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.
Project objectives from proposal:
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.
May, 2019: Senior project team assigned irrigated and dryland sections will compile and finalize all components of the Inland Pasture Calendar in the Tri-Cities, WA.
June, 2019: Project team confirms training locations, dates and solicits potential trainee names.
July-August, 2019: Project team provides reviewed Calendar for final editing to Wild Iris Communications, and then publishes as a PNW Bulletin at Oregon State University Extension.
August-September, 2019: 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 29-October 31, 2019: Three training workshops conducted in Baker City, John Day, and Prineville, OR.
November 12-14, 2019: Three training workshops conducted in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, and Caldwell, ID.
November 26-28, 2019: Three training workshops conducted in Ellensburg, Spokane, and TriCities, Washington.
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.