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Best grazing areas in PNW?

 
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Hi,
We are looking toward relocating to Oregon or Washington, and I am interesting in any opinions as to preferred areas for livestock grazing (horse, cow, goat), as the creatures are coming with us. It would be nice not to have to irrigate pastures in the summer, so eastern Washington and Oregon may be less desirable, I presume. Our research is more focused on Cascadia than eastern WA or OR so far, still trying to find some balance between no rain and too much rain! Anyone care to weigh in on this?

Thanks so much.
Elia

 
pollinator
Posts: 460
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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Western OR and WA have lot of river bottomland that stays pretty moist September through June. Some of it might be too soggy to graze in the winter, so having some sloping elevated land attached to it is a huge bonus (also for feeding winter hay).

Some areas along the Oregon coast are really great too! Expect frequent rain and wind.

Expect to pay $3k-8k acre depending on land quality and proximity to urban areas.
 
pollinator
Posts: 185
Location: Hendersonville, NC
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I recommend using a Precipitation Map for Oregon and WA. Land may look attractive in Raymond, WA for example until you find out they have 80 inches of rain. Also use the NRCS soil maps to discover which properties have hydric soils and what soil types available. Lots of river bottom land is for sale, but a lot of it floods. Then when you settle on a couple properties look at the geodata for the county to discover if the property is in a 100 year flood plain, has wetlands, etc.

http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx
 
author
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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the big challenge with non-irrigated grazing land in the PNW is the Mediterranean climate there. By Mediterranean climate, I mean wet winters and dry summers. The PNW gets almost all of its precipitation in the October-May time period, when pastures are not going to be productive due to lack of light. As you move into May and June, the pastures will grow great, but then quickly dry up during that natural Summer drought. Irrigation is a very good thing in this type of climate.

So I would say, find irriagted pastures, away from sodden bottomlands, in areas that receive a moderate amount of rainfall, but are adjacent to mountains that capture a large snowpack for irrigation.

good luck!
 
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