Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) Grazing Research Proposal

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) Grazing Research Proposal Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) Grazing Research Proposal This research will investigate whether Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing, in relation to widespread continuous grazing practices, contributes to measurable differences in overall soil health, sequestration of atmospheric carbon in soils, greenhouse gas (GHG) respiration, animal health and well-being, rancher and farmer well-being and ranch and farm resilience, and delivery of ecosystem services on managed pastureland within the continental United States. AMP grazing is a flexible methodology that uses multiple fenced paddocks for each livestock group to provide relatively short periods of grazing with moderate plant use and adequate time of recovery after grazing. Prior research has shown that these techniques can sequester more organic carbon in soils compared to continuously grazed lands and lead to improved land conservation, ecosystem provisioning and farm/ranch profitability [1]; but only isolated studies have been published. We propose systems science research that is focused on evaluating if AMP grazing statistically contributes to ranch-scale improvements, using a range of variables as defined and measured in the following 12 interrelated research modules: 1) Soil carbon and water; 2) Greenhouse gas cycling; 3) Vegetation; 4) Soil microbiology; 5) Arthropods; 6) Grassland Birds; 7) Livestock well-being; 8) Farmer/rancher well-being; 9) Resilience; 10) Life cycle analysis; 11) Simulation modeling; and 12) Film and communications. The on-the-ground research unit will be a triad of paired ranches: an AMP grazed ranch, a heavy continuously grazed (HCG) ranch with high animal stocking rates, and a light continuously grazed (LCG) ranch with lower stocking rates. In each of two U.S. regions, three triads will be established for a total of nine ranches per region, 18 ranches in total. During year 1, the Southeast U.S. region will be studied; Upper Great Plains will be studied during the second year. During the third and final year, data analysis, and interaction with stakeholders (e.g. scientific community, policymakers, farmers and ranchers, and the general public) will occur through presentations, agency meetings, the preparation of peer reviewed journal publications, and presentation of films documenting the research process and findings. Reference Cited: 1. Teague WR, Dowhower SL, Baker SA, Haile N, DeLaune PB, and Conover DM. 2011. Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 141:310-322.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date12/1/173/31/21

Funding

  • Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research: $1,148,925.00

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