Livestock-Crop Integration

The development of agriculture over the past half-century has led to increasing specialization of production systems in which crop and livestock production have separated into distinct industries. While this separation has enhanced the “management efficiency” of both systems, ecological functions that occur in an integrated system have either been lost or must be replaced by mechanization or an increase in the use of off-farm inputs. New strategies are being explored for the reintegration of livestock and crop production in modern production systems to improve ecological function and economic performance.

Featured Publications

Dairies to Berries: Dairy-Manure Derived Fertilizers for Use in Raspberry and Blueberry Cropping Systems – Evaluation for Agronomic, Soil Health and Food Safety Efficacy (PDF)

Benedict, C, Yorgey, G, Zhu, MJ, Zhang, Y, Tsai, H-C, Stacey, N, Su, Y, Sheng, L, Shen, X, Schacht, E, Kruger, C, Hills, K, Drennan, M, Cook, J. 2020. Dairies to Berries: Dairy-Manure Derived Fertilizers for Use in Raspberry and Blueberry Cropping Systems – Evaluation for Agronomic, Soil Health and Food Safety Efficacy. Final Report. Washington […]

Farmer-to-Farmer & Rancher-to-Rancher Case Studies Series

Authors include: Yorgey, G., Borrelli, K., Painter, K., Davis, H., Hall, S., Hudson, T., Neibergs, S., Reeves, M., Kruger, C., McGuire A., Finkelnburg, D., Roe, D., Brooks, E., and Kantor, S. 2016-2019. PNW Extension Publications and videos. These series explore strategies that innovative regional farmers and ranchers are using that enhance resilience to climate change and […]

Integrating Livestock into Dryland Organic Crop Rotations

Carpenter-Boggs, L., Painter, K., and Wachter, J. Recorded webinar presentation delivered October 22, 2013.  It covers a variety of reasons to integrate livestock into crop rotations, and summarizes past research on the topic. It is directed towards beginning growers interested in diversifying their income and crop rotations, towards educators and Extension workers, and towards a more […]

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 […]

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 […]

Additional Publications

Organic Alfalfa Management Guide (PDF)

This new extension bulletin is an excellent resource for growers interested in producing organic alfalfa, both irrigated and dryland. Alfalfa provides an excellent transitional crop for those interested in organic production of other crops as well. This guide includes a great deal of information on managing weeds, pests and diseases, and includes a small section […]

Pastured Poultry

Raising pastured poultry is a simple way to integrate livestock into small farms. A summary of experiences at WSU Puyallup with small-scale pastured poultry production on organically certified land from 2005-2007 is presented. The goal was to integrate pastured broilers into a vegetable-pasture rotation in an organic farming systems experiment.

Using Local Sources of Organic Nutrients

Use of organic materials from livestock farms and recycled urban waste streams can help improve soil productivity and reduce nutrient imbalances, and can contribute to the sustainability of local agriculture. Site includes link to an organic fertilizer calculator.

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 […]

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External Links

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