Event Date

November 13, 2018, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Research Lecture Series

Program Information

Brown Bag Lectures
Dates: First Tuesday of each month
Time: 12 - 1pm
Location: online for now
Cost: Free, Open to the Public

BRIT Research Seminars
Date: Various dates throughout year
Time: 12 - 1pm 
Location: online for now
Cost: Free, Open to the Public
Visit the event page for specific date and time information.

Point of Contact

Brooke Byerley Best, Ph.D.

Director of Research Programs

How do different grazing management systems affect soil health? To address this question, this project evaluated a suite of soil health indicators, and interrelationships with vegetation, under three different grazing management systems in northcentral Texas. Soil samples (0-15cm) were collected in April 2017 from ranches with three different grazing management systems: Ranch 1 (HSHF): high stocking rate and rotation frequency, Ranch 2 (MSMF): medium stocking rate and rotation frequency, and Ranch 3 (LSCG): low stocking rate with continuous grazing. Sampling sites were selected using soil maps and expert knowledge to identify locations with similar soil type, landscape position, and climate. Soil samples were shipped within 48 hours to Cornell Soil Health Lab for the Comprehensive Assessment for Soil Health (CASH), University of Missouri for microbial community composition using phospholipid fatty acid profiling, and, Dr. Haney’s lab in Temple, TX for the Soil Health Tool (SHT) Index. Plant community composition, diversity, and production potential were measured along each transect at the same time soil samples were collected.

In general, measured soil health differences (SOM, WHC, WEON) were slightly greater in MSMF system compared to LSCG system. Although sampling locations targeted similar soil types, clay content was an important covariate, indicating adjustments for this variable were necessary for proper interpretation of SOM and WHC. SOM and aggregate stability measures were decoupled from each other with the highest SOM ranch having the lowest aggregate stability score.  From a soil health perspective, all three ranches exhibited effects of sound grazing management, with only subtle differences in a few soil health indicators; none of the ranches were in a degraded condition. Future analyses to explore economic differences and relationships among vegetation data and soil microbial community composition using molecular tools are pending.


Presenters: Jennifer Moore-Kucera1, Kristie A. Maczko2, Jeff Goodwin3

Affiliations: Soil Health Division, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services1; Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable University of Wyoming2; Noble Resources Institute3

About Research Lecture Series

The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public. Please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars.