Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing Research Project

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing Research Project 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. (McDonald's) Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) Grazing Research Proposal Project Abstract 37 This research will investigate whether Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing, in relation to 38 widespread continuous grazing practices, contributes to measurable differences in overall soil 39 health, sequestration of atmospheric carbon in soils, greenhouse gas (GHG) respiration, animal 40 health and well-being, rancher and farmer well-being and ranch and farm resilience, and delivery of 41 ecosystem services on managed pastureland within the continental United States. AMP grazing is a 42 flexible methodology that uses multiple fenced paddocks for each livestock group to provide 43 relatively short periods of grazing with moderate plant use and adequate time of recovery after 44 grazing. Prior research has shown that these techniques can sequester more organic carbon in soils 45 compared to continuously grazed lands and lead to improved land conservation, ecosystem 46 provisioning and farm/ranch profitability [1]; but only isolated studies have been published. We 47 propose systems science research that is focused on evaluating if AMP grazing statistically 48 contributes to ranch-scale improvements, using a range of variables as defined and measured in the 49 following 12 interrelated research modules: 1) Soil carbon and water; 2) Greenhouse gas cycling; 3) 50 Vegetation; 4) Soil microbiology; 5) Arthropods; 6) Grassland Birds; 7) Livestock well-being; 8) 51 Farmer/rancher well-being; 9) Resilience; 10) Life cycle analysis; 11) Simulation modeling; and 12) 52 Film and communications. The on-the-ground research unit will be a triad of paired ranches: an 53 AMP grazed ranch, a heavy continuously grazed (HCG) ranch with high animal stocking rates, and 54 a light continuously grazed (LCG) ranch with lower stocking rates. In each of two U.S. regions, 55 three triads will be established for a total of nine ranches per region, 18 ranches in total. During 56 year 1, the Southeast U.S. region will be studied; Upper Great Plains will be studied during the 57 second year. During the third and final year, data analysis, and interaction with stakeholders (e.g. 58 scientific community, policymakers, farmers and ranchers, and the general public) will occur 59 through presentations, agency meetings, the preparation of peer reviewed journal publications, and 60 presentation of films documenting the research process and findings. (McDonald's) Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) Grazing Research Proposal McDonald's Match AMP Grazing Module 7 & 8: MSU This social and economic module will focus on comparing the on-ranch social and economic outcomes of Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing systems with non-AMP operations. Specifically, we will assess the effect of these grazing management approaches on rancher family well-being and short- and long-term ranch profitability. We will also investigate the social, behavioral and business characteristics of those who adopt these management approaches to help identify barriers to adoption of enhanced grazing management and determine strategies for overcoming such barriers and therefore enhancing the adoption rate of adaptive grazing management approaches. This module addresses the question what impact does AMP grazing have on the wellbeing of ranchers, using metrics for economic and social sustainability, including health, community support, happiness, social networks, and cultural norms. Secondly, we will address What factors will enhance the adoption of AMP? if it is shown to be an effective approach to increasing soil carbon relative to other grazing management practices. We will identify information acquisition and transfer strategies, barriers to adoption, and potential ways of overcoming such barriers. The facilities and some computer equipment required to conduct this research are available through Dr. Hodbod in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. One Surface Pro is included in the budget, which will be used for by McKendree and her graduate student who will be hired to assist with this module. The other resources required for the research are the cameras for the photo elicitation, printing and material costs for the mail survey, participant support costs, and travel costs as detailed in the budget. McDonald's Match for Exeter Funds MSU Module 2 (McDonald's) Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) Grazing Research Proposal (McDonald's) 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. McDonald's Match for Winward Funds $100K McDonald's Match for Exxon Mobil UMRC Funds $200K
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/1/176/30/22

Funding

  • INDUSTRY: Domestic Company: $2,914,073.00

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