Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308032

Research Project: AGRICULTURAL LAND MANAGEMENT TO OPTIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY AND NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION AT FARM AND WATERSHED SCALES

Location: Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research

Title: Development of knowledge and tools to enhance resilience of beef grazing systems for sustainable animal protein production

Author
item Steiner, Jean
item Engle, Dave - Oklahoma State University
item Xiao, Xiangming - University Of Oklahoma
item Saleh, Ali - Tarleton State University
item Tomlinson, Peter - Kansas State University
item Rice, Charles - Kansas State University
item Cole, Noel
item Coleman, Samuel - Retired ARS Employee
item Osei, Edward - Tarleton State University
item Basara, Jeffrey - University Of Oklahoma
item Middendorf, Gerad - Kansas State University
item Gowda, Prasanna
item Todd, Richard - Rick
item Moffet, Corey - Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc
item Swamy, Aavudai Anandhi - Kansas State University
item Starks, Patrick - Pat

Submitted to: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/9/2014
Publication Date: 11/5/2014
Citation: Steiner, J.L., Engle, D.M., Xiao, X., Saleh, A., Tomlinson, P., Rice, C.W., Cole, N.A., Coleman, S.W., Osei, E., Basara, J., Middendorf, G., Gowda, P., Todd, R.W., Moffet, C., Swamy, A., Starks, P.J. 2014. Development of knowledge and tools to enhance resilience of beef grazing systems for sustainable animal protein production. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1328:10-17.

Interpretive Summary: Ruminant livestock provide an important source of meat and dairy protein that sustain the health and livelihoods for much of the world’s population. Grazinglands that support ruminant livestock provide numerous other ecosystem services, including provision of food, water, and genetic resources; regulation of climate and water; support of soil formation and nutrient cycling, and cultural services. In the southern Great Plains of the USA, the beef production supported by rangeland, a wide variety of introduced pastures and hays, and forage supplied by winter grazing of wheat is a major activity that sustains rural economies. The region is characterized by a highly dynamic climate with extremes of heat and cold as well as extremes of drought and flooding. To understand the vulnerabilities and to enhance the resilience of beef production in the region, a multi-institutional Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP), ‘the grazing CAP’, was established. Grazinglands occupy a large portion of land in the region and therefore impact regional carbon, nitrogen, and water budgets significantly. To understand and improve the system, integrative research and Extension spans soil, plant, and animal sciences; ecology; climatology; hydrology; sociology; and economics to address how management affects the productivity and environmental footprint of beef-grazing systems. New knowledge and tools are expected to assist farmers and ranchers in evaluating economic and environmental risks and developing practices that are resilient to dynamic climate and market conditions. Success in the Grazing CAP project will help sustain beef production while protecting land and water resources. Knowledge and tools developed will also have relevance for adaptation to climate change in grazinglands from semi-arid and sub-humid regions of the world.

Technical Abstract: Ruminant livestock provide an important source of meat and dairy protein that sustain the health and livelihoods for much of the world’s population. Grazinglands that support ruminant livestock provide numerous other ecosystem services, including provision of food, water, and genetic resources; regulation of climate and water; support of soil formation and nutrient cycling, and cultural services. In the southern Great Plains of the USA, the beef production supported by rangeland, a wide variety of introduced pastures and hays, and forage supplied by winter grazing of wheat is a major activity that sustains rural economies. The region is characterized by a highly dynamic climate with extremes of heat and cold as well as extremes of drought and flooding. To understand the vulnerabilities and to enhance the resilience of beef production in the region, a multi-institutional Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP), ‘the grazing CAP’, was established. Grazinglands occupy a large portion of land in the region and therefore impact regional carbon, nitrogen, and water budgets significantly. To understand and improve the system, integrative research and Extension spans soil, plant, and animal sciences; ecology; climatology; hydrology; sociology; and economics to address how management affects the productivity and environmental footprint of beef-grazing systems. New knowledge and tools are expected to assist farmers and ranchers in evaluating economic and environmental risks and developing practices that are resilient to dynamic climate and market conditions. Success in the Grazing CAP project will help sustain beef production while protecting land and water resources. Knowledge and tools developed will also have relevance for adaptation to climate change in grazinglands from semi-arid and sub-humid regions of the world.