Drying and Greening of the West?

by Sonia A. Hall

Wildfires in the American West are expected to respond to the paradoxical drying and greening to come. Photo: Oregon and Washington BLM under CC BY 2.0

Want to understand what carbon fertilization is, and what it could mean for the American West? Take a look at Linnia Hawkins’s (Oregon Climate Change Research Institute) post discussing research on whether the American West could become both drier and greener under climate change, which would affect wildfires. Linnia’s full article is in the Climate CIRCulator.

Addressing Climate Change and the Agricultural Economy from a Market Driven Perspective

by Doug Finkelnburg

In November I participated in a truly innovative summit titled, “Safeguarding Idaho’s Economy in a Changing Climate – Our Water, Our Land, Our Health, Our Future” which brought together a diverse coalition of public and private stakeholders to discuss economic resiliency challenged by our changing climate. This first-of-its kind, for Idaho, summit occurred simultaneously in Boise, Moscow, Ashton and Pocatello, ID with keynote speakers in Boise streamed to the remote locations. Keynote presentations were followed by facilitated workshops at each viewing site. The goals of this conference were to share what efforts were underway across multiple sectors of Idaho’s economy to address climate change, explore economic opportunities and efficiencies, build new collaborations and provide resources for future projects at all scales. Continue reading

Revisiting the 2015 Snow Drought

by Sonia A. Hall

Snow on Stevens Pass in Washington State the wet year following the 2015 snow drought. Photo: Flickr user Panchenks under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Check out Meghan Dalton’s (Oregon Climate Change Research Institute) discussion of a published article about whether the 2015 “snow drought” is a harbinger of future climate changes.  Read Meghan’s article in the Climate CIRCulator.

 

Crop residue–Help or hindrance?

By Karen Hill

Figure 1. Wheat residue on field near Ritzville, Washington, which is part of the drier grain-fallow cropping system. (Photo credit: Darrell Kilgore)

The production of crop residue varies dramatically across the Inland Pacific Northwest, with estimated residue production for winter wheat ranging from roughly 0.9 ton/acre in the drier grain-fallow cropping system (Figure 1) to 8.5 ton/acre in the wetter annual crop system, which has enough precipitation to support cropping every year. Crop residues are often seen as simply something to “manage” so that they don’t impede future plantings or as a byproduct that can be sold to help improve the bottom line. However, while editing chapters for the recently released publication Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest, I was introduced to another way to think about these residues in the chapter in that publication titled “Crop Residue Management.” Continue reading

Real-life agricultural innovation: implications for future preparedness

By: Sonia A. Hall

Both John Aeschliman (left) and Douglas Poole (right) practice no-till, though they farm with very different precipitation regimes. Photo: Alex Garland.

Extension has traditionally involved getting results from researchers to decision-makers in agriculture. Partly because I work on climate change and agriculture, and partly because of the approach my team and the researchers we work with take, extension is, for us, a two-way street. In this article I want to highlight the “other” side of that street: how innovations that producers test out in real life complement research and supports future preparedness.

In preparation for a new project I reviewed case studies and profiles others I work with published as part of the Regional Approaches to Climate Change – Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH-PNA) project, which focused on dryland cereal production in a changing climate. These case studies tell the stories of producers who are implementing practices that break some mold, and that is leading to both interesting results and to benefits that will help them be prepared for future climates. Continue reading

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from the AgClimate.net team!  Catch up on all our posts from 2017 and join us again for an exciting new year in 2018!  Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter.

Best Wishes from all of us!!

REACCH Webinar Series: Wheat Focused Presentations

By Amy Pendegraft

Articles contained within this post:

  1. The Where and When of Earthworms in Wheat
  2. Research on the Ground: A Survey of Wheat Growers
  3. Climate Change and Winter Wheat Systems: A Case Study from the Pacific Northwest
  4. Pulling Weeds: Timing downy brome control in a changing climate

Continue reading

Stepping back: What have we learned about agriculture and climate change, and where do we go from here?

By Georgine Yorgey

Cattle grazing on an allotment east of the Owyhee River Canyon, Oregon. Used with permission via Flickr from the Bureau of Land Management (CC BY 2.0).

As a number of large climate-and-agriculture projects at our Pacific Northwest universities have come to an end over the last year, we felt it was time to step back and take stock.  Our projects have included dryland wheat farming, anaerobic digestion systems for dairies, and  improving understanding of the interactions among carbon, nitrogen, and water at the regional scale. Now that they are complete, what have we learned? Where should research and extension go from here? In an effort to prioritize and catalyze future regional research and extension efforts, we worked with partners to host a workshop titled “Agriculture in a Changing Climate” (March 9-11, 2016). The event brought together a diverse set of stakeholders—university faculty and students, crop and livestock producers, and individuals representing state, tribal and federal government agencies, industry, nonprofit organizations, and conservation districts—to summarize what we know, identify challenges and gaps, and define priorities for moving forward. Continue reading