West

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Tools and Approaches for Measuring Ecosystem Services in California's Grasslands and Oak Woodlands

Ecosystem services are the benefits humans receive from our natural ecosystems and working landscapes. These services include: forage production, erosion control, soil fertility, water storage, flood control, carbon storage, fire control, pollination, water purification, air purification, and others.

While there is increasing interest in managing landscapes for multiple ecosystem services, very few management and restoration projects monitor their impacts, and thus we have little information on the effectiveness of management practices on ecosystem services.

This project developed a monitoring handbook to increase monitoring efforts across management projects and to provide more consistent types of measurements across studies, which will make monitoring measurements more directly comparable.

Understanding Cost of Production

Determining on-farm costs of production is a significant task. Diggin' Roots Farm was able to develop the systems and infrastructure to facilitate data collection and integrate this work into everyday tasks.

Oilseed Opportunities

Farmers and ranchers in the West are growing some new crops and improving their diversity. Many of these changes are being brought about by rising energy and crop prices and the need to become more self-sufficient. Oilseeds such as canola, sunflower and safflower are part of this change and are being grown successfully as agriculture seeks a local and low cost source of fuel and livestock feed. This bulletin is intended as a guide to producers who are considering growing oilseeds.

Oregon's Outback

Oregon’s Outback is a Sustainable Rangeland-Based Beef Production Video Library that highlights best management practices for cow-calf producers and agricultural professionals.

Anaerobic Digestion Webinar Series

A series of five free webinars with Washington State University researchers and their collaborators sharing findings as they strive to quantify the climate, air, water, nutrient and economic impacts of integrating emerging, next-generation technologies within anaerobic digestion systems on U.S. dairies.

BioEarth Webinar Series

A series of four free webinars with Washington State University researchers affiliated with the BioEarth research initiative sharing findings related to climate change impacts on Northwest U.S. water resources, nutrient cycling, and managed and natural ecosystems.

How Well Does Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Degrade in Compost and Soil?

Biodegradable plastic mulches are now commercially available, and they are designed so that they can be tilled directly into the soil to degrade. Their adoption could alleviate the disposal problem of polyethylene mulch, but there is the need to evaluate how well they degrade under different environmental conditions.

Croptime

This project developed an online crop management tool that allows vegetable growers in Oregon to time farming and marketing activities using degree-days.

Boosting Agricultural Production through Water Use Efficiency

Western SARE has played a key role in addressing the water research needs of our region’s farmers and ranchers by funding high quality research conducted in collaboration with producers. This publication highlights five Western SARE-funded initiatives in the areas of low water use crops, partial root zone drying techniques, efficient water use technologies, and linking farmer-friendly water use efficiency programs to achieve state water policy goals.

Managing for Wild Bees

Pollination is a critical component of the crop production cycle, directly contributing to reproductive success for pollinator-dependent crops. Graduate student Hillary Sardinas evaluated the ability of hedgerow restorations to augment hybrid sunflower pollination by the native bee community. She also investigated whether rates of nesting were increased in fields adjacent to hedgerows, as well as whether the presence of hedgerows enhanced the diversity and abundance of the native bee community at different distances into fields.

Organic Fertilizer and Cover Crop Calculator

This free online tool compares the nutrient value and cost of cover crops, organic and synthetic fertilizers and compost. Use this Excel Calculator to develop well balanced and cost effective nutrient management programs for your farm.

Livestock Mortality Composting Manual

Mortality management threatens the sustainability of livestock production in many ways. Composting mortalities is an alternative that holds promise for the achievement of environmental protection, economic sustainability and job creation. Incluye los recursos en español.

People of the Land

This Extension educator curriculum focuses on successful strategies for increasing the adoption of sustainable practices on reservation lands. 

Living on the Land

One of the most comprehensive and adaptable curricula in the country for training natural resource professionals to, in turn, teach small-acreage landowners how to care for their soil, air and water while maximizing the land’s value.