- Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial)
- Animal Production: feed/forage
- Crop Production: fertilizers, nutrient management
On the southern Oregon coast, four- and five-generation farms that produce a variety of agricultural products, including grass, hay, cranberries, sheep, beef and meat goats, have followed a trend evident for the past 30 years in American agriculture: increased dependence on added fertilizers for grassland productivity. Building on research results from Wisconsin Pennsylvania that show a direct correlation between added nitrogen and improved economic return, this project wants to maximize the benefits from nitrogen applications and to prevent runoff and excess nutrients from entering streams and rivers. The project will be designed to measure the uptake of applied nitrogen by the southern coast's highly productive grasses and to see if any nitrogen is "lost" to the watershed. The research will be conducted on three ranches with replications of 0 pounds of nitrogen per acre (for control), 100 pounds, 200 pounds and 400 pounds. A series of grass harvests will be completed during the season to measure yields and N content, and water that runs from fields will be assessed for quality. Information from the research will be disseminated via tours of the experimental sites, producer study groups already being conducted in the area by the technical advisor, several websites and peer-reviewed journal articles.