Annual Legume-Based Systems for Sustainable Integrated Crop/Livestock Enterprise Diversification on the Central High Plains

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $200,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $200,535.00
Region: Western
State: Wyoming
Principal Investigator:
James Krall
University of Wyoming

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: medics/alfalfa, peas (field, cowpeas), wheat


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, manure management, grazing - rotational
  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, continuous cropping, fallow, multiple cropping, no-till
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, mentoring, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns
  • Natural Resources/Environment: soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: biological control, competition
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: organic matter


    In the drought, the large seeded legume AWP constantly established. The smaller seed medic was much more variable in establishment regardless of the establish method under the drought conditions that persisted over the period of the project. Results from grazing sheep to control weeds in chickpeas were variable. A highlight is the finding regarding the feeding of two different classes of grain pea to livestock. Results indicate that discounting Forager “dun” pea grain based on livestock feed value is not justified. Further investigation of large seeded legume forages and bio-control grazing for weed control in chickpeas is proposed.

    Project objectives:

    Our overall goal is to further develop annual legume-based systems for the economical integration of crop/livestock enterprises. Specific objectives are:

    (1) Expansion of the Austrian winter pea grazing/wheat system to encompass beef production.
    (2) Determine optimum medic ‘ley’ establishment practices.
    (3) Identification of pea lines for optimum winter survival, and forage and/or grain quality and yield.
    (4) Nutritional and economic value determination of ‘dun’ and ‘white’ grain pea types.
    (5) Development of protocol for biological control of weeds in chickpea for organic production.

    Field study components are aimed at educational outreach as plot tours will be held at each field site. Thus, experimental plots also serve as demonstration sites. All objectives address information outreach to producers.

    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.