Forage and Pasture Educational Program for Professionals in the Northwest

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2011: $71,058.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Grant Recipient: University of Idaho
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Glenn Shewmaker
University of Idaho

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay, general hay and forage crops


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing management, grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, pasture renovation, pasture fertility, stocking rate, stockpiled forages, watering systems
  • Crop Production: irrigation, no-till, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, extension, mentoring, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
  • Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control
  • Production Systems: holistic management, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil analysis, soil quality/health


    Western livestock operators currently lack local research and extension support for increasing the productivity of domestic pastures and reducing the use of mechanically harvested feeds through strategies that increase the use of livestock for harvesting. Most livestock operators lack the skills, and in some cases, the motivation to apply advanced pasture management techniques.

    Project objectives:

    1. Improve extension and USDA personnel understanding and implementation of the principles of management intensive grazing featuring multi-day workshops conducted on demonstration ranches; hands-on workshops on cooperator’s operations; the development of extension bulletins; peer reviewed publications with a western perspective.
    2. Develop a mentoring or support system for Pacific Northwest educators and graziers trying to implement sustainable grazing practices on irrigated pasture through the use of a list server, newsletter, and/or other appropriate communication technology.
    3. Collect data from producers practicing rotational grazing to determine tiller dynamics in response to grazing and develop recommendations for a range of canopy heights of several different pasture forage species.
    4. Distribute PNW614 to pasture advisors and demonstrate how to use it to consult with grass farmers and livestock producers, and to encourage the sustainable practices of grazing and pasture management. Emphasis will be placed on the benefits of plant diversity, ecosystem processes to the economics of a sustainable system and environmental and wildlife benefits from active goal-setting, monitoring, and management.
    5. Demonstrate the proper use of the pasture stick and rising plate meter and prediction equations we developed in EW05-12 for extension, NRCS, and producers to evaluate production on PNW pastures.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.