If you are a livestock owner with limited acreage, this is the place for you. Below you’ll find great information, resources and support for small acreage farms and livestock in the Washington County and Oregon area.
- Small Acreages
- Manure Management
- Mud Management
- Pasture Management
- Irrigation for Farms and Small Acreages
- “Tips on Land & Water Management for Small Acreages in Oregon”
- Use the STEPS Workbook to help you develop a conservation plan for your property. Contact the SWCD to get your own STEPS Workbook!
- Tips for Small Acreages in Oregon Fact Sheets
- So You Want to Be a Farmer?
- OSU Extension’s Small Farms website
Rural Living Handbook Articles
These individual articles are optimized for printing as handouts. Look for release of complete handbook with color background soon!
- Washington County & the Tualatin River: Lay of the Land
- A Short History of Washington County
- What to Expect When Moving to Rural Property
- Planning Growth in Washington County: Land-use Facts for Rural Landowners
- Planning Futures: What to Expect
- Geography and Climate of the Tualatin River Watershed
- Buying Rural Property
- Be a Skeptic about Wells and Septic
- Building in the Country: Permits
Composting is a great way to recycle nutrients, reduce waste, beautify your property and improve forage production!
- Spread less than 1-inch of compost, 2 to 4 times a year, when plants are growing; March to September
- Pile compost on concrete and keep covered
- Keep compost piles or bins away from rainfall, streams, and run-off collection areas
- Turn compost to add air, at least 4 to 5 times per month
- Allow compost to “cook” an average of 6 months or until mature
- Maintain compost at 50% moisture so that it feels like a wrung-out sponge
- Compost that is too wet stinks; too dry = slow compost
Links to composting know-how:
Manure management is a great way to reduce parasites, bad odor, volume of manure and protect our water!
- Limit animal access along streams
- Cover piles to protected them from rain and prevent nutrients from leaching into water
- Keep current with worming practices to limit parasites
- Composting is a great way to “recycle” the nutrients in manure
- Harrow or drag pastures to spread manure and encourage plant growth
- Pick often; this allows easier waste removal and improves living conditions
- Join a manure exchange program such as “Manure Link” and share the wealth
Links to manure management know-how:
Managing mud is important for animal health and happiness in addition to saving pasture, reducing work load, and improving aesthetics.
- Adopt a rotational grazing schedule
- Pick manure often
- Maintain a variety of forage species in your pastures
- Grade surfaces away from heavy use areas
- Install gutters and downspouts on roofs to re-direct rainwater
- Maintain vegetative buffers between dry-lots, pastures, streams, and water runoff collection points
- Maintain heavy use areas with a prepared surface, such as gravel or sand for safe footing and reduced runoff
Links to mud management know-how:
- Mud management for small acreage livestock
- Mud management for small acreage horse operations
- Mud and Manure Fact Sheet
- Sacrifice Areas
- Sacrifice diagram
- Quick tips and ideas for arena footings
Good pasture starts with you! Get going with some helpful tips, ideas, and resources.
- Do not graze below 3”
- Maintain a vegetative buffer zone
- Test pasture soils every 3-5 years
- Mow pastures that are 8-10” high
- Drag or harrow to spread manure
- Designate a dry-lot to use during the wet months
- Mow before weeds go to seed
- Irrigate after grazing but avoid putting animals on wet soils
- Break large pastures into smaller parcels and adopt a rotational grazing schedule
Links to pasture know-how: