Multistate Research Projects


"The mission of the multistate research program is to enable research on high-priority topics among the State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES) in partnership with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), other research institutions and agencies, and with the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). In this way, technological opportunities and complex problem solving activities, which are beyond the scope of a single SAES, can be approached in a more efficient and comprehensive way."

Hatch Act

Hatch-multistate projects are similar to Hatch-regular projects, but involve a team of investigators associated with several State Agricultural Experiment Stations working together to solve complex scientific problems of regional or national interest. Approximately 25 percent of the Hatch Act funds provided to the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station (NEAES) are set aside to support multistate research activities. The Agricultural Research Division (IANR) encourages faculty to participate in Multistate (regional) Research Projects that benefit Nebraska and its citizens.

NC 1181 - Enhancing Resiliency of Beef Production under Shifting Forage Resources

In order to maintain or increase the size of the US beef cow herd, improving the use of forage resources in a sustainable manner is essential. This project will 1) investigate strategies to optimize the sustainable use of the remaining range and pastureland, and 2) expand the use of alternative forages such as crop residues and annual forage crops.

The project objectives are:

  1. Optimize the utilization of crop residues by grazing and harvesting, and determine the effects on agroecosystems.
  2. Evaluate strategies to increase efficient use and productivity of range and pasturelands through strategic timing and density of stocking and shifting species composition to more productive species.
  3. Evaluate effects of integrating annual forage crops into year-round forage systems for beef production.
  4. Develop innovative beef systems that match shifting forage resources.
  5. Conduct multi-faceted education/extension program to disseminate research results, to include extension papers as well as regional conferences on the use of crop residues, annual forages, and range and pastureland by livestock.

University of Nebraska researchers include Bruce Anderson, Jeff Bradshaw, Mary Drewnoski, John Guretzky, Karla Jenkins, James MacDonald, Jay Parsons, Daren Redfearn, Walter Schacht, Mitchell Stephenson, and Jerry Volesky. Associate Dean and Director of ARD, Deb Hamernik, serves as the advisor.

Participating states are Tennessee, Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, and Iowa.

NC 1182 - Management and Environmental Factors Affecting Nitrogen Cycling and Use Efficiency in Forage-Based Livestock Production Systems

Increased demand for meat products by consumers during past decades has encouraged producers to respond with an increased intensification of forage-based livestock production. Hence, there is an urgent need for scientific information to help producers make decisions about how to best manage rural landscapes and to produce agricultural commodities while maintaining soil, water, and air quality. Experiments will examine alternative strategies to enhance legume establishment and persistence, improve N harvest efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) footprints in pastures; assess secondary plant metabolites in forage legumes for increased N retention and altered N cycling in dung and urine excretions from grazing ruminant animals; and quantify the effects of intensive pasture management strategies on N harvest efficiency and spatiotemporal patterns of N cycling in grassland agro-ecosystems.

The project objectives are:

  1. Evaluate legume cultural and management strategies emphasizing legume establishment, N cycling and use efficiency, and GHG emissions. (AR, KY, NE, UT). Specific objectives: (i) identify practices that optimize legume establishment and persistence. (ii) Compare N cycling and use efficiency of ruminants grazing pastures with and without forage legumes. (iii) Determine the impact of legumes on the GHG footprint of livestock production systems.
  2. Assess the efficacy of secondary plant metabolites in legume species for increasing N retention and improving N cycling in forage-livestock systems. (AR, KY, MI, UT) Specific objectives: (i) Evaluate effects of birdsfoot trefoil, a tannin-containing legume, on N partitioning in dung and urine excretions. (ii) Determine soluble phenolic and genotypic effects of forage legume protein fractionation and nitrogen availability. (iii) Evaluate effects of genetic variability in tannin concentration on soil N availability in mixed birdsfoot trefoil/tall fescue swards.
  3. Quantify effects of pasture management strategies on N use efficiency by ruminant animals and N cycling in herbage and soils of grassland agro-ecosystems. (AR, NE, MI, OK) Specific objectives: (i) Investigate effects of management strategies that alter spatiotemporal distribution of grazing and nutritive value of forage on ruminant performance and N harvest efficiency. (ii) Evaluate effects of management strategies on herbage mass and accumulation, nutritive value, botanical composition, and N use efficiency across growing seasons and pasture landscapes. (iii) Determine N pool and cycling responses to management strategies across variable soil environments and climatic conditions. (iv) Evaluate byproduct supplementation as a source of N for annual forages in integrated cropping livestock systems.
  4. Disseminate research results through coordinated extension/education activities, including extension publications, university course material, and regional and state conference on nitrogen cycling and use efficiency and management of grass-legume mixtures. (AR, KY, MI, NE, OK, UT)

University of Nebraska researchers include James MacDonald, Walter Schacht and John Guretzky.

Participating states are Tennessee, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Nebraska, Missouri, Mississippi, Utah, Washington, and Kansas.