Advances in dryland farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest
Kruger, Chad E.
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The Pacific Northwest is an important wheat production region. In 2015, the National Agricultural Statistics Service indicated that Washington, Idaho, and Oregon harvested more than 240 million bushels of wheat, worth an estimated $1.3 billion. The major areas of production in the inland Pacific Northwest include three major land resource areas with distinctive geologic features and soils as defined by the US Department of Agriculture: the Columbia Basin, the Columbia Plateau, and the Palouse and Nez Perce Prairies, all of which are within the Northwestern Wheat and Range Region. It also includes a small portion of dryland cropping in the North Rocky Mountains major land resource area, adjacent to the eastern edge of the Palouse and Nez Perce Prairies. In the dryland areas, which are the focus of this book, wheat is grown in rotation with crop fallow and much smaller acreages of other small grains, legumes, and alternative crops. In light of ongoing and new challenges being faced by farmers in the region it is an opportune time to synthesize research-based advances in knowledge to support farmer decision-making and improve the long-term productive capacity of farmland in the region. This book should be viewed as a resource that launches further inquiry rather than an end point.