Beef Buzz News
Grazinglands Research Lab Studies Climate Variability Impact on Cattle Production
Thu, 09 Jul 2015 15:04:43 CDT
The Grazinglands Research Laboratory in Fort Reno, Oklahoma is looking at how the climate impacts forage production and in turn cattle production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratory is in its second year of a five year $9.4 million dollar study that is looking at how to improve regional beef cattle production while mitigating its environmental footprint. The project involves 46 research scientists and extension specialists from Oklahoma State University, Kansas State University, University of Oklahoma and Tarleton State University, along with the Noble Foundation and two ARS research locations. The lead scientist is Dr. Jean Steiner. She said one group of scientists are focused on forage and livestock production, while the other unit has a strong focus on water quality, water quantity and climate variability.
Ron Hays talks with Dr. Jean Steiner of the USDA ARS located at Ft Reno, Oklahoma
“Increasingly as we start looking at these integrated systems approaches to our research, those two units are coming together to really look at how the soil, the climate, the water and the plant resources all are sort of sustain these mixed grazing systems that are so important to Oklahoma agriculture,” Steiner said.
The Grazinglands Research Laboratory in Fort Reno was recently declared a Southern Region Climate Hub for ARS and USDA. That designation came less than two years ago, when U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack determined regional hubs were needed for USDA to improve landowner access to climate information. The climate hubs were created to establish coordinated voice. The Fort Reno facility represents Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma as the Southern Plains region. Steiner said she is currently serving as interim director for the Climate Hub, until a new director can be hired. She said the staff is working a lot with USDA, land grant universities and producer organizations within the three states.
The mission of the Grazinglands Research Laboratory is to work with producers on how the cattle industry intersects with climate. Steiner said the Southern Plains region has a very interesting and challenging climate. Cattlemen have recently faced both drought and flooding, so she said cattlemen have be resilient and flexible by moving cattle, increasing or decreasing stocking rates to adjust to the climate situation.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Steiner on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
You can hear their full conversation about the Grazinglands Research Lab and the five year research program by clicking here.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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