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Grass-fed beef production systems of Argentina's flooding pampas : Understanding ecosystem heterogeneity to improve livestock production

Colaborador(es): Cid, María Silvia | Fernández Grecco, Roberto C | Oesterheld, Martín | Paruelo, José María | Cibils, Andrés F | Brizuela, Miguel A.
ISSN: 0030-7270.Tipo de material: Artículos y capítulos. Recurso electrónico.Tema(s): ARGENTINA | LIVESTOCK GRAZING | NATIVE GRASSLAND | RANCHING SYSTEM PRODUCTIVITY | STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL HETEROGENEITY | BOS | Recursos en línea: Haga clic para acceso en línea | LINK AL EDITOR. En: Outlook on Agriculture Vol.40, no.2 (2011), p.181-189Resumen: The homogeneous topography of Argentina's flooding pampas conceals a substantial amount of spatial and temporal ecosystem heterogeneity. Differences in soils, grassland botanical composition and plant growth regimes that occur down to individual paddocks influence livestock grazing patterns and, predictably, affect the productivity of cattle ranches in the region. Over 40 years of ecological research have greatly improved understanding of the structural and functional heterogeneity of this ecosystem. This better understanding has led to the development of grazing management strategies that help ranchers optimize secondary production by achieving a more efficient use of vegetation. As a result, cattle ranches are rapidly increasing profitability by integrating grass-fed yearling finishing programmes with the traditional cow-calf operations of the region.
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The homogeneous topography of Argentina's flooding pampas conceals a substantial amount of spatial and temporal ecosystem heterogeneity. Differences in soils, grassland botanical composition and plant growth regimes that occur down to individual paddocks influence livestock grazing patterns and, predictably, affect the productivity of cattle ranches in the region. Over 40 years of ecological research have greatly improved understanding of the structural and functional heterogeneity of this ecosystem. This better understanding has led to the development of grazing management strategies that help ranchers optimize secondary production by achieving a more efficient use of vegetation. As a result, cattle ranches are rapidly increasing profitability by integrating grass-fed yearling finishing programmes with the traditional cow-calf operations of the region.

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