Climate variability

Scientists: Climate variability will intensify in the Great Plains | Land and Cattle Post


Cow / calf operations in the Great Plains are likely to be affected by the increased variability in rainfall which supports forage production for 50% of the country’s cow herd.

Texas A&M AgriLife photo

By ADAM RUSSELL Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Mother Nature has provided increasingly erratic precipitation for the Great Plains over the past decade, affecting grasslands, forage systems and beef production in the region – and scientists expect this trend to be ‘intensifies.

Scientists and collaborators at Texas A&M AgriLife Research explored the rural economic impacts of climate variability and identified potential future outcomes for beef cattle production in a research paper titled “Future climate variability will challenge the production of Beef Cattle on the Great Plains ”, recently published in the journal. Golf courses.

David Briske, AgriLife Research course ecologist in the Department of Conservation Ecology and Biology at Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Bryan-College Station, was the lead author. The co-authors were John Ritten, University of Wyoming; Amber Campbell, Kansas State University; Toni Klemm, postdoctoral research associate at AgriLife Research; and Audrey King, Oklahoma State University.

The researchers concluded that the key to sustainable beef cattle production in the Great Plains is to prepare for climate change in the region rather than react to climate change, and hope their article can guide discussions and encourage action. futures.

Growing climate variability in the Great Plains

Climate change is often viewed as a long-term gradual change in weather conditions, such as precipitation and temperature. But future weather conditions in the Great Plains may be characterized by increased variability in precipitation, or increased cases of wet or dry years and less “normal years,” Briske said.


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