Improving Forage Quantity and Quality through Organic Fertilizer and No-Till Seeding in Western Washington

Forage production is the largest agricultural land use in western Washington supporting a diverse livestock industry. Poor grazing management and repeated hay removal, without amendment contribute to reduced productivity, encroachment of weeds, erosion, and inadequate forage quality to support animal health. This integrated research and extension project will address the WSU Sustaining Resources Grand Challenge. Its goal is to optimize organic fertilizer and no-till practices in order to reduce cost of pasture renovation, increase regional production of quality forage, conserve soil resources and improve organic weed management. This project leverages existing funding and partnerships between WSU Extension and Conservation Districts implementing no-till seeding programs. Research will: 1) test the impact of fertilizer and no-till seeding on forage quantity, quality and species composition; 2) test fall and spring plantings of five legume species to determine appropriate planting time and species for no-till seeding. Extension components will: 1.) facilitate producer to producer information exchange, 2.) training on the use of no-till seed drill and 3.) new literature on forage management in western Washington giving producers access to the information, training and tools they need to successfully evaluate and implement new practices.

Grant Information

  • Project ID: 195
  • Project Status: Complete