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Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources

Perspectives on Sustainability Blog

Follow the Energy: How Cropping Systems Fundamentally Differ From Natural Systems

Energy flow drives everything in an ecosystem. As with nitrogen, following the energy through an ecosystem reveals to us how that ecosystem works. Here, I want to compare how the energy flows through cropping systems to how it flows through unmanaged natural systems. This comparison will show us why cropping systems rarely match the abundance of organisms or the nutrient cycling observed in their natural counterparts, and why this tradeoff is inherent to the production of food. Let’s take a look.

Sustainable Grazing Starts with Good Forage Production Data, Especially Under a Changing Climate

We recently released StockSmart, a free, online decision support tool that we developed in partnership with the University of Arizona and the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, that accesses remotely sensed forage production data and allows the user to easily define what is accessible to their livestock based on their fences, watering locations, the type of terrain their livestock will traverse and other parameters.


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CSANR News & Announcements

Composting Workshop — Offal and Meat Processing Waste

Join WSU Extension and the Washington State Department of Agriculture on Wednesday, July 10th to learn about composting as a waste disposal option for small meat processors and producers. The workshop will be held in Moses Lake, WA, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Ag Building at the Grant County Fairgrounds.

Roots of Resilience and Lazy R Ranch to Host Wildfire Management Workshop

Roots of Resilience, in collaboration with Lazy R Ranch, is proud to announce a comprehensive workshop, “Tame the Flames,” aimed at educating and demonstrating effective wildfire management strategies through grazing and forestry practices. Scheduled for June 22-23, this event will gather experts and stakeholders to share insights, strategies, and practical demonstrations on wildfire management.

2024 BIOAg Award Announcement

BIOAg, the Biologically Intensive and Organic Agriculture Program, is a flagship CSANR program that drives a large portion of our core mission- to engage WSU faculty with research that facilitates solutions for the sustainability of Washington’s agriculture.
"Advances in Dryland Farming in the Pacific Northwest" book cover image
Our book is now available! Georgine Yorgey and Chad Kruger, Eds. 2017. Washington State University Extension. Pullman, WA.

Now Available

Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest

Packed with tools, resources, and the most current research, this book supports farmers as they make decisions relating to productivity, resilience, and their bottom lines.

Free Printed Copy

Just Pay Shipping. While Supplies Last.

More CSANR News

New from Extension: Crop soils as carbon sinks; blueberry economics

New free guides available online from WSU Extension include a look at the benefits of storing carbon in inland northwest crop soils, as well as the economics of growing the Draper blueberry west of the Cascades. Every month, experts with WSU share new information through the WSU Extension Publications bookstore. 2022 Cost Estimates of Producing […]

New academy to connect specialty crop professionals across regions for climate resilience

A new training academy launched by researchers at Washington State University will help professionals supporting fruits, vegetables, seeds, and other specialty crops vulnerable to climate change build resiliency through forward-thinking conversations. Funded by a $1.5 million Climate Hub grant from the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Foundational and Applied Science Program, a team led […]