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Western Region
June 7 2013
Quick Links

Featured-W2W CC Sympoium Presentations
New AACC Online Course!
The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center


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Welcome to the Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate Western Region Web Letter. Scroll down for current news and relevant information regarding climate change and agriculture that you might have missed. 


Whats going on in your state? Do you have or know of any regional research efforts that should be highlight and shared? Please inform Liz Whitefield at e.whitefield@wsu.edu



2013 Denver Waste 2 Worth Climate Change Symposium- presentations available for viewing!
This symposium featured several national and international experts addressing climate impacts and adaptation practices for agriculture producers, climate communication strategies, and greenhouse gas mitigation options for livestock and poultry operations.
This 12-hour, self paced course is specifically designed for Extension educators and technical services providers across the nation who serve livestock and poultry producers. Topics include recent weather trends, climate impacts, adaptation, and risk management, basic climate science, greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation practices, the basics of carbon markets, and communication strategies for dealing with this contentious issue. Click HERE  (or the link above)
to view the introductory video, course brochure, and syllabus and to register for the course. 
Upcoming Webinars and Events
Challenges and solutions that come with late planting and/or wet field conditions will be the focus of this first webinar.  Dr. Bruce Erickson, Agronomy Education Manager, and three panelists will provide expertise to reclaiming nutrients, managing pests and evaluating your stand.  Panelists:  Dr. Robert Elmore, Iowa State Univ., Dr. Dave Franzen, North Dakota State Univ., and Aaron Hager, Univ. of Illinois. Register for the June 13 webinar here (or at the link above) and enter promo code DPWEB2013 for free registration.
2014 Drought Symposium April1-4 (UNL Center for Great Plains Studies)
Drought shaped how the people of the Great Plains think of themselves and their region and influenced their culture, literature, and art. Today it raises concern about whether the region will have sufficient water for its future.
Scientists and scholars from across the full spectrum of disciplines are invited to share their expertise and perspectives as the symposium explores all aspects, causes, impacts, projections, social and cultural consequences, and ramifications of drought. Click here or the link above for more info.  
In the News
Regional climate hubs, new research tools, uniform policy guidelines will help producers mitigate threats, adapt for the future
For Insurers- No Doubts on Climate Change (NYT)
From Hurricane Sandy's devastating blow to the Northeast to the protracted drought that hit the Midwest Corn Belt, natural catastrophes across the United States pounded insurers last year, generating $35 billion in privately insured property losses, $11 billion more than the average over the last decade.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas are attempting to help the U.S. dairy industry decrease its carbon footprint. (Feedstuffs Mag)

The University of Arkansas researchers' "cradle-to-grave" life-cycle analysis of milk will provide guidance for producers, processors and others in the dairy supply chain and will help these stakeholders reduce their environmental impact while maintaining long-term viability. 


USDA funds research initiatives on weather, climatic variability on cattle (Feedstuffs)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $19.5 million to support research, education and Extension activities aimed to reduce the impacts of climate variability and change on dairy and beef cattle.

Western Region

Yakima Dairies now support mandatory clean air program  (Yakima Herald)

In a significant shift in its position, the Yakima Valley dairy industry now supports a mandatory program that requires producers to implement practices that reduce pollutants from their operations.Even with that endorsement, however, the Yakima Regional Clean Air Authority declined to adopt the policy Thursday.


Adapting to climate change in Alaska and the Desert. (MyDesert.com article)

The British newspaper The Guardian has published a series of articles about villages in Alaska where people are starting to confront rising waters and erosion due to climate change. The newspaper reports that residents in some villages are seeking to move out of their homes to safer places.


Initial release of the CMIP5 Global Climate Change Viewer (GCCV)

The Global Climate Change Viewer (GCCV) is used to visualize future temperature and precipitation changes simulated by global climate models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5).  The application allows the user to visualize projected climate change (temperature and precipitation) for each country, for all available models and all Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) emission scenarios (2.6, 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5).


Where's the rain? Parched states can't shake the drought  (DairyHerd Network) The drought that ravaged the western Corn Belt isn't done just yet. Currently, 46 percent of the contiguous United States is in moderate or worse drought with the worst areas confined primarily to the extreme western Corn Belt and Southwest, according to the latest Drought Monitor report.

Heat Stress and Drought
It is estimated in 2003, the United States dairy industry lost $897 million due to heat stress related issues.  How can an industry lose this much money to a climate change, how can we combat it, and can you imagine all of the positive things that could have been done with $897 million?

Pastures Weakened by Drought Require Time to Recover (UNL) Some might want to get their animals outside and into green fields, but drought-weakened pastures will not be able to feed these animals without sustaining further damage.


Climate disruption- wells dry, fertile lands turn into dust (NYT)

And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains.This is in many ways a slow-motion crisis - decades in the making, imminent for some, years or decades away for others, hitting one farm but leaving an adjacent one untouched. But across the rolling plains and tarmac-flat farmland near the Kansas-Colorado border, the effects of depletion are evident everywhere.


Dairy-cooling during transition into lactation (DairyHerd Mag Article)

Environmental factors, especially temperature and light exposure, influence the health and productivity of dairy cows during lactation, possibly via similar physiological mechanisms. For example, heat stress is a critical component of decreased milk yield during summer.


Colorado River Crisis: America's Great River Dwindles in Drought (NPR Audio) The Colorado River serves 40 million people across Western states and is critical for farmers and ranchers who rely on its water for irrigation. Drought remains a serious problem as the summer begins. Writer and photographer Peter McBride talks about the state of the region and the response.

Know of anyone who should receive this email? Please contact:
Liz Whitefield
Washington State University
Livestock Nutrient Management Program