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Multi-Paddock Grazing project


Project Overview

icon-natureThe Multi-Paddock Grazing Project fits into the iSEE research themes of Water and Land Stewardship and Secure and Sustainable Agriculture.


View a video of why this project led by Arizona State University is important to farmers

In Lead Investigator Nuria Gomez-Casanovas’ words:

“Agricultural systems must adapt to increasing demands for food, while facing increasing threats, particularly related with the loss of ecosystem services. To meet this challenge, future food production needs new agricultural management strategies that increase ecosystem services while enhancing food production.

“We will investigate how emerging adaptive multi-paddock grazing management (AMP) that has the potential to increase soil carbon sequestration compared to the ‘business as usual’ continuous grazing (CG) affects the delivery of regulating services — greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation and water use efficiency (WUE) — from grazed pastures used for livestock production.

“The outcomes of the proposed research will reduce the uncertainty surrounding GHG emissions and WUE of grazed pastures using current and emerging management techniques. The proposed research will fill major knowledge gaps in how AMP grazing affects ecosystem productivity, net ecosystem GHG exchange (CO2, CH4 and N2O), and WUE of pastures.”

Project News

The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) was instrumental in helping a University of Illinois team land iSEE Visiting Research Scientist Nuria Gomez-Casanovas, Baum Family Director Evan H. DeLucia, and Postdoctoral Research Associate Elena Blanc Betes $1,045,560 from the Arizona State University Foundation for a study titled “Can Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing Management Increase the Net Greenhouse Gas Sink Strength and Water Use Efficiency of Grazed Pastures?”

The team will be part of a collaborative effort to study if a new grazing practice can help sequester carbon in soils, thus helping to regulate greenhouse gas emissions — and increase water use efficiency on farmlands. The ASU Foundation received matching $1.25 million grants from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and McDonald’s Corp. for this study.

The Team

From left: Evan H. DeLucia, Nuria Gomez-Casanovas, and Maria Elena Blanc Betes.

Principal Investigator (PI) and co-PIs

  • Nuria Gomez-Casanovas (PI), iSEE Visiting Researcher, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Lab page >>>
  • Evan H. DeLucia (Co-PI), Arends Professor of Plant Biology and iSEE Baum Family Director, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    School of Integrative Biology profile page >>>
    Lab page >>>
  • Maria Elena Blanc Betes (Co-PI), iSEE Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Lab page >>>


Illinois Operating Team (Postdocs, Technicians, Students)

  • Aidan McMahon, Field and Lab Technician


Researchers on the original ASU Project

  • Peter Byck (Lead PI), Professor of Practice, School of Sustainability, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, ASU
    His ASU page >>>
  • Steve Apfelbaum (Co-PI), Principal Ecologist, Founder, and Chairman, Applied Ecological Services Inc.
    His AES page >>>
  • Jason Rowntree (Co-PI), Associate Professor of Animal Science, Michigan State University
    His MSU page >>>
  • Allen Williams (Co-PI), Chief Ranching Officer, Joyce Farms
    His Joyce Farms page >>>
  • Russ Conser, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Soil
    His Standard Soil page >>>
  • Francesca Cotrufo, Professor of Soil Ecology, Colorado State University
    Her CSU page >>>
  • Jennifer Hodbod, Assistant Professor of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University
    Her MSU page >>>
  • David Johnson, Research Scientist and Molecular Biologist, Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research, New Mexico State University
    The Institute page >>>
  • Michael Lehman, Research Microbiologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Brookings, S.D.
    His USDA page >>>
  • Jonathan Lundgren, Founder and Director, Ecdysis Foundation
    His Ecdysis page >>>
  • Keith Paustian, Professor of Soil Ecology, Colorado State University
    His CSU page >>>
  • Benjamin Runkle, Assistant Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of Arkansas
    His Arkansas page >>>
  • Janice Swanson, Professor of Animal Science and Director of Animal Welfare, Michigan State University
    Her MSU page >>>
  • Wendy Taheri, Microbiologist, TerraNimbus LLC
    The TerraNimbus page >>>
  • Greg Thoma, Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas
    His Arkansas page >>>


Granting Partners

  • The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded $1.25 million to the ASU Foundation
  • McDonald’s Corp. matched FFAR, Shell, and ExxonMobil Foundations’ $1.25 million — part of its $4.5M commitment to grazing research

Publications & Presentations

Coming soon!