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Ag News | January 4, 2017

Ag News Roundup

Ag News Farmer Homesteader
In todays Ag News Roundup, OSU findings show true cattle watering preferences, snowpack reaches good levels in Washington state, how to find the next generation of farmers, observing phytoplankton from space, and Washington State’s new drought response plan takes shape.

OSU Finds Cattle Spend Little Time in Rangeland Streams

Oregon State University researchers have found that cattle spend only 2.5 percent of their time in rangeland streams. Published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, the team used GPS collars to precisely track cattle over a five-year period. The Findings come in contrast to controversial theories regarding rangeland grazing.

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Washington’s Snowpack at 100% in Some Areas

According to the Washington Snow Survey Office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Mount Vernon, the state’s mountain snowpack is at 130 percent of normal in some regions. However, the Spokane Basin has yet to reach optimal snowpack, but experts are hopeful that the water outlook will be promising this summer.

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Next Generation of Farmers Hard to Find

University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences found that many factors are keeping young people from making agriculture their careers. Factors included a 60-plus hour workweek and a lack of work/life balance. Researchers did find that once young people are introduced to the industry they can become excited about the opportunities, but opening that door can be difficult.

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Ocean’s Food Web Seen in New Light

Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences concluded a decade of research determining that phytoplankton cycles are more tied to predator relationships than previously thought. The study appeared in Nature Geoscience. Researches utilized satellite-mounted instruments to precisely map the Artic and Antarctic Ocean surfaces and immediate subsurface from 2006 to 2015.

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Washington State Crafts Drought Response Plan

2015 was a bad year for anyone who needed water for crops and other agricultural purposes in Washington State. To avoid the problems that occurred and to minimize the affects to agriculture, Washington Department of Ecology is crafting a drought-response plan. Part of the plan is to advise farmers earlier about possible drought conditions.

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