A new peer-reviewed, scientific journal dedicated entirely to tropical pastures and forages has just been launched as an initiative of scientists from Australia and CIAT.
Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales will be an open-access, online journal, featuring articles in English and Spanish. It will be published three times-a-year, and the submission, review and publication of articles will be free-of-charge.
Published by CIAT, sponsorship for the journal comes from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS), together with a substantial contribution from an anonymous private donor in honour of the late Dr. José M. Toledo, who led CIAT’s Tropical Pastures Program during the 1980s.
According to Michael Peters, leader of CIAT’s Tropical Forages research program, the decision to launch the journal reflects the increasing recognition of the critical role of improved grasslands in sustainable agriculture, and the need to ensure the supporting science is widely available.
“Over 70% of agricultural land in the tropics is forages – mostly in the form of grazing lands,” he said. “If you want to show you’re serious about food security, poverty alleviation, the environment and climate change, you have to show that you’re serious about grasslands.
“For the last three years there has been no specialised scientific journal entirely focusing on tropical forages research and utilisation. It’s time to change that.”
Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales will follow in the tradition of the Spanish-only CIAT journal Pasturas Tropicales, last published in early 2007, and the Tropical Grasslands journal of the Tropical Grassland Society of Australia, last published in 2010. Lyle Winks, himself the former editor of Tropical Grasslands, will feature as the new journal’s English editor; CIAT’s Rainer Schultze-Kraft will be in charge of submissions in Spanish.
“We’re well aware that livestock production is currently responsible for some of the most damaging environmental impacts in the agricultural sector,” said Bob Clements, formerly director of ACIAR. “But science can help show that well-managed improved pasture and forage systems based on improved forage grasses can help reduce this burden and demonstrate that livestock production can be both profitable and sustainable.
“Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales will ensure that the latest research is properly validated and instantly accessible to all.”
The journal, which was formally launched by CATAS, ACIAR and CIAT in Haikou, Hainan, China, earlier this month, is now inviting submissions via its website. It also expects to produce a special edition second based on the 22nd International Grasslands Congress, in Sydney, Australia from 15-19th September 2013.