Rangeland ecosystems are one of the largest single providers of agro-ecological services in the U.S. The plant growth of these rangelands helps determine the amount of forage available for our livestock and for wildlife, as well as information about fire likelihood and restoration opportunities. However, every spring, ranchers and other rangeland managers face the same difficult challenge —trying to approximate how much and where grass will be available during the upcoming growing season. This project represents an innovative grassland productivity forecasting tool, named “Grass-Cast”, which we are developing for the US Southwest to help managers and producers in the region reduce this economically important source of uncertainty. Grass-Cast combines satellite data with historical rangeland plant growth information and precipitation forecasts to help predict if rangelands are likely to produce above-normal, near-normal, or below-normal amounts of vegetation in the upcoming season.
Principal Investigator : Sasha C Reed
Cooperator/Partner : Bill Smith, Brian Fuchs, Bill Parton, Emile Elias, Brian Wardlow, Dawn Browning