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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2021; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062021

Linkages Between acequia Farming and Rangeland Grazing in Traditional Agropastoral Communities of the Southwestern USA

1
Formerly Department of Animal and Range Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
2
Department of Animal and Range Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
3
Formerly Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde, New Mexico State University, Alcalde, NM 87511, USA
4
Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde, New Mexico State University, Alcalde, NM 87511, USA
5
Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
6
Center for Applied Spatial Ecology, NM Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
7
Department of Curriculum & Instruction, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

Many agropastoral systems worldwide are supported by important linkages between crop production and rangeland grazing. We explored the connections between smallholder farming and public rangeland grazing in northern New Mexico, USA. We retrieved historical data of livestock inventories, drought, and hay production which we analyzed using either ordinary least squares models, generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity models (GARCH), or exponential GARCH models. We also conducted a survey of farmers and ranchers (n = 74) of traditional communities in our study area using a mixed methods design. County hay production was the only predictor that explained year-to-year variation in allotment livestock numbers. Allotments that increased livestock numbers tended to have larger base properties (mostly irrigated cropland). Most survey respondents (95%) raised livestock and slightly more than half agreed that livestock provided better financial security than crops. Availability of summer grazing lands and ability to grow or purchase hay to feed livestock during winter were the factors cited least (6% of responses) and most (42%), respectively, as limiting farmers’ ability to increase their herd size. Livestock-raising apparently continues to be critical to the acequia agropastoral economy. Ability to acquire winter feed (hay) appears to regulate the demand for summer grazing on public forested rangelands. View Full-Text
Keywords: Parciantes; grazing allotments; pastoralism; smallholders; New Mexico Parciantes; grazing allotments; pastoralism; smallholders; New Mexico
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López, S.C.; Cibils, A.F.; Smedly, U.R.; Guldan, S.J.; Fernald, A.G.; Ochoa, C.G.; Boykin, K.G.; Cibils, L. Linkages Between acequia Farming and Rangeland Grazing in Traditional Agropastoral Communities of the Southwestern USA. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2021.

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