Extension agricultural programs are focused on improving efficiency and competitiveness of commercial animal agriculture. Extension faculty provide useful, research-based information to effectively address clientele needs. Applied research and educational programs that contribute to the economic viability of Oregon are emphasized.
The Livestock/Dairy/Forages Program builds public awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of agriculture. Educational programs for livestock and dairy producers include information on production, management, and pasture and grazing management.
Local Extension agents collaborate with campus-based faculty, other county agents, local farmers/ranchers, and allied industry to delivery information of mutual interest and benefit.
There are 26,400 head of beef cattle in Coos and Curry counties, and 33,200 head of sheep. More than 88,000 acres of hill land are used for grazing cattle and sheep, and much of that land has been improved to some extent.
The mild climate allows a long forage production season for grazing dairy cattle on river bottom soils. Milk cow numbers total 4,000 head. Locally produced milk is marketed through Organic Valley and a new cheese plant in Bandon.
Improved forages, such as perennial ryegrass, orchardgrass, and white clover, grow well here. Other forages grown for livestock feed include corn, sudan-sorghum, and red clover. Most of this feed is harvested as silage and fed to cattle during winter.
The first weed control district in Coos County was formed in 1949 to battle the noxious weeds gorse and tansy ragwort. Weed problems continue to be a concern for landowners today. There are studies being conducted in the Coos and Curry county area to determine the best control methods for a variety of weed species.