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.
Sustainable Crop/Livestock Systems in the Texas High Plains: Phase II
In the Southern SARE-funded project (LS02-131), “Forage and Livestock Systems for Sustainable High Plains Agriculture,” research continued into Phase II with the addition of dryland grazing systems and deficit-irrigated forage-livestock grazing systems.
Sustainable Crop/Livestock Systems in the Texas High Plains: Phase III
In the Southern SARE-funded project (LS08-202), “Crop-Livestock Systems for Sustainable High Plains Agriculture,” the project continued into Phase III with system modifications and revisions to target greater water savings and profitability, and address emerging issues.
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.
Agroecosystems Research in the Texas High Plains: Graduate student studies
Since 1997, over two dozen Master’s, PhD, and visiting students have conducted research and published articles related to sustainable integrated systems research in the Texas High Plains.The following are examples of current studies by Texas Tech University graduate students.
Water Conservation in the Texas High Plains: A systems research model of sustainable agroecosystems
The objective of the initial SARE grant, (LS97-082), “Sustainable Crop/Livestock Systems in the Texas High Plains,” was simple: Demonstrate that farmers can save water through an alternative production approach to monoculture cotton.
Texas Alliance for Water Conservation: Farmers teaching farmers how to manage water like money
For over a decade, producers across the Texas High Plains have been educating other producers on production methods and new technologies that help save water.
Soil Quality of Integrated Crop/Livestock Systems: Enhancing soil carbon sequestration and microbial diversity
In the Southern SARE-funded study (LS10-229), “Integrated Crop and Livestock Systems for Enhanced Soil Carbon Sequestration and Microbial Diversity in the Semi-arid Texas High Plains,” Texas Tech University researchers evaluated integrated crop/livestock systems for long-term soil quality by assessing microbial activity and soil carbon storage.
Water Use of Old World Bluestems in the Texas High Plains: SARE research summary, 2001-2003
In a Southern SARE-funded Graduate Student Grant (GS02-012), “Optimizing Water Use for Three Old World Bluestems in the Texas High Plains,” Texas Tech University researchers evaluated three old world bluestem species under dryland, and low, medium and high irrigation levels to determine water use efficiency, yield and nutritive value over a three-year period.
Trap Cropping in Vegetable Production: One Approach to Managing Pests
A bulletin on Southern SARE-funded research studies on trap cropping to manage vegetable pests.