Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Calculating livestock numbers by weather and climate

Date:
March 29, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Ranchers in the central Great Plains may be using some of their winter downtime in the future to rehearse the upcoming production season, all from the warmth of their homes, according to soil scientists.

Ranchers in the central Great Plains can use a newly expanded computer model developed by ARS scientists to see which cattle or sheep stocking rate scenarios are the most sustainable for their semi-arid rangeland.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb.

Ranchers in the central Great Plains may be using some of their winter downtime in the future to rehearse the upcoming production season, all from the warmth of their homes, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) soil scientists.

Related Articles


The ranchers would use the GPFARM (Great Plains Framework for Agricultural Resource Management)-Range computer model to see which cattle or sheep stocking rate scenarios are sustainable. Soil scientists Gale Dunn and Laj Ahuja with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are testing the model in enough locations to get the model fully usable throughout the central Great Plains.

Dunn and research leader Ahuja work at the ARS Agricultural Systems Research Unit in Fort Collins, Colo. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting agricultural sustainability.

The model would allow ranchers to test various scenarios involving forage yields and the weight gains of beef cattle and calves and other livestock under various stocking and weather scenarios. The high variability of precipitation makes it difficult to choose a stocking rate that is the best balance between economic and rangeland sustainability.

Looking at National Weather Service seasonal weather predictions, ranchers would judge whether precipitation in the coming season would likely be normal or above or below normal.

GPFARM-Range is one of a few range models that can factor in the effects of climate change on stocking rates, predicting the response of forage plants to increased carbon dioxide and higher temperatures.

The model was originally developed and tested in Cheyenne, Wyo.

The most recent tests of the model were on sheep pastures in Miles City, Mont., and beef cattle pastures at Fort Supply, near Woodward, Okla. The Oklahoma test taught the scientists to account for forage yield losses from soil compaction at higher stocking rates. The results of these tests have been published in Rangeland Ecology and Management.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Don Comis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Calculating livestock numbers by weather and climate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329134126.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, March 29). Calculating livestock numbers by weather and climate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329134126.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Calculating livestock numbers by weather and climate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329134126.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) First came the big storm. Now comes the big melt for residents of flood-prone areas around Buffalo. New York's governor says officials are preparing for the worst as the temperature is expected to rise and potentially melt several feet of snow. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

AP (Nov. 22, 2014) Hundreds of volunteers joined a 'shovel brigade' in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, as the city was living up to its nickname, "The City of Good Neighbors." Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins