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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Research Project #442363

Research Project: Integration of Small Ruminant Production into Orchard Enterprises to Improve Economic and Ecological Sustainability

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Project Number: 6042-31320-001-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jun 13, 2022
End Date: Jun 12, 2027

1. Evaluate small ruminant production efficiency outcomes in managed grazing platforms within fruit and nut orchards. 2. Assess the impact of managed orchard grazing strategies on animal health and well-being. 3. Evaluate the influence of small ruminant grazing strategies on plant and soil productivity and health.

The quality and yield of small ruminant meat products will be monitored following various orchard grazing regimes and diet components. Animal health and parasite load will be assessed, and novel approaches to alleviate parasite pressure will developed based on biological control methodology. Pecan tree and soil health will be evaluated following various grazing regimes including aspects of soil compaction and fertility, leaf nutrition, gas exchange, nut yield, and nut quality.