Restoring Rangeland Quality with Soil Health Enhancement

2016 Annual Report for OW16-038

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2016: $44,450.00
Projected End Date: 01/15/2019
Grant Recipient: Crooked River Weed Management Area
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Debbie Wood
Crooked River Weed Management Area

Restoring Rangeland Quality with Soil Health Enhancement

Summary

There were 16,095 acres of medusahead rye and cheatgrass surveyed between 7 producers and 1 collaborator, starting in 2016 before aerial spraying occurred in October 2016. Surveying was mapped using field ready topography maps and handheld GPS units provided by Crooked River Weed Management Area (CRWMA).  All 6 ranchers from the original participants list, plus one more rancher through outreach was added, all participated in the surveying research.  CRWMA with the participation of producers and The Nature Conservancy, photos were taken before spraying bacteria (MB 906) and photo monitoring pics were taken after aerial spraying.

Aerial treatment was done at the end of October 2016, with bacteria/ herbicide together and bacteria alone. For the project 2862 net acres was aerial sprayed and 153 net acres were sprayed by landowners behind ATV. The rate of spray for bacteria was 1 gallon per acre and herbicide (Imazapic) was 6 ounces per acre. 1962 net acres was bacteria only and 1053 net acres was both bacteria and herbicide. A ten acre plot was created at the Nature conservancy using bacteria only at a rate of 2 gallons per acre on cheatgrass. Due to the helicopter working in areas, adjacent landowners we interested in the activities, which gave a good opportunity to talk about the project. A project brochure was created for outreach and education for the community.

Monitoring photos at 11 sites have been uploaded into the samplepoint.org application as suggested by Dr. Ann Kennedy at Washington State University. This program defines habitat density by pixels. Dr. Kennedy has also loaned for the project a Nikon camera for clear high resolution photos.  Producers will be following up with monitoring this spring, taking new pictures looking at effectiveness.2016 Western SARE spray map 2016 Western SARE camera sites_map

Objectives/Performance Targets

This year was the beginning steps for our project objectives. All 6 ranchers from the original participants list, plus one more rancher through outreach was added, all participated in the surveying research.  CRWMA with the participation of producers and The Nature Conservancy, photos were taken before spraying bacteria (MB 906) and photo monitoring pics were taken after aerial spraying. Monitoring photos at 11 sites have been uploaded into the samplepoint.org application for habitat density by pixels. Results will be done in the next few months to compare with new photos to be taken in April 2017.

Cost analysis for aerial spraying bacteria verses herbicide was; First year, bacteria being $ 8.40 per acre and helicopter was $23.00 per acre. If herbicide was added with bacteria, chemical was $8.70 and helicopter service was $23.00 per acre. 

In all cases the target species was medusahead rye and cheatgrass. A bacterium, MB 906 from BioWest Ag Solutions was aerial sprayed with and without herbicide.  Due to the cost and the helicopter sprayer, we did not use native seed coated with bacteria. Aerial spraying took place at the end of October 2016. This was the first step in restoring rangeland health as the fall treatment window is very narrow. All producers and collaborators were happy to see bacteria sprayed. For the project 2862 net acres was aerial sprayed and 153 net acres were sprayed by landowners behind ATV. This met our performance target, which was 3000 net acres.906 Label_MB906_OREGON_11.7.2015

Accomplishments/Milestones

This was the first step in restoring rangeland health as the fall spray window is very narrow. All producers and collaborators were happy to see bacteria sprayed, an accomplishment in itself as weather is unpredictable.  Due to late fall dry and warmer weather conditions, treatment was later than expected into the end of October. The ideal timing for treatment for medusahead rye and cheatgrass is when germination has occurred in fall, just before heavy rains or snow. Daytime temperatures were still in the 50’s. Fall 2016 Monitor Photos   

All 6 ranchers from the original participants list, plus one more rancher through outreach was added, all participated in the surveying research.  CRWMA with the participation of producers and The Nature Conservancy, photos were taken before spraying bacteria (MB 906) and photo monitoring pics were taken after aerial spraying. Monitoring photos at 11 sites have been uploaded into the samplepoint.org application for habitat density by pixels. Results will be done in the next few months to compare with new photos to be taken in April 2017.

Through outreach efforts, one producer joined this project and aerial treated his land with bacteria. Outreach efforts continue with producers and collaborators creating a brochure. Producers are looking for alternative options for weed treatment and more cost effective measures than herbicide to improve rangeland health.SARE 2nd Year Spring

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Cost analysis for aerial spraying bacteria verses herbicide was; First year, bacteria being $ 8.40 per acre and helicopter was $23.00 per acre. If herbicide was added with bacteria, chemical was $8.70 and helicopter service was $23.00 per acre.

This Western SARE grant assisted in leveraging funds from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife from the Mule Deer Initiative for herbicide. The herbicide was used to help with producers cost and sprayed with bacteria in different areas.

Collaborators:

Kelley Hamilton

kh@livebsl.com
Owner
Sabre Ridge Ranch
HC 68 Box 3310
Post, Oregon 97752
USA
Office Phone: 541-477-3164
Allen and Sara Teskey

steskey@bluemtnranch.com
Owners
Young’s Blue Mt. Ranch
P.O. Box 14
Paulina, Oregon 97751
Office Phone: 541-477-3848
Website: http://www.bluemtnranch.com/
Neil (Doc) Dow

Owner
Bonnieview Ranch
28000 SE Paulina Hwy
Prineville, Oregon 97754
USA
Office Phone: 541-477-3332
Susan Hermreck

awsmhermie@gmail.com
Owner
At The Y Ranch
P.O. Box 36
Paulina, Oregon 97751
USA
Office Phone: 805-440-2423
Miller & Betty Tweedt

Owners
Producers
421 NW Apollo Rd
Prineville, Oregon 97754
USA
Office Phone: 541-447-3513
Brad & Julie Waibel

libby.stahancyk@gmail.com
Owners
Waibel Ranches, LLC
51980 SE Paulina Hwy
Post, Oregon 97752
Office Phone: 541-420-5619
Brooke Gray

bgray@TNC.ORG
Steward- Juniper Hills
The Nature Conservancy
43003 SE Teaters Rd
Post, Oregon 97752
USA
Office Phone: 541-477-0151
Website: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/oregon/placesweprotect/juniper-hills.xml