Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/16/2009
Publication Date: 3/27/2009
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J. 2009. Farming with Grass: Achieving Sustainable Mixed Agricultural Landscapes. Soil and Water Conservation Society. Ankeny, IA. pp. 238. 2009. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Grassland landscapes today reflect the historical impacts of government policies and diverse environmental, economic, social, and cultural drivers. The Farming with Grass Conference was developed to bring together diverse stakeholders in grassland environments to (a) help assess the current condition of agriculture, (b) consider alternative production scenarios for grassland agricultural ecosystems, (c) identify key issues hindering the development of more sustainable systems, and (d) clarify the role of science and government policies in developing options for the future. The program consisted of invited and volunteered speakers and poster presenters to address issues facing grassland agriculture. Facilitated roundtable discussions helped to fill in gaps, target uncertainties, and build consensus as to how best meet the challenges facing grassland agriculture. The program was grouped into the following five topic areas: 1) Status and trends in types of agricultural systems, 2) Environmental, social, and economic benefits of mixed grassland landscapes, 3) Factors driving changes in grassland environments, 4) Assessment tools for monitoring and predicting changes in grassland agricultural systems, and 5) Science and policy needed to sustain agriculture in mixed grassland environments. The 16 papers contained herein represent the high quality of oral presentations at the conference and as the written proceedings following the conference.