REACCH Advances in Dryland Farming Webinar Mini Series

The CLN is teaming up with the Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) to present findings and advances from REACCH’s 5 year effort to enhance sustainability of Pacific Northwest cereal systems and contribute to climate change mitigation. This 6 part series will present topics from the REACCH Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest Handbook.

Currently planned webinars:
November 13th, 11:00am EST (8:00am PST)
Dr. Liz Allen and Dr. Katherine Hegewisch
November 20th, 11:00am EST (8:00am PST)
Dr. Sanford Eigenbrode and Dr. Tim Paulitz
December 11, 11:00am EST (8:00am PST)
Dr. Prakriti Bista and Dr. Rakesh Awale

Future webinars:
Nov. 27, 11:00amEST/8:00amPST – Crop Rotations and Cropping System Diversification (Bill Pan, WSU, and Isaac Madsen, WSU)

Dec. 4, 2017 11:00amEST/8:00amPST – Nutrient Management and Precision Application (Tabitha Brown, WSU/Latah SWCD, and Erin Brooks, UI)

Dec. 18, 2017 11:00amEST/8:00amPST – Weed Management (Ian Burke, WSU)

Check back on this page for updates to the schedule

CLN/CSI Webinar: The CONSERVE Program. Thursday Dec. 7 @ 3:00pm EST


CONSERVE, A Transdisciplinary Research, Extension and Education Program at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food and Health

Presented by Amy Sapkota, PhD.
View Webinar Info Now (No Registration Required)

Our changing climate, escalating water demands from nonagricultural sectors, and depletion of groundwater sources by agricultural use are immediate challenges that call for the urgent need to explore and adopt safe, alternative irrigation strategies to sustain food production across the U.S. As a result, water reuse and the exploration of nontraditional irrigation sources have become national priorities with regard to agricultural water security and the sustainable production of our food supply. At the same time, the recent Food Safety Modernization Act is shifting the focus of food safety from responding to contamination to preventing it. This emphasis towards the prevention of foodborne illnesses places great responsibility on agricultural producers, who must meet stricter guidelines with regard to the quality of irrigation water used on food crops. Hence, at this critical juncture in food production, sustainable on-farm solutions are needed to enable agricultural producers to conserve groundwater and adopt safe, alternative approaches to irrigation.

To address this need, CONSERVE: A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food, and Health was established at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health through funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA). CONSERVE employs a systems approach to 1) evaluate the availability (quantity and quality) of nontraditional irrigation water sources (e.g. recycled water, brackish water, return flows) that could be used to help agricultural producers conserve groundwater; 2) identify the socio-behavioral, economic and regulatory factors that impact the use of these sources; and 3) develop, implement, and evaluate on-farm water treatment technologies for the safe and successful use of nontraditional irrigation water. We then share this new knowledge with agricultural and non-agricultural communities, and employ experiential education to teach, train, and inspire future leaders. This webinar will provide an overview of CONSERVE, as well as examples of our year 1 achievements. By the end of the webinar, participants will gain insights into the complex global picture of the potential for recycled water to become a more commonly accepted and used source for irrigation of food crops. As we move into a time of increasing water scarcity, a shift in water use strategies will be essential to sustain food production in arable land across the world.


Dr. Amy R. Sapkota is currently an Associate Professor in the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health. Dr. Sapkota received a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from the Yale School of Public Health. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Environmental Microbial Genomics Group within Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Lyon, France. Dr. Sapkota’s research interests lie in the areas of environmental microbiology, environmental microbial genomics, exposure assessment and environmental epidemiology. Her projects focus on evaluating the complex relationships between environmental exposures and adverse health outcomes. Currently, Dr. Sapkota is the Director of “CONSERVE: A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food and Health” which was established in 2016 through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Food and Agriculture. The mission of CONSERVE is to facilitate the adoption of transformative on-farm solutions that enable the safe use of nontraditional irrigation water on food crops, effectively reducing the nation’s agricultural water challenges that are exacerbated by climate change. In addition to CONSERVE, Dr. Sapkota is a Co-Principal Investigator within the University of Maryland/Battelle, Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science and leads a study that is exploring tobacco microbial constituents and the oral microbiome of tobacco users. To begin to expand this work to international settings, Dr. Sapkota recently completed a Fulbright Senior Scholarship in collaboration with the B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital located in Chitwan, Nepal, where the team explored the relationships between the oral microbiome, tobacco use and lung cancer risk.

CLN/ANREP-CSI Webinar: Boosting producer learning, exchange and adoption of water use efficient technologies. Thursday, Nov. 2, 3:00pm EDT.

Producers in the Ogallala aquifer region are simultaneously facing serious challenges related to water and an explosion of new information available on efficient irrigation and crop management. In Kansas, Nebraska and Texas, popular outreach programs are helping producers make sense of it all, offering engaging opportunities that show producers new tools and techniques in action. These programs differ in their approach but share some common strengths such as producers sharing their experiences with their peers, research validation of management tools, and input from commercial and non-profit technology experts. Drs. Aguilar, Rudnick and West will share details and insights learned from their involvement in Kansas’s Water Technology FarmsNebraska’s Testing Ag Performance Solutions Program, and the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation demonstration project.
Dr. Jonathan Aguilar (Kansas State University) works on technology development and management related to irrigated agriculture in western Kansas. Dr. Daran Rudnick (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) specializes in full and deficit irrigation management, soil water monitoring technologies, and water and nitrogen interactions. Dr. Chuck West (Texas Tech University) is an agronomist who leads a demonstration and research project on improving water use efficiency and profitability of row crops and forages.

CLN/ANREP-CSI Webinar: Optimizing Water Use for Agriculture and Rural Communities Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 3:00pm EDT


Register Now

The challenges facing the Ogallala Aquifer region today are relatively well defined. We know how much groundwater is in the aquifer and how much it has declined since irrigation started with sufficient accuracy to identify key depletion hotspots and project decline rates moving forward. What has not yet been solved is how we will respond as a region to these challenges in a way that maximizes water use efficiency and perhaps even stabilizes groundwater levels. The Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture project (OWCAP) is a 4-year project funded by USDA-NIFA in 2016 to support a regional, interdisciplinary research and outreach effort to water and long-term agricultural sustainability issues facing the High Plains. The project’s research and outreach are informed by and target a wide range of stakeholders at the local, State and Federal level.

Schipanski_portrait.jpgMeagan Schipanski, co-director of the USDA-NIFA funded Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project (OWCAP) is an Assistant Professor at CSU.  Her research focuses on understanding plant-soil interactions that mediate nutrient cycling using concepts from ecology and biogeochemistry. Her group investigates organic matter, nutrient, and water dynamics within cropping systems from rhizosphere to global scales using on-farm, experiment station, greenhouse, and modeling experiments.

CLN/CSI Webinar: The Cattle Comfort Advisor: a Tool for Managing Heat & Cold Stress. September 7, 2017 at 3:00PM EDT

Capture.JPGJoin us to learn how to use the Cattle Comfort Advisor a powerful new tool for managing livestock comfort. Cattle are susceptible to heat and cold stress. In the worst case situations, extreme heat or cold can cause animal fatalities. In less extreme conditions, heat or cold can increase an animal’s susceptibility to disease, negatively impact reproduction, or decrease animal gain. To put numbers to cattle heat and cold stress, a new National Cattle Comfort Advisor has been developed. This tool is updated hourly and provides vital data to cattle producers across the country to help insure high quality beef and dairy production. The Cattle Comfort Advisor is based on a livestock stress formula introduced in 2010 by animal scientists at the University of Nebraska. The National Cattle Comfort Advisor and an Oklahoma Cattle Comfort Advisor were developed by the Oklahoma Mesonet. Support for the National Cattle Comfort Advisor was provided as part of USDA AFRI grant #2014-67004-21624. REGISTER NOW

Al Sutherland.head shot.pngAlbert Sutherland coordinated development of the National and Oklahoma Cattle Comfort Advisors. He leads agricultural and horticultural product development and extension outreach for the Oklahoma Mesonet.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Oregon State University, a Masters in horticulture from Ohio State University, and has worked for Oklahoma State University since 1989.  Albert is a Certified Crop Advisor and Certified Professional Horticulturist.Albert Sutherland coordinated development of the National and Oklahoma Cattle Comfort Advisors. He leads agricultural and horticultural product development and extension outreach for the Oklahoma Mesonet.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Oregon State University, a Masters in horticulture from Ohio State University, and has worked for Oklahoma State University since 1989.  Albert is a Certified Crop Advisor and Certified Professional Horticulturist.

Eastern Seed Zone Forum Open

Capture.JPGThe USDA Forest Service Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources team has been assigned the task of determining how best to develop seed zones for Region 9, the Northeastern Area, and the Southern Region. These seed zones are being developed to help the National Forest System address sustainable forest management and ecosystem restoration challenges related to climate change in a uniform manner across regional and political boundaries. These seed zones should be developed in a manner encourages their adoption by state partners, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Interior (DOI), state forestry agencies, NGOs, seed producers, land managers, and other interested groups or individuals.

A new website was developed for the Forum as a platform for information, a place to host a webinar series, and for regional groups to collaborate. The Seed Zone Forum team will review the literature supplied by top scientists, and consult with on-the-ground regional teams to develop zones that are biologically relevant, but also administratively feasible. The team invites natural resource professionals, or conservation practitioners, from public agencies (federal, state, county, etc), universities, NGOs and industries to help in this endeavor. Public webinars, forums and meetings will be held culminating in a final report to help determine the new seed zones.

National Cattle Comfort Advisor Available Now

Oklahoma Mesonet has released a National version of their popular Cattle Comfort Advisor Tool which provides up to the hour projections on cattle comfort across the United States. A webinar about this tool is available on the USDA-NIFA Funded Great Plains Grazing Coordinated Agricultural Project (Grazing CAP) website. 


From Mesonet: “The Oklahoma Mesonet has expanded its Oklahoma Cattle Comfort Advisor to a national tool with the launch of the National Cattle Comfort Advisor. National cattle heat/cold stress maps are updated hourly and archived back to January 1, 2016. These national stress maps help cattle producers: monitor stress conditions using local environmental conditions, guide cattle water demand decisions, track weather changes that increase cattle health risk, track stress over multiple days, monitor severity of extreme weather events, monitor when to avoid working cattle, and know when transported cattle came from an area with weather stress. With no national database of solar radiation, the National Cattle Comfort Advisor calculates heat/cold stress at 100%, 60%, and 20% sunlight levels each hour. Users select the sunlight level map that best fits their local conditions. There are also national maps of 1.5 meter air temperature, 2 meter relative humidity, 2 meter wind speed estimated from 10 meter wind speed data, and estimated solar radiation in watts per meter squared for each sunlight level. The National Cattle Comfort Advisor is based on the ‘Comprehensive Climate Index’ formula for livestock stress from Mader et. al. 2010. Air temperature, relative humidity, and wind data are from National Weather Service METAR dataset.”




Pacific Northwest Forest Seedlot Selection Tool Released

Reforestation scientists at the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Oregon State University, and the Conservation Biology Institute have developed a web-based mapping application, the Seedlot Selection Tool. This tool can be used to help forest managers match seedlots with planting sites based on climatic information. The climates of the planting sites can be chosen to represent current climates, or future climates based on selected climate change scenarios.
From the Seedlot Selection Tool Description: “The Seedlot Selection Tool (SST) is a web-based mapping application designed to help natural resource managers match seedlots with planting sites based on climatic information. The SST can be used to map current climates or future climates based on selected climate change scenarios. It is tailored for matching seedlots and planting sites, but can be used by anyone interested in mapping climates defined by temperature and water availability. The SST is most valuable as a planning and educational tool because of the uncertainty associated with climate interpolation models and climate change projections. The SST allows the user to control many input parameters, and can be customized for the management practices, climate change assumptions, and risk tolerance of the user.”

CLN/ANREP-CSI Webinar: The Extension Sustainability Database – Connect with your colleagues on a National level

Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 3:00pm EDT

Are you interested in leading an Extension sustainability-focused program, but not sure what topics are already being covered? Do you want to learn who else is programming in this area so that you can glean experience from or collaborate with them? Perhaps you already are leading a program but may be feeling alone in your efforts. With the help of a new national database of sustainability-focused Extension programs, connecting or getting inspired is made easy! The database includes over 170 entries with 41 states represented. This webinar will walk participants through how to access and use the database, and dive in depth into some great examples of sustainability-focused Extension programs across the US.

Presented by Roslynn G.H. Brain McCann
Roslynn Brain.jpgDr. Roslynn Brain McCann is a Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist in the Department of Environment and Society, College of Natural Resources at Utah State University. She uses conservation theory, communication techniques, and social marketing tools to foster environmental behaviors in the areas of land (conservation, reducing, reusing and recycling), air (quality and climate change), food (consuming locally with a focus on CSA’s and farmer’s markets), water (quality, quantity, water resilient landscaping), and energy (efficiency and renewable energy). Roslynn also teaches communicating sustainability, chairs the National Network for Sustainable Living Education, helps facilitate the National Extension Sustainability Summit, runs a national database of sustainability-focused Extension programs, and is the coordinator for Utah Farm-Chef-Fork, the USU Permaculture Initiative, and Sustainable You! kids’ camps.


PINEMAP hosts Pine Plantation Research & Decision Support Tool Rollout

The Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation project (PINEMAP) is one of three Coordinated Agricultural Projects funded in 2011 by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). These projects are currently wrapping up after 6 years of investigating the effects of climate change on valuable commodity crops. One of the outputs of PINEMAP is a suite of decision support tools developed to help landowners make decisions on critical factors in pine production. This includes seedling selection and potential biomass yields based on a range of potential climate scenarios. The PINEMAP DSS is available at