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 […]
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.
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.
Texas Farmers Learn to Build Soil Health Through No-till and Cover Crops
VERNON, Texas – It’s a hot, dry, windy summer day on the plains of North Texas, and a group of farmers are standing in the middle of a field to learn how techniques to build soil health benefit their cash crops in Texas’ harsh environmental conditions. “This is what no-till looks like in the first […]
In Drought-stricken Texas, Researchers are Finding Water Conservation Solutions in Cover Crops
LUBBOCK, Texas – In the Texas High Plains, a region where the water-depleting Ogallala Aquifer endangers productive agriculture, and hot, arid winds erode soils and rob them of nutrients, cover crops offer a useful option to livestock producers. In a two-year graduate student study at Texas Tech University, funded through the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research […]
Texas Producer Finds Asparagus Can Be Viable in the South Nearly Year-Round
LYFORD, Texas — A south Texas producer, interested in increasing the diversity of crop production for local farmers, has found that asparagus can be grown in the Texas heat practically year-round by mimicking the “die-back” that occurs in the plants during dormancy in colder climates. With a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Producer […]
SARE Fellows Tour, a Look at Sustainable Ag Across the Country, Makes a Stop in Texas
D’HANIS, Texas — Travis Krause lets out a loud cattle call. Within seconds, his herd appears in the distance among the tall grass, brush and trees of the South Texas Plains, and makes a fast trot to where the young farmer is standing. The animals line up side by side as if preparing for a […]
Artificial Light Sources in Chicken Houses Increase Egg Laying in Hens During Fall and Winter
COMMERCE, Texas – Research at Texas A&M University-Commerce has found that adding a safe, artificial light source to the coops of pasture-raised poultry increases egg laying in hens in the fall and winter – a time of the year when egg production in pasture poultry generally declines. Graduate student Margaret Morgan said that the main […]
Cover Crops and Cotton in the Texas High Plains: SARE research summary, 2007-2009
In a Southern SARE-funded Graduate Student Grant (GS07-056), “Allelopathic Effects of Small Grain Cover Crops on Cotton Plant Growth and Yields,” Texas Tech University researchers investigated allelopathy as the possible cause of the observed suppression and to incorporate livestock grazing as a means of reducing the allelopathic effects on the cotton crop.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.