Theme 1: Rangeland/Grassland Ecology--Oral Sessions

Description

Pasture management and the particular conditions of each year are responsible for productive results, farm income, and condition of the pasture. A simple and robust method that relates the available grass and the required grass was built in a participatory manner, and contributes to a critical reflection process among the group of decision-making, adapting to their context. In 17 farms from the Basalt region in Uruguay, grass and animals were monitored seasonally. A simple method was developed with farmers, and from de offer needed to meet production targets (KgMS/KgPV) the amount of grass requires was calculated. The grass height was measured with a ruler in order to obtain the available grass. From the relationship between the available grass and the necessary grass, a situation index (ISPC- Index on the food plate) was developed, and ranges were established with colors. Index less than 0.6 with Red color, between 0.6 and 0.8 Yellow, between 0.8 and 1.2 Green, and greater than 1,2 brown. Each group of ranchers analyzed their seasonal index together in workshops with other ranchers and guest technicians, who proposed alternatives to place the index whitin the optimum range. The host ranchers group selected and ordered the proposed alternatives by priority, and the resulting actions were described by using UML (Unified Modeling Lenguage) diagrams. Each rancher obtained one UML per season, with the right action to be taken in case of deficit or excess of grass. This process incorporated local, professional and academic knowledge, and by applying a simple method, measures were adapted according to the context of each rancher. The technician role was to facilitate the process by creating an environment that stimulated critical reflection, supported by real evidence. Participating ranchers achieved the ability to measure, relate, discuss an decide, and significantly improved their productive results by adopting participatory constructed methodology.

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Collaborative Construction of a Method that Contributes to Improve the Decision Making in Associative Ranches by Controlling the Grass Allowance in a Context of Climate Variability

Pasture management and the particular conditions of each year are responsible for productive results, farm income, and condition of the pasture. A simple and robust method that relates the available grass and the required grass was built in a participatory manner, and contributes to a critical reflection process among the group of decision-making, adapting to their context. In 17 farms from the Basalt region in Uruguay, grass and animals were monitored seasonally. A simple method was developed with farmers, and from de offer needed to meet production targets (KgMS/KgPV) the amount of grass requires was calculated. The grass height was measured with a ruler in order to obtain the available grass. From the relationship between the available grass and the necessary grass, a situation index (ISPC- Index on the food plate) was developed, and ranges were established with colors. Index less than 0.6 with Red color, between 0.6 and 0.8 Yellow, between 0.8 and 1.2 Green, and greater than 1,2 brown. Each group of ranchers analyzed their seasonal index together in workshops with other ranchers and guest technicians, who proposed alternatives to place the index whitin the optimum range. The host ranchers group selected and ordered the proposed alternatives by priority, and the resulting actions were described by using UML (Unified Modeling Lenguage) diagrams. Each rancher obtained one UML per season, with the right action to be taken in case of deficit or excess of grass. This process incorporated local, professional and academic knowledge, and by applying a simple method, measures were adapted according to the context of each rancher. The technician role was to facilitate the process by creating an environment that stimulated critical reflection, supported by real evidence. Participating ranchers achieved the ability to measure, relate, discuss an decide, and significantly improved their productive results by adopting participatory constructed methodology.