The Inland Northwest’s irrigated and dryland ‘pastureland’ is estimated to cover about 660,000 and 10,700,000 acres, respectively (NASS 2016), but separating native rangeland from introduced dryland pastures is difficult from these data. Holechek et.al. (1989) stated “stands of introduced forages that are maintained without annual cultivation and irrigation and are harvested by grazing animals are considered rangelands”. Biologically, major differences between native rangeland and introduced perennial dryland pasture species include: species composition, annual growth patterns, response to external inputs, and utilization. Irrigated pastures are characterized by higher stocking rates and carrying capacity, extended seasonal growth and utilization, high animal performance, but with higher inputs costs.
Each senior project core team member will contribute more than 250 hours in preparation and training more than 250 Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency and Conservation District advisors, consultants, and progressive producers at nine PNW locations on principles in “The Pacific Northwest Inland Pasture Calendar”. Timing is of the essence with many senior specialists retiring soon. New faculty and young advisors are added to the team, rebuilding the knowledge base and developing You Tube videos on Calendar principles. The Calendar is differentiated into dryland and irrigated calendars based on crop growth intervals or periods. Each period is associated with six critical concepts:
- Overview of the Calendar periods
- Environmental factors, actual and changing
- What the plants are doing
- What management is needed
- Things to avoid
- Other considerations.
Trainings emphasize pastureland sustainability through protecting water quality, threatened and endangered species, soil quality, reducing noxious weed invasion, and increasing on-farm production with economic viability, environmental health, and social acceptance.
This proposal modified the successful multi-day format of WSARE PDP EW05-12 and EW11-019 into a single-day EW17-021 Westside Pasture Calendar training while this project focuses on the Inland Northwest.
Objectives: Develop tools for natural resource professionals on sustainable Inland NW irrigated and dryland pastures through nine, single-day, hands-on training workshops using the peer-reviewed Inland Pasture Calendar to greater than 250 PNW advisors.
- Provide training management tools focused on improving habitat for threatened and endangered species through improved water and soil quality, reduced erosion, and improved vegetative vigor in irrigated and dryland pastures bordering water bodies and streams.
- Emphasize that sustainable agroecosystems with environmental, wildlife, and economic benefits are possible through active goal-setting, monitoring, and sustainable land management.
- Evaluate trainee knowledge gained and economic impacts realized from training. A post-evaluation conducted six months after the last workshop will be used to measure longer term adoption.
March, 2020: Full project team meet at OSU Hermiston REC to review Calendar drafts, assign writing assignments for those not completed, plan training workshops in each state for October and November.
April, 2020: Inland Pasture Calendar is sent for peer review.
May, 2020: Peer review completed and edit made to Calendar as recommended by the editor and project team.
June, 2020: Completed Calendar sent to Wild Iris Communications for final development and editing.
July, 2020: Author review of edited Calendar.
August, 2020: Formatting Calendar.
August-September, 2020: OSU Extension will publish and print The Inland Northwest Pasture Calendar as a PNW Bulletin. Team will confirm all meeting locations and arrangements for each training workshop.
October 5-October 9, 2020: Training workshops conducted in WA.
October 19 – October 23, 2020: Training workshops conducted in ID.
November 2-6, 2020: Training workshops conducted in OR.
December-February, 2020: Project team will enter workshop evaluation data and analyze the results. A preliminary report will be developed and submitted to WSARE.
May-June, 2020: Six month follow-up survey questionnaire sent to each trainee.
July-September, 2020: Enter final survey results. Review data and submit final report.
This project will use a combination of multiple presenters covering various topics all related to the description and use of the Inland Pasture Calendar. These will be single day, fully packed training workshops that will start at 8am and end at 5pm each training. Lunch will be served as well as snacks and drinks throughout the day. Each trainee will be provided a USB drive (depending on availability with the China issue of the coronavirus and exporting these).
We also plan to have live plants to show the trainees
Education & Outreach Initiatives
Our objective 1 was to develop the Inland Pasture Calendar for publication and training.
A ‘core’ project team met at three different times and locations in 2019 while developing the foundational components of the Calendar. These included: May 23-24 at OSU Hermiston REC, Hermiston, OR; October 17-18 at University of Idaho Nancy M. Cummings REC, Salmon, ID; and November 12-13 at OSU Hermiston REC, Hermiston, OR. As a template we used the Westside Pasture Calendar then immediately started to change and modify to meet the different needs of the Inland region. Since November 2019 various team members have been writing assigned components which will be complied into a single document for the full team members to review and edit on March 3-5, 2020 at the OSU Hermiston REC. During the March full team meeting, we will focus on the Calendar plus the logistics of the publication and training sessions. Currently, we are negating with Wild Iris Communications, who worked with us on the Westside Pasture Calendar, to do much the same workup and finalization of the Inland Pasture Calendar. We have to make some final decisions in March to expected number of trainees per session and number of sessions that will be conducted per state. They will also develop the USB drives which will contain all the presentations, background materials and the reviewed and numbered Inland Pasture Calendar.
This phase of the project is to lay the foundation building blocks of the Inland Calendar. Some components are completed while others are still in progress of development.