Promoting “manuresheds” to combat nutrient pollution while taking advantage of manure’s productive uses.
Adjusting Cattle Grazing Schedules Increases Profits And Range Sustainability
Ranchers have traditionally moved their cattle from the rangeland to feedlots in October in order to maximize their profits; a decision made based on rangeland conditions at that time of year. However, forecasting that move has become increasingly difficult in recent years due to changes in climate and highly variable precipitation timing and amounts.
ARS scientists in Cheyenne, WY, and Fort Collins, CO, in collaboration with research partners from Argentina and the University of Wyoming, used 15 years of livestock, cattle market data, and climate data (2003-2017) to quantify differences in net revenue based on the date cattle were delivered to feedlots for finishing (attaining their final weight gain before harvest). Researchers discovered that livestock weight gains were negligible from early September until the end of the rangeland grazing season. Thus, sending cattle to feedlots earlier than the traditional timing of October may provide a two- fold benefit – ranchers receive more profits for their animals, and early removal of cattle improves environmental sustainability by leaving more plant cover for the rangeland soils.
Adjusting Cattle Grazing Schedules
Explore Other Discoveries
Manuresheds Combat Nutrient Pollution
Livestock Fight Against Wildfires
Scientists are investigating the effects of land use management practices on wildfires as part of USDA’s Long-Term Agroecosystem Research program.
Better Forecasting To Help Agriculture
ARS researchers helped the United Kingdom improve the accuracy of its widely used weather-forecasting models.
Keep Carbon In Soil, Out Of Atmosphere
Intercropping perennial herbaceous crops with trees successfully increased organic soil carbon levels.
Better Grass For Cattle And Cars
Scientists are looking into how they can improve upon the grass cattle put in their bellies and you put in your tank.
Diesel Fuel Gets A Boost From Tung Oil
ARS scientists successfully used tung oil as the starting material for a new additive to improve the performance of diesel fuel.
Cover Crops Shift The Carbon Balance
Planting cover crops and not tilling the soil improves the soil’s carbon balance with minimal impact on the water balance.