Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Effect of Farmer Decision Making on Nutrient Cycling Outcomes in An Integrated Crop-Livestock Agro-Ecosystem in Yucatán, Mexico.

David Parsons1, Jerome Cherney2, Quirine Ketterings3, Charles F. Nicholson4, Robert W. Blake4, Luis Ramírez-Aviles5, and Luis O. Tedeschi6. (1) Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, 505 Bradfield Hall, Ithaca, NY 14850-2656, (2) 503 Bradfield Hall, Cornell University, Dept.of Crop & Soil Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, (3) 817 Bradfield Hall, Cornell University, Cornell University, Department of Crop & Soil Sciences, Ithaca, NY 14853, (4) Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, (5) Universidad Autónomo de Yucatán, Mérida, Mexico, (6) Texas A&M, College Station, TX 77840

The rural poor of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, rely primarily on shifting cultivation in forested areas to generate income from crop and livestock production. A dynamic simulation model was developed to describe nutrient flows in and out of farms and between farming system components. Results from the scenarios constructed and analyzed show the benefits of having mixed crop-livestock systems, and also the nutrient cycling outcomes of a range of livestock feeding practices.