Bulletins

Integrating Legumes with Grass to Improve Forage-Livestock Systems

In a Southern SARE-funded Research and Education Grant (LS14-261), "Long-term Agroecosystems Research and Adoption in the Texas Southern High Plains -- Phase III," Texas Tech University researchers conducted a steer grazing trial comparing a grass only system to a grass-legume system for animal productivity and water use efficiency.

The Performance of Cover Crops in Minimally Tilled Forage-based Grazing Systems

In a Southern SARE-funded Graduate Student Grant (GS15-152), “Evaluation of Winter Annual Cover Crops Under Multiple Residue Management: Impacts on land management, soil water depletion, and cash crop productivity,” Texas Tech University researchers investigated five cover crops species as potential complements to a warm-season beef-stocker grazing system. The impact of the project was two-fold: Stabilize the soil surface from excessive wind erosion and desiccation; and strengthen rural communities by ensuring the persistence of profitable agriculture in the region.

Innovations in Large-Scale Trap Cropping for Reducing Insect Pests

Trap cropping is a unique pest prevention system that uses insect behavior to deter pest feeding. Benefits of trap cropping not only include effective pest management, but trap crops can also increase biodiversity, conserve natural enemies and reduce wind damage to main crops.

High Tunnel Pest Exclusion System

Insect pests are one of the major problems in organic production systems. Organic IPM practice consists of a three-tiered approach consisting of systems-based practices, mechanical tactics, and biorational insecticides. Mechanical tactics encourage the use of physical barriers for pest exclusion. This bulletin provides preliminary research data and field observations about the success of shade cloths, or high tunnel pest exclusion (HTPE) systems, as a more permanent barrier system around the high tunnels.

High Tunnel Pest Exclusion System Part II

With the increasing demand for local foods across the Southeast, an increasing number of beginning, as well as experienced producers are producing vegetable crops in high tunnels for direct and whole sale markets. From the insect management perspective, it is extremely critical to adopt pest prevention practices; the high tunnel pest exclusion (HTPE) system is one of the best relatively-low cost pest preventive practices available to producers in the Southeast. This HTPE technology uses a variety of shade cloths for a relatively permanent pest prevention strategy. This bulletin provides information on the use of HTPE systems on the farm.

Sustainable High Plains Research Bulletins

A series of bulletins showcasing the various facets of Texas Tech University research on integrated crop and livestock production systems in the Texas High Plains. The bulletins cover sustainable agroecosystems, crops and soils, and water conservation.

Sustainable Crop/Livestock Systems in the Texas High Plains: Phase I

In a Southern SARE-funded project (LS97-082), “Sustainable Crop/Livestock Systems in the Texas High Plains”, Texas Tech University researchers hypothesized that viable grazing systems could be developed and that by integrating crops, forage, and livestock in production systems, their complementary benefits would allow a more sustainable use of water and soil while maintaining an appropriate level of crop and livestock production.

Diversifying in the Texas High Plains: Examples of agroecosystems models

The following system configurations are examples of the diversified crop/livestock production practices that have been studied across the Texas High Plains since 1997. These systems have been tested against cotton monoculture –a subsurface drip-irrigated system farmed with conventional cultural practices recommended for the High Plains region.

Agroecosystems Economics in the Texas High Plains: A 10-year analysis, 1999-2008

Based on 10 years of Texas Tech University research, integrated cotton-forage-beef cattle systems are just as profitable as cotton monoculture systems. But there’s more. Integrated crop-livestock systems use less irrigation water, are more energy efficient, preserve soils by reducing wind erosion, and have a lower economic risk related to specific-loss events, such as a drought.