|Lacewell, Ron - Texas A&M University|
Submitted to: Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/21/2017
Publication Date: 12/20/2017
Citation: Lacewell, R., Brown, D.P. 2017. Resilient Southern Plains agriculture and forestry in a varying and changing climate conference report. Resilient Southern Plains Agriculture and Forestry in a Varying and Changing Climate. July 18-19, 2017, El Reno, OK. Available at: http://twri.tamu.edu/el-reno.
Interpretive Summary: In July 2017, the Resilient Southern Plains Agriculture and Forestry in a Varying and Changing Climate conference reviewed the status and needs for the future in the Southern Plains relative to irrigation and dryland farming, range and livestock, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and forestry. Participants included stakeholders, researchers, and extension faculty as well agencies’ representatives. Conference attendees agreed that the climate outlook is for greater variability with both positive and negative expectations for pests and diseases. Major conference themes included: increased diversification to maintain the local economies over the next several years resulting from the mining of the Ogallala Aquifer; irrigation evolution to dryland crops or pasture production; and a strong need to protect the rangeland resources of the region. For CAFOs, the major concern was locally produced feed, particularly forages.
Technical Abstract: In July 2017, the conference, Resilient Southern Plains Agriculture and Forestry in a Varying and Changing Climate, reviewed the status and needs for the future in the Southern Plains relative to irrigation and dryland farming, range and livestock, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and forestry. The conference was at the Redlands Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Climate Hub. The conference was structured into two main components. The first — assessing the current state of knowledge — centered on seven white papers written by regional experts: Climate Considerations; Food and Fiber Production Systems; Range, Grassland, and Livestock Management; CAFOs; Forestry, Arthropod Pests and Plant Disease; Economic Drivers. Formal presentations of these papers served to outline the status, challenges, gaps, and opportunities for production agriculture across the Southern Plains within the context of climate extremes and changes. The second working component — understanding and prioritizing science and service requirements — utilized breakout sessions where scientists and stakeholders identified challenges and opportunities to mitigate climate-driven production risks for regional agriculture. The goal was to take an optimistic view by identifying resources and capacities that exist in the Southern Plains to address those challenges, including proactive, cross-boundary research and extension team development. A roadmap for future research and extension will be developed based on the conference.