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Building a Foundation for Tomorrow

Highlights in Conservation icon

Building a Foundation for Tomorrow

Image of agricultural producer, Paul Sorenson, standing in new growth timothy that was seeded directly into sudan stubble.

Agricultural producer, Paul Sorenson, standing in new growth timothy that was seeded directly into sudan stubble.

Location icon
Upper Yakima, Kittitas County, Ellensburg

Project Summary icon
Direct seeded timothy into sudan cover crop

Conservation Partners icon
Paul Sorenson, agricultural producer, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Resource Challenges icon
Utilizing direct seed in a traditionally tilled operation to improve soil quality and timothy hay production

Conservation Program Used icon
Conservation technical assistance was provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in applying the direct seed method to a field that was traditionally tilled. After a herbicide application following an orchard grass crop in mid-September of the previous year, the field was drilled with a sudan grass cover crop in mid-April the following spring and later baled in early September. After a herbicide application around September 10th, the field was seeded with timothy and irrigated.

Innovations and Highlights icon
By utilizing the direct seed method, Paul was able reduce his tillage passes across the field by a minimum of six times thus drastically reducing fuel usage and CO2 emissions. Soil quality is improved by maintaining a more suitable structure before going back into timothy hay production.

Results and Accomplishments icon
After utilizing a different method in his timothy hay production, Paul has seen the benefits of utilizing direct seed in his operation. In addition to a healthy and productive crop, this practice has a definite impact on the natural resources involved. Utilizing fewer fossil fuels improves air quality and will have both a short and long-term benefit on the environment. Reducing tillage practices will improve soil quality and structure, providing a foundation for healthy crop production for years to come.

Contact icon
Eric Peitz, NRCS, Ellensburg (509) 925-8585 ext. 107
Sarah Troutman-Zahn, NRCS Ellensburg, (509) 925-8585 ext. 108

NRCS, Spring 2009