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Western Region
July 19 2013
Quick Links

Upcoming LPELC Webinars
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. 


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

AACC Online Course
The official start date for the online course is September 3, 2013. This 12-hour, self paced course is specifically designed for Extension educators and technical service 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. Please visit the project website below below to view the introductory video, read the course brochure and syllabus, and to register for the course.


Western Region
Worsening Drought Impacts Western Rangeland on Public Lands (BLM News Release July 14)
Drought conditions across the West have impacted rangelands, leaving little water and forage for animals and livestock, prompting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to undertake targeted actions, such as providing supplemental water and food for wild horses; reducing grazing; and enacting fire restrictions.

Judge rules against Klamath farmers (Mailtribune.com July 17)
A Klamath Falls judge denied a request Tuesday to keep the state of Oregon from shutting off irrigation water in the upper Klamath Basin.That leaves intact a state decision recognizing the senior water rights of the Klamath Tribes. The water rights decision came down this spring, as drought began to sap the water supplies in the high-desert basin.


New Online Tool


COMET FARM Helps Producers Estimate Carbon Stowed in Soil (USDA NRCS)

As a collaboration among USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Colorado State University and USDA's Climate Change Program Office, COMET-FARM(TM) will also help producers calculate and understand how land management decisions impact energy use and carbon emissions. "With the help of USDA's conservation technology and efforts, agriculture and forestry have the unique opportunity to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it permanently in healthy soils," NRCS Acting Chief Jason Weller said. "Tools like COMET-FARM(TM) will make it easier for producers to evaluate their soil's carbon holding potential and allow for the adaptation of proactive climate change adaptation strategies." 

Upcoming Webinars
Efficient Nutrient Management: Plant and Soil Webinar (ASA)
July 25, 10-11 PST featuring Dr. Mengal (Prof. of Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management at Kansas State University)
This webinar will help you find opportunities to improve the fertility and availability of nutrients on your tillable acres. Focus will be plant analysis, soil sampling, evaluation, individual crops, geographic concerns and application timing.
Register here  and enter code DPWEB13 for free access
Drought and Wildfires


Helping Crops Deal with Drought (PNAS, July 5)
Farming has long focused on chemicals that can fight insects or kill weeds. Now scientists have discovered a molecule that could help crops deal with droughts, report findings appearing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Farmers Look to New Ways of Irrigating in a Drought (NYT, June 28)
...demonstration project aimed at showing farmers how to use less irrigation water on their crops. It was put together by a groundwater authority in the Panhandle that strictly limits the amount of Ogallala water each farmer can pump. The project reflects the harsh reality that has taken hold across the drought-stricken state: farmers, who account for more than half of the water used in Texas, must learn to do more with less, just like cities and industrial plants.


How Climate Change Makes Wildfires Worse (Mother Jones, Jun 13)
The deaths in Arizona and this year's active fire season have prompted discussion about how climate change is making wildfires worse. Before the deaths in Arizona last month, the Mother Jones article above was published  explaining research on the subject.


Of Interest


Visualizing Carbon (Univ. of WA Conservation magazine, June 10)
Pictures make a story come alive-and in the climate change story, one of the main characters is invisible...Carbon Visuals was founded to help people "see" the carbon dioxide that's trapping heat in Earth's atmosphere by transforming the mass of carbon dioxide emissions we hear about so much into volumetric representations and then show them as 3-D shapes in familiar landscapes. Carbon Visuals has worked with governments, schools, corporations, and others to help them make sense of carbon footprints, comparisons, and sequestration targets. 


LED Lighting Shines On Dairies (DairyHerd Mag)

David and Amy Petersen, owners of Majestic Manor Dairy, a 120-cow registered Holstein enterprise near Davenport, Iowa, became interested in LED lighting for their farm in 2009. "We were in the process of remodeling our kitchen and found for the first time high-quality, bright, white LEDs for the under-cabinet lighting," explains David Petersen. Always a conservation-minded producer, Petersen began researching the availability of LED lamps to replace the less-efficient fluorescent lamps in his parlor and freestall barn. It was a process that took almost four years.



Featured Video Clip

Modern Solutions for Environmental Challenges (USDA, You Tube)

This 6-minute video looks at some of the ways USDA is helping farmers, ranchers and forest landowners mitigate and adapt to climate change.

President Obama's Unveils Climate Change Action Plan  


 (Biomass magazine June 25) Obama laid out his three-part action plan to address climate change...The first part includes actions directed at cutting carbon pollution in America. The second component of the president's action plan aims to prepare the US for the impacts of climate change, while the third calls for our nation to lead global efforts to address climate change.


"While no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we have a moral obligation to act on behalf of future generations. Climate change represents one of the major challenges of the 21st century, but as a nation of innovators, we can and will meet this challenge in a way that advances our economy, our environment, and public health all at the same time." 

For more information on the President's climate plan, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/climate-action-plan 


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