A dedicated service award was recently presented to Monte Rouquette, forage scientist at Texas A&M University’s Texas AgriLife Research, from the southern section of the American Society of Animal Science.
Based in Overton, TX, Rouquette was cited for his years of work with what animal scientists call the soil-plant-animal interface, says Vanessa Corriher, the Texas AgriLife Extension forage agronomist who nominated him for the award. That means his research deals with not just one aspect of grazing systems, but how the performance of cattle, forages and soils interact and affect the performance of each other, she adds.
“The primary impact of science from Rouquette’s projects has further defined biological boundaries for environmentally compatible, sustainable pasture-livestock systems,” says Corriher.
He studied nutrient recycling long before higher fertilizer prices became an issue. Starting in 1985, he compared soil nutrient levels, forage production and animal performance on two fertility treatments. In one treatment, nitrogen was applied to bermudagrass pastures overseeded with annual ryegrass. In the other, no nitrogen was applied to bermudagrass pasture overseeded with annual clover.
Rouquette found that stocking rates with clover where no nitrogen was applied had to be lighter, but cost per pound of gain was lower than with the fertilized pasture.
In other notable research, he worked with stocker cattle on small grains and ryegrass and studied the economic benefits of Tifton 85 bermudagrass.