About Dry Farming Project...
It is important to note that dry farming is not a new way of farming, but knowledge sharing has been limited because practices have primarily been passed down from farmer to farmer. Compounded by the fact that there is only a very small subset of farmers that experiment with dry farming and an even smaller number have extensive experience in these farming practices, the OSU Extension Dry Farm Project plans to explore, revive, and expand awareness of dry farming.
The Dry Farming Project began in 2013 with case studies of farms in Western Oregon and Northern California (coordinated by Community Alliance with Family Farmers) that dry farm a variety of fruit and vegetable crops. These case studies revealed a suite of management practices that support crop production without supplemental irrigation including: careful timing of tillage, early planting, cultivation or surface protection to prevent crusting and cracking of soil surface, diligent weed management, improving soil quality and water retention with organic matter addition (cover crops, compost, rotational grazing), increased plant spacing, and use of drought-resistant varieties.
There have been dry demonstrations in Western Oregon every year since 2015.