Demonstration of a Sustainable Integrated Production System for Native Pecan and Beef Cattle Producers and its Effect on Ecology in Flood Prone Areas

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 1999: $210,188.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Region: Southern
State: Oklahoma
Principal Investigator:
B. Dean McCraw
Dept. of Horticulture

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Nuts: pecans
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: grazing - rotational, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: multiple cropping
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
  • Natural Resources/Environment: wetlands
  • Pest Management: integrated pest management
  • Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems


    This demonstration showed that legumes can meet the pecan trees’ N requirement even if grazed. However, increasing N application by 10% in grazed orchards likely would be a good long term investment to offset loss to grazing. Legumes may offer the greatest benefit on grazed sites that tend to have less native forage, e.g. flood prone sites, as they offer grazing benefits as well as nitrogen fixing benefits. Higher yield of both pecans and beef in the non-flood site suggests the need to correct drainage problems or, if that is not possible, to focus management inputs on those trees with the greatest production potential.

    Project objectives:

    Demonstrate the effects of a legume based grazed native pecan orchard management system on soil N fixation, soil characteristics and beneficial insect attraction.

    Demonstrate trapping and weather monitoring to schedule pecan weevil and scab spray programs compatible with livestock.

    Demonstrate a fully integrated and sustainable legume based beef and native pecan production system.

    Quantify treatment effects on changes to the plant community.

    Quantify the economic benefits of legumes, weevil trapping, scab monitoring and grazing in a native pecan system.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.