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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: New Technologies to Enhance Sustainability of Northern Great Plains Grasslands

Location: Natural Resource Management Research

Title: Resiliency in forage and grazinglands

Author
item Foster, Jamie
item Butler, Twain
item Islam, Anowar
item Toledo, David
item Tracy, Benjamin
item Venreamini, Joao

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Increasing stressors, including but not limited to climate change, pose challenges to the sustainability of forage and grazingland systems. In this paper we highlight ecological and management approaches that have been successfully used in forage and grazingland systems in different regions of the US and also highlight an Integrated Grazingland Assessment method that can be used to assess the ecological and management resilience of these systems. The approaches outlined in this paper are designed to take advantage of the positive benefits that plant or animal diversity could yield in forage-livestock systems. This approach would allow forage growers to develop systems using simple, affordable strategies to increase productivity without affecting their bottom line.

Technical Abstract: This manuscript is a combined effort of the speakers at the 2017 C6 Forage and Grazinglands Division Symposia which was titled “Resiliency in Forage and Grazinglands.” Developing more resilient agroecosystems, including those that produce forage and livestock, will become necessary to maintain agricultural production in the modern reality of population growth, resource scarcity, and climate change. A major challenge facing forage agronomists will be how to enhance resiliency of forage systems using simple, affordable strategies that can be adopted by forage-livestock producers without damaging economic livelihoods. In this paper, we define resiliency as a component of ecosystem dynamics and outline management strategies that could be used to build greater resiliency into pasturelands within the USA and worldwide. Breeding to improve adapted species, mixed forage species pastures, input management, and livestock management all play a role in resiliency of forage and grazinglands. Tools developed for sustainable rangeland management, play an important role in the measurement and evaluation of resilient grazing ecosystems, which include introduced forage pastures. Forage and grazingland systems must be regionally focused to ensure adaptability to abiotic and biotic factors and economically viable to be useful to landowners. In the symposium and subsequent publication, we have addressed several approaches designed to take advantage of the positive benefits that plant or animal diversity could yield in enhancing resiliency of forage-livestock systems.

Last Modified: 09/21/2017
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