Walker Basin Project Field Day and Barbecue on August 13
Alternative agriculture sites near Yerington to be featured
RENO, Nev. — Community members are invited to attend the Walker Basin Project Field Day and Barbecue on Wednesday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the 5C Cottonwood Ranch off Highway 339 near Yerington. The ranch has a large white gate and is about five miles south of the town of Mason.
Residents will have the opportunity to visit with researchers and learn more about the agriculture sites established to study the feasibility of low-water crops, native grasses and agricultural practices as part of the research by the University of Nevada, Reno and Desert Research Institute (DRI) through the Walker Basin Project. The Field Day will include a presentation about the "alternative agriculture" project, its goals and progress to date, a tour of the sites, and a question and answer session followed by a barbecue lunch.
"Because 92 percent of Nevada’s agricultural land produces forage crops such as alfalfa hay, grass hay or some combination of both, we’re looking for alternative crops someone can use to help diversify an operation and increase income," said Jay Davison, area forage and alternative crops specialist with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. "We’re also looking for crops that use less water and exploring the use of native grasses for revegetation on land that has little water."
Researchers are investigating alternative grain crops that are used to produce non-gluten flours and both warm and cool season crops for biofuels. In the revegetation research sites, five different species and seven varieties of native grasses are being tested as well as weed control technology.
"The information we gather through the Walker Basin Project will be of value throughout western Nevada, an area that has low precipitation of between four and five inches a year," said Davison who has been working on a smaller scale with alternative crops for the past five years. "It’s important we establish desirable vegetation on land instead of allowing noxious weeds to grow or leaving it as bare blowing soil."
To make a reservation to attend the Field Day and Barbecue, call the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office in Fallon at 775-423-5121.
For more information about the Walker Basin Project, visit www.nevada.edu/walker/.