Northeast Pasture Consortium 2019 Research and Education Priorities

1. Explore new methods to transfer knowledge and information to increase adoption of research findings within the agriculture community; incorporate social science research into increased adoption and technology transfer.

  • Including Farm Bureau to additionally influence regulations and legislations
  • USDA-ARS—keep working with and building partnerships
  • Seek new contact with USDA-NRCS Chief, commitment to encourage reps from every state (electronic options for joining?)
  • Strengthen Extension research connections, work listservs and across communication methods
  • University research connections, work listservs and across communication methods—use OREI funding opportunity
  • Invite farmers from all NEPC states (Cedar Tree grant—NE states, could apply to USDA OTT, USDA-NIFA Scott Angle)

2. Ecosystem services and disservices from pasture systems and grazing management.

  • Impacts to riparian areas
  • Impacts to water quality (citizen involvement)
  • Wildlife benefits to adaptive grazing management
  • Impacts of permanent stream and streambank exclusion from livestock grazing riparian area pastures
  • Economic models for ecosystem service payments (measurement, payment, structure)
  • Silvopasture contributions to carbon sequestration; adaptive strategy in changing climate conditions

3. Research adjustments in forage management needs in a changing climate.

  • Regional management approaches (understanding variability)
  • Species adaptation and evaluation (meadow fescue, use of annuals, increase in invasive plants)

4. Soil biology and management impacts on animal health and human health.

  • Small ruminant parasite research at WVU, Rhode Island, Cornell
  • Red and white clover functions in animal and soil health, pollinators, forage and animal production
  • Grazing management as it affects soil health (compaction, worms)

5. Further research in meat and dairy products regarding human nutrition and health.

  • Fatty acid updates, importance of side chains on long chain FAs, and short chain FAs
  • Artificial gut for milk digestibility
  • Whole milk/fats
  • Probiotics/prebiotics
  • C3, C4 grasses, forbs, and effects on O-3 in milk and meat

6. Addressing the heavy use area/pasture interface (vegetation management).

  • Comparison of options (deep-bed packs, composted packs, wood chips)
  • Biological composition of bedded packs and livestock health (mastitis—John Barlow & Deb Neher)
  • Bale grazing & in-field winter management/calving
  • Species evaluation for vegetated heavy use areas

7. Farm profitability and upcoming cultural/societal changes.

  • Compare different philosophies, results, benchmarks
  • Development of artificial meat (and other animal products) and how will that affect our work, audience, research
  • Ecological/carbon footprint of animal production compared to ecological footprints of alternative products
  • Quality assurance program requirements; impacts on profitability