Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353533

Research Project: Towards Resilient Agricultural Systems to Enhance Water Availability, Quality, and Other Ecosystem Services under Changing Climate and Land Use

Location: Location not imported yet.

Title: Forty years of livestock grazing and climate research: a synthesis of major findings

item Nelson, Amanda
item Moriasi, Daniel
item Steiner, Jean
item Fortuna, Ann Marie

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2018
Publication Date: 11/6/2018
Citation: Nelson, A.M., Moriasi, D.N., Steiner, J.L., Fortuna, A. 2018. Forty years of livestock grazing and climate research: a synthesis of major findings [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Available at:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: In 1976, eight water resources and erosion unit source (WRE) watersheds were established and instrumented at the USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory near El Reno, Oklahoma. Each of the eight watersheds is 80 m wide and 200 m long with a drainage area of 1.6 ha, with slopes of 3-4%. All were constructed and instrumented to measure precipitation, soil moisture, ground water, and surface runoff and water quality. The cropped watersheds are surrounded by manmade berms and the native grass watersheds by ridges and natural boundaries. Land use of the watersheds (native v. agronomic) has remained constant since 1976, with variations in land management as dictated by research objectives. Decisions regarding land management have been largely representative of native grass and wheat management in the Reddish Prairies, one of the major land resources areas in the Southern Great Plains. Prior to construction all watersheds were in native grass. After construction, four of the eight watersheds were cropped and the other four remained in native grass. The WRE watersheds have been used to address a number of research objectives in the general area of productivity, surface runoff and erosion, water quality, spatial variability of soil properties, soil moisture distribution, groundwater levels, impact of land management alternatives, and effects of land use. A synthesis of forty years of investigations addressing the impact of management systems on runoff and erosion and the impact of climate variations will be presented in preparation for the next phase of research.