Great Plains Grazing Quarterly eNewsletter

From the Director

Last week we held a field research symposium and annual meeting in Stillwater.  I particularly thank Rick Todd and the field research group for organizing and presenting their research results and conclusions.  Also, thanks to our OSU partners for hosting us.  It was really a nice summer break and I am even more confident that our research and extension work will make a real difference!

During the meeting we heard a very positive report from our external evaluators. We are proud of our successes and are taking steps to address the challenges remaining. As we wrap up our third year of funding we are preparing to submit our year 3 progress report and anticipate confirmation for year 4 funding in the near future. We are excited to move forward with project research and activities.

Please contact me if you have any questions.



Field Research Symposium

The inaugural Great Plains Grazing Research Symposium included presentations from field research scientists and graduate students on soil greenhouse gases, methane emissions from grazing systems, and strategies for adapting beef cattle production to varying conditions. Thanks to all who contributed your research. Papers included in the proceedings document are listed below.

Mass and Energy Fluxes: Basic Science
  • Cosmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing Systems (COMOS) in CAP fields at El Reno, Oklahoma
  • Hyperspectral Canopy Reflectance as a Predictor for Root Concentrations of Nitrogen and Carbon in Native and Non-native Grass Species
  • Assessment of Microbial Biomass Carbon and Nitrogen of Native and Non-Native Perennial Pasture Soil using Hyperspectral Data
  • Seasonal Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Nutrient Cycling in Semi-Arid Native and Non-Native Perennial Grass Pastures
  • Daily Time Series Evapotranspiration Maps for Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle
  • Eddy Covariance Measurements of Methane Fluxes Over Grazed Native and Improved Prairies in Oklahoma
  • Forage Nutritive Value of Plant Samples Collected by Clipping or Rumen Evacuation
  • Pasture-scale Measurement of Methane Emissions of Grazing Cattle
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Beef-cattle Grazing Systems
  • Comparison of Tillage Treatments on Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Established Winter Wheat Production
Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies: Applied Science
  • Effect of Corn-based Supplementation on Gas Emissions, Performance and Energetic Losses of Steers Grazing Wheat Pasture
  • Effects of Supplementation to Steers Consuming Green-chopped Wheat Pasture on Energy Losses and Nitrogen Balance
  • Influence of Protein Supplementation on Enteric Methane Production of Cattle Fed Low-quality Grass Hay
  • Intensified Cow/Calf Production in the Southern Great Plains
  • Stocker Cattle Performance is Greater When Grazing Patch-burned Rather than Unburned Cross-timbers Rangeland
  • Cattle Performance on Patch-Burned Vs. Yearly-Burned Native Tallgrass
The full proceedings document is available here.

Upcoming Events
Selected events. See our Events page for additional event information.

Strategic Application of Grazing Ecology for Better Range Utilization

Topics: Identifying economic weak links in forage based livestock enterprises that can and cannot be resolved with improved grazing management; plant responses to disturbance and defoliation; managing ecological function with grazing management; matching livestock and production cycles to forage resources; grazing management tools, rules, and guidelines; planning infrastructure to facilitate goals; annual grazing planning, monitoring, and drought management; and field activities and grazing demonstrations.

Location: The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK
Dates: Monday, June 20 - Friday June 24, 2016
Registration: $350. To register, contact Tim Steffens at 806-651-2781 or

More information



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In Case You Missed It

Recent articles, blog posts, and other timely info from/about our team as well as news items of interest to beef producers.

Intuitive Assessment Aids Stocking Rate Management
June 2016 - Ag News and Views

A producer with several years of experience with a property can make a determination on whether or not adjustments to the long-term stocking rate are needed by using his or her own intuition and observations.
Read full article here

Dewpoint, Dryline and Storms

May 13, 2016 - Weather & Agriculture: A Plains Perspective
So when you think about air moisture do you think dewpoint or relative humidity? Get a group of meteorologists together and they’ll soon bring up dewpoint temperatures and its role in severe storms. Get a group of farmers together and they’ll fill you in on how they watch relative humidity for baling hay and prescribed burns.
Read full article here


Upcoming Webinar

Register now for our June webinar!

Potentially Toxic Forage Crops for Cattle
1:30pm(CT) - June 28, 2016

Register here!

Growing cover crops offer potential benefits, including improved soil health, but some of these crops can pose a danger to foraging livestock. Those contemplating this decision should know that lants that work well as cover crops may not be suitable for forage or grazing.

Great Plains Grazing team member and Kansas State University southeast area extension beef systems specialist Jaymelynn Farney will present “Potentially Toxic Forage Crops for Cattle Producers,” a free webinar at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on Tuesday, June 28. The webinar is open to anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of how cover crops can fit into a livestock grazing system.

Webinar participants can expect to learn:

  • dangers associated with grazing some cover crop species
  • ways to mange potentially toxic forage crops

Farney is based at K-State’s Southeast Agricultural Research Center in Parsons. She grew up in Fort Sumner, New Mexico where her family had a cow-calf operation. She completed her associate’s degree in agriculture from Butler Community College where she was a member of the livestock judging team and then continued her education at Kansas State University in animal science. Jaymelynn then went to Oklahoma State University to complete her master’s in ruminant nutrition with an emphasis on receiving calf management. She returned to K-State to complete her Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition, using the dairy cow as the model for how inflammation impacts production.

Farney’s research interests include alternative forages and management practices to improve cowherd efficiency.  She is involved in the Sunflower Supreme Replacement Heifer Program which has developed protocols for replacement heifer development to help with breeding and calving ease.

The webinar series aims to provide research-based information, and is targeted for producers and extension agents. Previous webinars are archived and more information is available at .



New article in Climatic Change
Anandhi, A., Steiner, J. L., & Bailey, N. (2016). A system’s approach to assess the exposure of agricultural production to climate change and variability. Climatic Change, 136(3–4), 647–659.
Read the full article here.

New article in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
Wagle, P., Gowda, P. H., Xiao, X., & KC, A. (2016). Parameterizing ecosystem light use efficiency and water use efficiency to estimate maize gross primary production and evapotranspiration using MODIS EVI. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 222, 87–97.
Read the full article here.


Great Plains Grazing is a coordinated effort by a regional network of researchers and extension specialists to adapt grazing strategies to changing conditions.
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