With rangeland grazing threatened by drought this year, Idahoans who will have pasture available for rent can use a new Web site to make contact with ranchers looking for alternatives to rangeland.
“Things are not looking too shiny in relation to rangeland grazing this sum-mer,” says Neil Rimbey, University of Idaho extension range economist in Caldwell.
Unless spring rains come, Rimbey says paltry water supplies and parched soils may make it necessary for many ranchers to nourish their livestock with private forage or hay for longer periods than they ordinarily would.
The University of Idaho site, www.ag.uidaho.edu/pasture, serves as an elec-tronic clearing house on which owners of private pasture and crop aftermath can list available feeds, and owners of livestock can describe their needs.
“It essentially sets up a market,” says Rimbey.
Willing buyers and sellers can scan the listings for possible matches and make their own arrangements.
The electronic pasture clearing house was developed in cooperation with the Idaho Cattle Association and includes links to pasture management re-sources. Producers who don’t have home computers can access the clearing house through their county extension offices.