Extending the Grazing Season and Integrating Crops and Livestock to Sustain Small Farms and Ranches in the Southern Rockies

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2007: $7,381.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Steven Guldan
New Mexico State University


  • Agronomic: oats, rye, vetches
  • Vegetables: sweet corn, turnips
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing - rotational, winter forage
  • Crop Production: cropping systems, intercropping, multiple cropping, relay cropping
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems

    Proposal abstract:

    At the Alcalde Sustainable Agriculture Science Center, we propose planting demonstration plots ofexperimental treatments from our sweet com interseeding grazing study I , as well as additional plots ofchile pepper relay-interseeded with annual forages. The sweet com interseeding study was a key part of our original research and our resuJts indicated its promise for significantly increasing productivity given the great, generally untapped, potential for maximizing use ofthe growing season in our semi-arid environment through relayintercropping. Ten total demonstration plots will be planted: • Sweet com, relay-interseeded with forage turnip, oats, hairy vetch, winter rye, and a control (no interseeded crop); each sweet com-interseeded crop combination will be aseparate demonstration plot. • Chile-pepper interseeded with forage turnip, oats, hairy vetch, winter rye, and a control (no interseeded crop); each chile pepper-interseeded crop combination will be a separate demonstration plot. An early-to mid-season sweet com cultivar and locally-adapted chile pepper variety will be planted in early May (or, ifavailable, chile pepper starts transplanted late Mayor early June) on shaped beds 36 inches apart at recommended densities. Each demonstration plot will be four rows wide and at least 30 feet long. Fertilization will be as locally recommended. For sweet com, one halfofnitrogen will be applied at planting and the other half side-dressed at last cultivation. All interseeded crop seed will be sown into the standing com and chile pepper with a broadcast spreader at last cultivation and incorporated with a row crop cultivator. Crops will be furrow-irrigated as needed. Plots will be labeled when interseeded crops begin to emerge for observation by field day participants and by walk-on visitors through the following spring.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Outcome I. Demonstration plots; and, Outcome II. Field days. Outcome will be measured by: 1) Number of field day participants viewing the demonstration plots; 2) Feedback from participants regarding number and percentage ofparticipants who: a) learned about interseeding for the first time, b) indicate they may try an interseeding approach based on our demonstration plots and/or original project results. Outcome III. Seminar. Outcome will be measured by: 1) Number of students and number of faculty attending the seminar; 2) Feedback from students regarding number and percentage who learned about interseeding or the potential for interseeding in New Mexico for the first time; 3) Faculty teaching crop production or related courses who express interest or willingness to incorporate project results into a course. Outcome IV. Publications. 1) Publication ofjournal article based on sweet com interseeding and grazing study. 2) Publication ofextension guide/circular on general topic of relay-interseeding vegetable crops in irrigated floodplains ofcentral and north-central New Mexico. This publication will also be available on-line. Objective I: To determine the ability of forage Brassicas and oats to provide late-season forage. and hairy vetch and winter rye to provide early-season forage. when overseeded into sweet com stalks.

    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.