Grasslands are among the largest ecosystems in the world covering at least 25% of the earth's surface. In North Carolina specifically, grasslands cover approximately 2 million acres. In addition to providing a source of feed for livestock (dairy, beef, goats, horses, sheep), grasslands and the production of forage plants provide other ecosystem services to society such as soil and water conservation, carbon sequestration, increasing soil fertility, control of agricultural pests, habitat for wildlife, and have potential to serve as an alternative source for the production of bioenergy.
Our overarching goal is to develop information and technology to encourage efficient management of resources in forage-livestock systems. Specifically, we seek to accomplish this goal by focusing on research and extension programs. Research programs focus on understanding the factors that determine productivity and resiliency of forage-livestock systems, grass-based bioenergy systems, and the interactions among plants, animals, and the environment. Extension programs focus on training county/regional Extension Agents and land managers and also on providing support to several educational initiatives on- and off-campus who need assistance with grassland/forage programs or need information about these systems to aid local producers.
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