Western Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (Professional Development Program)
SARE's Professional Development Program provides training, grants and resources for agriculture professionals to build their awareness, knowledge and skills related to sustainable agriculture concepts. The program includes two key components: competitive grants awarded at the regional level for the development of training curricula, outreach efforts, communications projects and similar work; and a network of state coordinators, working part-time for SARE in each state and island protectorate, who hold workshops and field days to share sustainable practices and research results, provide travel scholarships for agriculture professionals to attend training events, and generally serve as sustainable agriculture resources in their state. Steve Foster is the WSARE Nevada State Coordinator.
Alternative crop production
This program tests and demonstrates crops that use less water and/or offer increased income potential to Nevada agricultural producers. Currently six crops are under evaluation. In 2006, producers planted and/or harvested commercial acreages of teff, wine grapes and turf grass for the first time in Churchill County.
Cool season forage grass/IR-4/Integrated Pest Management Program
Research in Eureka County rates agriculture as the second leading exporter of products and revenue generator. Although a smaller sector than mineral mining, agriculture has larger economic multipliers for the county. Thus, small changes in this sector can have large economic impacts on the county. Work with the Nevada Hay and Forage Growers Association has focused on evaluating Integrated Pest Management opportunities to offset the labeling loss of common pesticides. Field trials were started to evaluate 12 pesticides that help ensure sustainability for this vital county industry. This trial was repeated. The trial targeted Banks Grass Mites. This pest species was not prevalent; however, a different species, Western Brown Wheat Mite was. Thus the 12 replicated pesticide products were tested on this species.
This project has two primary purposes. The first is to increase the number of pest control materials labeled in Nevada. The second is to increase the knowledge and implementation rate of IPM practices in Nevada.
Sustainable Biodiversity/Multiple Use of Rangelands
Extension’s sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands program emphasizes a balance between wildlife habitat/diversity and livestock forage production.