Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337096

Research Project: Management and Soil Resource Evaluation to Enhance Agricultural System Resilience and Sustainability

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Facilitating crop–livestock reintegration in the northern great plains

Author
item KUMAR, SANDEEP - South Dakota State University
item SOOD, KUNAL - South Dakota State University
item SIEVERDING, HEIDI - South Dakota School Of Mines And Technology
item THANDIWE, NLEYA - South Dakota State University
item BLY, ANTHONY - South Dakota State University
item Wienhold, Brian
item REDFEARN, DAREN - University Of Nebraska
item Archer, David
item USSIRI, DAVID - South Dakota State University
item Faust, Derek
item LANDBLOM, DOUGLAS - North Dakota State University
item GRINGS, ELAINE - South Dakota State University
item STONE, JAMES - South Dakota School Of Mines And Technology
item JACQUET, JEFFREY - The Ohio State University
item Pokharel, Krishna
item Liebig, Mark
item Schmer, Marty
item SEXTON, PETER - South Dakota State University
item Mitchell, Robert - Rob
item SMALLEY, SCOTT - South Dakota State University
item Osborne, Shannon
item ALI, SHAUKAT - South Dakota State University
item SENTURKLU, SONGUL - North Dakota State University
item SEHGAL, SUNISH - South Dakota State University
item OWENS, VANCE - South Dakota State University
item Jin, Virginia

Submitted to: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2019
Publication Date: 6/13/2019
Citation: Kumar, S., Sood, K., Sieverding, H., Thandiwe, N., Bly, A., Wienhold, B.J., Redfearn, D., Archer, D.W., Ussiri, D., Faust, D.R., Landblom, D., Grings, E., Stone, J., Jacquet, J., Pokharel, K.P., Liebig, M.A., Schmer, M.R., Sexton, P., Mitchell, R., Smalley, S., Osborne, S.L., Ali, S., Senturklu, S., Sehgal, S., Owens, V., Jin, V.L. 2019. Facilitating crop–livestock reintegration in the northern great plains. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 111(5):2141-2156. https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2018.07.0441.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2018.07.0441

Interpretive Summary: Recent emphasis on sustainable intensification has underscored the need to identify agricultural practices that produce more food while reducing environmental impacts. Integrated crop-livestock (ICL) systems have been upheld as an agricultural practice that can help intensify food production while benefiting the environment. Long-term, regional studies on ICL systems are needed to determine interactions with soils, crops, economics, and the environment. Published research on ICL systems was reviewed and summarized for application to the northern Great Plains of the U.S., a region of significant agricultural importance. Outcomes from the review identified three major research needs associated with ICL systems: 1) identification of suitable cover crops to benefit livestock production, soil resilience, and sustainable crop production, 2) development of efficient and equitable pathways for transitioning to ICL systems, and 3) improved understanding of climate variability and climate change impacts on livestock in ICL systems.

Technical Abstract: Integrated crop–livestock systems (ICLSs) can help increase food production while benefiting soils and the environment. This review summarizes recent impacts of ICLSs on crop and livestock production and rural economics and discusses lessons learned in the northern Great Plains (NGP). Research on ICLS conducted in the NGP indicates that the crop residue grazing, swath grazing, and annual forage grazing can positively influence crop production; whereas, livestock performance varies with season, forage nutritive value, and grazing management. Furthermore, ICLSs can reduce the costs and risks of agricultural production. The success of ICLSs in NGP region depends on trade-offs, planning, economic benefits, policies, regulations, community acceptance, and management skills. The ICLSs could play a strategic role in future agricultural production. The lessons learned from adopting ICLSs in the NGP include the lack of available land for fertilizer (manure) management, that to implement ICLS practices skills and knowledge must be maintained, and ICLS provides an entry point for young farmers and ranchers however capital is needed. These experiences and lessons could be valuable references for producers to adopt ICLSs in the NGP or other regions.