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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Lexington, Kentucky » Forage-animal Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #390854

Research Project: Optimizing the Biology of the Animal-Plant Interface for Improved Sustainability of Forage-Based Animal Enterprises

Location: Forage-animal Production Research

Title: Joint International Grassland and International Rangeland Congress Kenya 2021: Grasslands Summary

item Klotz, James
item BOUTON, JOE - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/21/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This proceedings paper was an interpretive summary of the International Grassland Congress (IGC) meeting in Kenya 2021. The focus was a summary of papers that focused on cultivated grasslands as opposed to rangelands. This paper summarized the plenary and keynote addresses as well as presentations that pertained to forage production and utilization and livestock production systems. The overall focus emphasized the balance of grassland productivity and sustainability. Further, with the meeting hosted by Kenya there was an emphasis on tropical grassland productivity and sustainability. Readers looking for a snapshot of the 2021 Kenya IGC meetings will benefit from viewing this paper.

Technical Abstract: This summary used as its main sources the plenary and keynote papers and talks in Sub-theme 2: Forage Production and Utilization and Sub-theme 3: Livestock Production Systems as well as a sampling of oral talks presented at the XXIV International Grassland Congress (IGC). This IGC was held virtually and jointly with the International Rangeland Congress and hosted in Nairobi, Kenya during 23-29 October 2021. The XXIV IGC was also the first to be held on the African continent in Congress’ 94-year history. The summary is further focused on that information presented under the concept “cultivated grasslands” (e.g., a small number of species exposed to high management inputs) and is independent of the rangeland summary presented elsewhere in these proceedings. As with all previous IGCs, pasture productivity, quality, and persistence were emphasized, but understandably, mainly for aspects relevant to Africa and the tropics. However, carbon sequestration, pasture resilience, adaptation, and greenhouse gas mitigation were addressed as part of cultivated grassland management. These additional concerns will challenge everyone as new technological advances are deployed into global agriculture. Impacts on social, environmental, and economic issues remain important, but ill-defined. Future considerations include improving research and out-reach programs for the tropics, but especially adaptation of both tropical and temperate systems to projected climate change issues such as higher temperatures and inconsistent rainfall for all geographies. Fitting the current sustainability narrative to the science and not the other way around is important going forward. Finally, one must keep in mind how pastoralists and producers will be impacted with any future research projects and policy changes.