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SUSTAINABLE SMALL FARM AND ORGANIC GRASS AND FORAGE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR LIVESTOCK AND AGROFORESTRY

Investigators
Owens P R; Franco Jr J G; Burke, Joan
Institutions
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Start date
2019
End date
2024
Objective
Objective 1. Management systems for improved growth, handling and storage of harvested biomass for optimized quality and utilization for improved livestock management and positive environmental benefits. Sub-objective 1A. Forage and biomass production systems that better utilize nutrients to increase productivity and/or reduce energy and nutrient input requirements. Sub-objective 1B. Biomass harvest and storage systems that enhance the value of the feedstock for livestock production. Sub-objective 1C. Efficient strategies for producing livestock on forage-based diets, targeting optimal productivity. Sub-objective 1C1. Identification and selection of animal phenotypes that are productive and thrive on low-input pasture systems to minimize management inputs. Sub-objective 1C2. Understanding grazing behavior and spatial distribution of sheep naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes. Objective 2: Develop integrated tools to foster improved management of pasture and forages which maintain productivity while providing economic and environmental benefits. Sub-objective 2A. Measuring and monitoring system status and function at various scales. Sub-objective 2A1. Develop tools to identify environmental factors affecting forage production to maximize productivity and environmental/ecosystem benefits in diverse environments. Sub-objective 2A2. Utilize spatial information to develop site specific recommendations for warm season forage species, nutrient requirements and economic inputs for improved farm management. Sub-objective 2B. Provide tools that support management decisions and aid implementation. Sub-objective 2B1. Determine site specific recommendations coupling soil water availability with nutrient requirements to optimize forage production for economic sustainability. Sub-objective 2B2. Farm-scale recommendations that provides a decision support tools for producers that will allow optimization of farm management for whole farm productivity, economic viability and environmental sustainability. Sub-objective 2C. Pasture-based livestock management practices that improve resilience to climate change, conserve soil or protect water quality, optimizing production, conservation and environmental goals. Sub-objective 2D. Targeted grazing strategies to reduce invasive grasses and forbs and promote desirable perennial grasses and woody species. Sub-objective 2E. Grazing management strategies for maintenance of a diverse native plant pasture that serves livestock and wildlife including native pollinators. Sub-objective 2E1. Impact of grazing on insect pollinators and beneficial arthropod community in pasture ecosystems designed for multiple use of livestock grazing and pollinator habitat. Sub-objective 2E2. Impact of native forbs and grasses on insect pollinators and beneficial arthropods and plant- pollinator interactions in pasture ecosystems designed for multiple use of livestock grazing and pollinator habitat.
Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
Project source
View this project
Project number
6020-21310-011-00D
Accession number
436698
Categories
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Parasites
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game