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Science in action to improve the sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and food systems
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Rangelands & Pastures

Rangelands and pastures occupy a substantial portion of the productive landscape in Washington state, with a diversity of production conditions from arid and semi-arid shrub steppe ecosystems to lowland pastures to higher rainfall forest-grasslands and improved irrigated pastures. In addition to the important role of providing livestock products to the market, these vast land areas are a significant source of realized and potential ecosystem services. Poor management of rangelands and pastures contributes to impaired water and air quality as well as contributing to the spread of noxious weeds. Discovering and implementing improved rangeland and pasture management practices is a key goal for CSANR.

 

Featured Publications

Estimating climate change effects on grazing management and beef cattle production in the Pacific Northwest

JS Neibergs, TD Hudson, CE Kruger, K Hamel-Rieken. 2018. Climatic Change, 5-17.  

Northwest U.S. Agriculture in a Changing Climate: Collaboratively Defined Research and Extension Priorities

Georgine Yorgey, Sonia A. Hall, Elizabeth Allen, Elizabeth Whitefield, Nichole Embertson, Vincent P. Jones, Kirti Rajagopalan, Brooke R Saari, Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, Bea Van Horne, John Abatzoglou, Harold P. Collins, Laurie Houston, Timothy W Ewing, and Chad E. Kruger,  Front. Environ. Sci., 31 August 2017

Farmer to Farmer Case Study Video: Grazed Cover Cropping

Yorgey, G.G., K. Borrelli, and K. Painter. 2017. Produced by Darrell Kilgore and CAHNRS Communications. Pullman, WA. Drew Leitch is experimenting with cover cropping to provide supplemental feed for his cow-calf operation, while improving soil health for his dryland crop operation.

Climate science information needs among natural resource decision-makers in the Northwestern U.S.

Allen, E., J. Stephens. G.G. Yorgey, C.E. Kruger, S.M. Ahamed, and J.C. Adam. 2017. Climate Services, 5, 11-22.

Rancher to Rancher Case Study Video: Maximizing Water Through Holistic Management

Yorgey, G.G., C.E. Kruger, and T. Hudson. 2016. Produced by Darrell Kilgore and CAHNRS Communications. Pullman, WA. Maurice Robinette and his daughter Beth use holistic management practices to run their ranch near Cheney, WA. See also a video describing their experience with summer calving

Those Nasty Weeds – Why Not Control Naturally with Livestock

Managed grazing update provided by Extension Educator Steve Van Vleet. Sept 2011.

Beefing Up the Palouse

Since 1985 the U.S. government has implemented the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which pays farmers NOT to grow crops on millions of acres of highly erodable land. In addition to being a controversial program, much of this land is now coming out of CRP which puts pressure on farmers to grow crops in these areas once again. In the Palouse in Washington State, local farmers and ranchers are looking at holistically grazing livestock as an economically and environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional wheat farming in these sensitive areas and to the CRP in general. Video presented by Managing Change Northwest.

2008 Estimated Costs and Returns for a 150-head Cow-calf to Grass-finished Beef Production System in the Channelled Scablands Range Area of East-central Washington

In response to the popularity of grass-finished beef, this publication provides a production budget analysis using both ranch-owned and leased forage sources in eastern Washington to determine profitability. Funded by the William D. Ruckelshaus Center, the Beefing Up the Palouse pilot project applied a total systems approach to develop a replicable production model to help producers take full advantage of the eastern Washington dryland wheat production area resource base.

 

Additional Publications

Controlling Leafy Spurge by Goat Grazing – April 2010

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Surprising New Uses for Former CRP Land

2010. By Kathy Barnard in Connections Magazine (CAHNRS and WSU Extension Alumni and Friends publication).

Land EKG: Ecosystem Service Monitoring for Range Managers

Poster presentation – BIOAg Research Symposium 2008.

Implementing Noxious Weed Control through Multispecies Grazing

Don Nelson, WSU, led a 3-year SARE funded project looking at using sequences of different grazing animals to control noxious weeds, especially useful for non-cropland where other options are not feasible.

Liability & Public Use of Your Land – December 2004

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Vegetation Management the Natural Way with Goats and Sheep – September 2004

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Thundering Hooves Farm: Land in Stewardship – March 2004

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Healing the Land through Multi-Species Grazing

A noxious weed invasion is underway on the rangelands of the western United States that is causing significant problems in the form of ecosystem and bio-diversity damage resulting in a reduction in the carrying capacity of grazing animals. The expenditure of millions of dollars on control measures has not been successful; these measures have had negative impacts on livestock producers’ profitability and, in some cases, have caused environmental problems. This DVD is about the use of multi-species grazing (cattle, sheep, goats) as a tool in an integrated approach to the control of noxious weeds. It depicts the activities of a 2-year regional project funded by … » More …

Organic Livestock: Principles, Practices, and Prospects

Videostream of October 29, 2004 WSU Satellite broadcast.

2003 Graziers Conference: Grazing According to Gerrish – December 2003

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

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