Photo Credit : Shelby Gruss
ResearchDiverse perennial circular forage systems are needed to foster resilience, ecosystem services, and socioeconomic benefits in agricultural landscapesDate Effective: June 2, 2022Date Updated: N/AIn the current agricultural landscape, which is dominated by annual crop monocultures, vulnerabilities to extreme weather events, soil degradation, water and air pollution, biodiversity loss, as well as negative impacts on human health and social equity, have become pronounced. In pursuit of enhanced resilience, stability, and a broader range of ecosystem services, we advocate for a pragmatic framework that places diversity, perennials, and circularity at its core. This innovative framework holds the potential to drive land transformations that effectively address the sustainability challenges facing agriculture. However, navigating the obstacles posed by policy, economic, and social barriers will necessitate a transdisciplinary approach to equitable knowledge production.
ExtensionForages can raise resilience baselineDate Effective: May 3, 2023Date Updated: N/AForage extension specialist at Michigan State University, Kim Cassida goes over how forages can play an integral role in resilience in Hay and Forage Grower Magazine.
ResearchFramework to develop an open-source forage data network to improve primary productivity and enhance system resiliencyDate Effective: August 17, 2023Date Updated: N/AThis paper discusses the importance of utilizing legacy data repositories to prevent redundant research, enhance knowledge synthesis, and improve agricultural system productivity. The focus is on creating an online searchable database, specifically for sustainable agricultural intensification and diversification, especially regarding forages. The authors outline the process of developing a community-driven forage database (Forage Data Hub) using various datasets encompassing different timeframes, spatial scales, and species. The steps include defining data requirements, standardizing and structuring data, creating a data thesaurus and model, and designing a web interface for database access. The study demonstrates the value of curating diverse datasets by analyzing forage system resiliency during extreme weather events. This is done by comparing standardized yields to yields during low-precipitation years. The results show that perennial systems outperform annual systems in terms of yield during challenging weather conditions. The development of the Forage Data Hub highlights the advantages of collaborative data sharing and curation, offering a way to assess sustainability and promote practices that enhance ecological intensification and resilience to climate variability.