Texas

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Drought-tolerant Feed Alternatives for Small Ruminants in Arid Texas

MARFA, Texas – Visitors to Big Bend Country in far West Texas come for the desert mountain views, mystery lights in the sky, a burgeoning art culture…and Malinda Beeman’s goats. Beeman and her partner Allan McClane run Marfa Maid Dairy – a 25 dairy goat herd operation where they sell artisan cheeses and give weekly […]

Texas Beekeeper Rethinking Bee Hive Boxes for More Honey and Better Bee Health

MABANK, Texas – Texas beekeeper Daniel Brantner has a simple and economical solution for increasing honey production and improving the health of honey bees: redesigning the industry-standard bee hive boxes. Brantner, owner of Texas Honey Company and a certified Texas master beekeeper, is using his skills as an architect to turn the typical standard 16”X22” […]

Texas A&M Researchers Identify Ideal Cover Crop Species for Southeast Texas

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Under the right conditions, cover crops are a tool for improvement. After harvesting a crop like cotton or grain sorghum, a cover crop rotation can increase soil organic matter, recycle nutrients, prevent erosion and suppress weeds. Even though farmers and ranchers across the Southeast have seen these benefits and moved towards […]

Researchers Study How to Prevent Cover Crops from Failing to Fix Nitrogen

EDINBURG, Texas- Known for their ability to produce nitrogen, legumes actually partner with rhizobium bacteria to create or fix nitrogen through specialized organs in their roots called nodules. This unique relationship adds nitrogen back to the soil so it can be used as fertilizer by future crops. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, researchers […]

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.

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.

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.

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.

Biological Control of Saltcedar

A fact sheet published by Texas AgriLife Extension on using leaf beetles as a biological control of saltcedar, an invasive shrub found throughout Texas.