing season pattern of livestock weight gain using direct measurements of 1) 28-day weighings, and 2) walkover weighing scales, and estimated psuedo-daily predicted livestock weight gains from remote sensing technology on forage amounts and quality with the goal to determine when livestock weight gains plateau for informing adaptation strategies. These efforts will utilize both existing long-term data from grazing studies at this Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network site, as well as new field-based experiments addressing contemporary issues of flexible length grazing seasons, remote sensing technology, and on-animal sensors to provide novel aspects of grazing behavior and physiology, etc. that can assist in informing weight gains. Staff with the Cooperator will collect data on livestock weight gains, animal grazing behavior, diet quality, and assist with on-animal sensor deployments and collection of that data. Staff will also be responsible for checking the livestock, assessing animal health, providing animal care, and assisting with infrastructure (fences, water systems, tanks, pipelines, animal handling facilities, etc.).