Northwest Dryland Cereral Legume Project
This regional project ran from 1988-1992 and was funded by the USDA-LISA (now SARE) program. It involved researchers and growers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. The goal was to look at both historical research and practice as well as current developments to combine the most promising ideas for enhancing sustainability in this cropping region, which is constrained by moisture. Thus, practices such as cover cropping that are relatively easy to adopt in more humid regions can be a challenge here. While dryland grain farming predominates across this region, the climate and rainfall patterns differ significantly and affect what a grower can do in one location versus another. Thus, broad brush recommendations are not generally feasible.
A number of outputs came fromt the project. These included a series of "Farming for Profit and Stewardship" conferences, the Sustainable Farming Quarterly newsletters, a searchable database of all the historical research examined, a number of journal articles, and a summary publication.
Amber Waves:A Sourcebook for Sustainable Dryland Farming in the Northwestern United States. This publication was produced as part of a regional SARE project on dryland farming and compiles research from the late 1890s through 1989. It is intended to serve as a reference for farming practices used in the past through the present so that ideas for improving sustainability can be identified and tested.
Citation: Granatstein, D. 1992. Amber Waves: A Sourcebook for Sustainable Dryland Farming in the Northwestern United States. XB1025. Washington State University Agricultural Research Center, Pullman, WA. 82 pp.
Sustainable Dryland Farming Database (CROPSYS)
The Northwest Dryland Cereal/Legume Cropping Systems Database is a compilation of research and experience in dryland agriculture in the northwestern U.S. collected over the past 100 years. Database topics include crop rotation, legumes and grasses, soil quality, soil fertility, tillage and erosion, economics, pests, and alternate crops. Land grant experiment station reports, USDA reports, and old books on dryland agriculture are catalogued in CROPSYS, as well as more current information from scientific journals, popular magazines, farmer experience, and unpublished materials. Most entries include an interpretive abstract.
A primary function of CROPSYS is to identify and locate references that are not catalogued in most contemporary bibliographic databases. For example, someone interested in using black medic in a cropping system can find information from university dissertations and seed company literature, and research results reported in conference proceedings. Most of these resources are not catalogued elsewhere. The database uses full text search.
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