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Bob Hoff Invasive plants and non-federal Washington rangeland/4-H and robotics
by Bob Hoff, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: October 13, 2010

Washington Ag Today October 13, 2010 A recent joint federal report on the state of private western rangelands reveals that despite overall improvement in land health and productivity, a point of concern is non-native plant species that threaten native habitat and wildlife.

White: “It is like taking money right out of the back pockets of ranchers. Wildlife doesn‘t like it. It is not really good for anybody. So if we have a real focal area on rangeland it is how are we going to deal with these invasive species.”

That is National Resources Conservation Service Chief Dave White. The new federal study shows that in Washington invasive non-native species are present on 90 percent of non-federal rangeland and on 19 percent they make up at least 50 percent of the plant cover. The most widespread problem species are the annual bromes like cheat grass, which are on 87 percent of the private rangeland. Star thistles and knapweed infest just under ten percent of Washington’s non-federal rangeland with medusa head on four percent.

Washington State University Extension 4-H has been awarded a 50-thousand dollar grant from the National 4-H Council and JC Penny to develop a multi-county robotics project. WSU Extension was one of five sites selected throughout the country in the continuing effort to educate youth in areas of science, engineering and technology through hands-on-learning experience in the 4-H program. Community partnerships will be formed to start robotics-focused 4-H clubs across the state.

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s Washington Ag Today on Northwest Aginfo Net.

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