The University of Arizona

Forage Performance in Crop—Livestock Systems Designed to Reduce Water Withdrawals From a Declining Aquifer

Cody Zilverberg, Phil Brown, Paul Green, Vivien Allen, Michael Galyean


On the Ground
• In the semiarid Texas High Plains, integrating crops
with grazing systems could conserve irrigation
water and increase perennial grassland.
• We combined irrigated and nonirrigated exotic and
native grasses with cotton production.
• We grazed and hayed the grasses, harvested grass
seed, and harvested cotton.
• Strategically combining different forages, fertilizer,
and water inputs can extend the grazing season,
improve the quality of available forage, and provide
a buffer against moderate drought.
• Nonirrigated, seeded native grass mixtures can
provide valuable grazing and decrease total water
use of an integrated crop-livestock system.
Keywords: water conservation, grazing, forage,
irrigation, Ogallala Aquifer, crude protein, fiber.

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