By Karen Hills
It is human nature to be entranced by the latest electronic gadget that is promised to make our lives easier. Sometimes gadgets really do help us, and other times this help is counterbalanced by the hours spent trying to troubleshoot when things go wrong. Because I’m not really a “gadget person” by nature, I must admit that I hadn’t paid a whole lot of attention to precision agriculture during my time working in the world of agricultural research. However, I recently had the opportunity to learn more about this topic while helping to compile and edit the book Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest. By reading the chapter on Precision Agriculture co-authored by Bertie Weddell, Tabitha Brown, and Kristi Borrelli, I learned about some of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the use of precision agriculture technology: variability and scale. Continue reading
By Karen Hills
Diversifying crop rotations is a key strategy used to break pest and disease cycles and improve yields. But in the driest areas of the Pacific Northwest the low precipitation amounts limit the diversification strategies that are feasible. These areas have some of the least diverse cropping systems in the region, often with winter wheat as the only crop. In areas receiving less than 16 inches of precipitation a year, that are generally too dry to support annual cropping, producers rely on summer fallow to retain winter precipitation in the soil profile. Areas where over 40% of the land a given year is fallowed are classified as grain-fallow cropping systems. From 2007 to 2014, only 4.3% of these areas, on average, were planted to another crop besides winter wheat (Kirby et al. 2017). What opportunities exist for diversifying crop rotations in these low diversity areas? In my work compiling the recently published Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest, I learned one answer to this question: winter peas. Continue reading
Public Comment Period for National Climate Assessment
The National Climate Assessment is a U.S. government interagency report that summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. These reports are extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences. The draft report has been completed, and is now available for public comment.
You can review and comment by visiting review.globalchange.gov before Jan 31! Here’s the associated Federal Register Notice.
A series of webinars will be held to familiarize folks with the NCA and the Review & Comment website, we’re hosting a series of webinars including:
- Wednesday, Dec 6, 5pm EST
- Tuesday, Jan 16, 8pm EST
Webinar link: https://icf.globalmeet.com/NCAProjectWebinar
Call-in: (605) 475-5606
By: Gabrielle Roesch McNally
Eagle Creek Fire: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Curtis Perry
2017 has certainly been a year of extremes, from record breaking rain and snow events to a long and dry summer across much of the Northwest. Dry and hot summer conditions were accentuated by massive forest fires across the West, many that impacted urban areas in ways not recently experienced (e.g., Eagle Creek Fire outside Portland, OR), costing the country over $2 billion in suppression costs this year alone. Add in the catastrophic impacts of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria and you know how much extreme weather is on everyone’s minds. Continue reading
In this series of webinars, scientists present timely information aimed at helping farmers and agricultural professionals interpret the results of recent research on dryland cereal systems in our region. This webinar series stems from the new book Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest, a publication of the six-year Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH; www.reacchpna.org) project, aimed at increasing the sustainability of dryland farming. All times listed are PST.
Webinars are free and no pre-registration is required. Each webinar will be 1 hour long, including Q & A session. Continue reading
By Chris Schnepf
26th Annual Family Foresters Workshop
to be held Friday, January 19, 2018, in Coeur d’Alene, ID
Family-owned forests are vital to the economy and quality of life in the Inland Northwest. These lands are critical for wildlife habitat, timber supply, water quality, and many other values. Unique skills are required of foresters and other natural resource professionals who help family forest owners manage their property. The Family Foresters Workshop is designed to strengthen the skills of consulting foresters, state-employed service foresters, and other natural resource professionals who work with family forest owners. It serves as a forum to provide updates on emerging technology and knowledge applicable to family forestry.
This year’s program will be held at the Coeur d’Alene Inn (located off Interstate 90 at Hwy 95 exit) on Friday, January 20, 2017, Continue reading
By Liz Allen
As climate and agriculture researchers we’re constantly learning from farmers who we interact with. Our conversations with dryland wheat producers in the inland Pacific Northwest have shown us that many farmers are very skilled at managing for multiple risks at once and making decisions under various kinds of uncertainty. Climate models project substantial warming by mid-century (Figure 1) as well as more frequent storm events and more extreme minimum and maximum temperatures in the future. At the same time, a higher concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere may contribute to more rapid crop growth. As more detailed and sophisticated models of climate change and crop dynamics are developed, it is increasingly clear that managing under observed and projected climate change impacts will require new perspectives for farmers and other agriculture sector decision makers. Those involved in agriculture will need to develop their understanding of climate-related hazards and poise themselves to take advantage of emerging opportunities linked to a changing climate.
Figure 1. Cumulative growing degree days (base 32°F) 1971–2000 (left) and 2040–2069 represen¬tative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 (right), projections obtained from the AgClimate atlas. See the Climate Considerations chapter in Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest for more information on how to interpret projections like this. (Source: Kruger et al. 2017)
TRIBES & FIRST NATIONS CLIMATE SUMMIT
DEC 13 – 14, 2017 | Tulalip Resort Casino Tulalip, WA
EVENT REGISTRATION | AGENDA (DRAFT)
Tribes and First Nations in the Pacific Northwest have made great progress in observing and documenting environmental change on their homelands, but climate change is increasing at a pace that challenges important ways of life. So Tribes and First Nations across the region are coming together to learn from past work and to discuss how to continue climate change studies to provide the support communities need to adapt and thrive for generations to come. This summit is being led by Tribes and First Nations for Tribal leadership and their staff.
Who Should Attend? Tribal elected and appointed leaders, resource managers, health specialists, traditional elders, scientists, students and practitioners will discuss current issues along four Summit Tracks.
Scholarship Request: 2017 Tribal & First Nations Climate Summit
IMPORTANT!!! Fill out this form ONLY if you are requesting a scholarship to help pay for costs related to the conference
Tacoma Convention Center, Photo by HighSierraProductions.com
Call for Abstracts now open!
The Eighth Annual Northwest Climate Conference
Working Together to Build a Resilient Northwest
October 10-11, 2017
Tacoma Convention Center | Tacoma, WA
We are pleased to announce the call for abstracts for the 8th Annual Northwest Climate Conference – Working Together to Build a Resilient Northwest. We invite you and your colleagues to submit abstracts for special sessions, oral presentations, and posters. The due date for abstracts is Monday, June 12, 2017. Continue reading
WA Dept of Ecology oblique shoreline photo archive, photo ID number 000924_114848, courtesy of Snohomish County.
Join us in Tacoma this October for the 8th Annual Northwest Climate Conference! The Northwest Climate Conference annually brings together more than 300 researchers and practitioners from around the region to discuss scientific results, challenges, and solutions related to the impacts of climate on people, natural resources, and infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest.
The conference is the region’s premier opportunity for a cross-disciplinary exchange of knowledge and ideas about regional climate, climate impacts, and climate adaptation science and practice. The conference also provides a forum for presenting emerging policy and management goals, objectives, and information needs related to regional climate impacts and adaptation. Participants include policy- and decision-makers, resource managers, and scientists from academia; federal, state, and local agencies; sovereign tribal nations; non-governmental organizations; and the private sector.
Details regarding abstract submission, registration, and other program news will be added to the conference website in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please contact Lara Whitely Binder (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or for information on sponsorship opportunities.