Arizona Cooperative Extension is an outreach arm of The University of Arizona and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). The repository collection includes current and historical Extension publications on these topics: Animal Systems; Consumer Education; Farm Management and Safety; Food Safety, Nutrition and Health; Gardening/Home Horticulture; Insects and Pest Management; Marketing and Retailing; Natural Resources and Environment; Plant Diseases; Plant Production/Crops; Water; and Youth and Family. Current publications are also available from the Cooperative Extension Publications website.


Contact College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Publications at pubs@cals.arizona.edu.

Recent Submissions

  • Cómo Construir una Peloteadora de Semillas para Uso en Jardinería y Restauración

    Gornish, Elise; Simpson, Ashlee; Caballero-Reynolds, Marci (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2021-08)
    Las pelotas de semillas encapsulan las semillas en una mezcla (a menudo arcilla y materia orgánica rica en nutrientes como el abono, el humus o el carbón) que reducirá potencialmente la depredación de insectos y roedores, a la vez que facilitará una mayor retención de agua y el contacto de las semillas con la tierra.
  • How to Construct a Bicycle-Powered Seed Pelletizer for Use in Gardening and Restoration

    Gornish, Elise; Simpson, Ashlee; Caballero-Reynolds, Marci (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2018-11)
    Seed pellets encapsulate seeds in a mixture (often clay, and nutrient-rich organic matter such as compost, humus, or charcoal) that will potentially reduce predation by insects and rodents while allowing for increased water retention and seed-soil contact. Seed pellets are an ancient method of sowing seed, and are especially useful in areas with compacted or dry soils. Seed pellets are strewn in the desired location (no need for soil preparation) and remain inactive until heavy rains arrive, washing away the clay and allowing seeds to germinate. Making seed pellets by hand is extremely time consuming and labor intensive. To make large numbers of seed pellets in a reasonable amount of time, we constructed a bicycle-powered seed pelletizing machine that effectively coats seed in clay and compost materials. It is designed to be easily taken apart for storage or transport,so each component fits against the others without being screwed together. The bicycle spins a barrel containing the seeds and coating materials while the operators periodically mist the contents with water. The result is coated seed balls that can be used for restoration or home gardening. Here, we explain how to construct the seed pelletizing machine.
  • Understanding Vegetation Succession with State and Transition Models

    Brischke, Andrew; Hall, Ashley; McReynolds, Kim (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2018-08)
    Effective natural resource management involves balancing benefits derived from utilizing the environment against potential environmental degradation. Rangeland managers need to not only recognize change in plant communities, but also need to identify possible causes of vegetation trends. Vegetation evaluation procedures must be able to measure and interpret both reversible and nonreversible vegetation dynamics. Both patterns occur, and neither pattern alone represents the entire spectrum of vegetation dynamics on all rangelands (Briske et al. 2005).
  • Rangeland Monitoring Frame and Construction Guide

    Hall, Ashley; Brischke, Andrew; Hall, John (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2018-07)
    The objective of rangeland vegetation trend monitoring is to document changes over time in vegetation or other rangeland resources. Common methods often used together throughout Arizona and the west include Point Ground Cover, Pace Frequency, Dry-Weight Rank, and Comparative Yield. Further details regarding these methods and ground rules can be found in Sampling Vegetation Attributes (Interagency Technical Manual, 1996), Guide to Rangeland Monitoring and Assessment (Smith et al., 2012), or Southeastern Arizona Monitoring Program: Methods and Ground Rules (McReynolds and Brischke, 2015).
  • Understanding Ecological Sites

    Brischke, Andrew; Hall, Ashley; McReynolds, Kim (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2018-05)
    Today, land managers are challenged with synthesizing an overwhelming amount of scientific information concerning soils, hydrology, ecology, management, etc. Discrete and arbitrary land ownership boundaries with differences in regulations (or lack of regulations) will often dictate the management goals and objectives for our rangelands (Table 1). Adding to this complexity, natural systems seldom have distinct boundaries with respect to either space or time; therefore, managing landscapes have a certain amount of variability and uncertainty. Ecological sites are a conceptual landscape classification system used to interpret potential across the landscape. The fundamental assumption of ecological sites is that landscapes can be grouped with sufficient precision to increase the probability of success of site-specific predictions, decisions, and management actions (USDA-NRCS, 2011). Ecological sites incorporate abiotic and biotic environmental factors such as climate, soils and landform, hydrology, vegetation, and natural disturbance regimes that together define the site. Each ecological site is identified, differentiated, and described based on the relationships among these environmental factors and how they influence plant community composition and other environmental processes.
  • Guide to Co-Developing Drought Preparation Plans for Livestock Grazing on Southwest National Forests

    Hawkes, Kelsey L.; McClaran, Mitchel P.; Brugger, Julie; Crimmins, Michael A.; Howery, Larry D.; Ruyle, George B.; Sprinkle, James E.; Tolleson, Douglas R. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2018-04)
    This Guide is one output of a long-term project organized by researchers from the University of Arizona, which intended to address drought concerns for livestock grazing in the Southwestern United States. At an initial workshop held in 2013, local stakeholders identified the lack of flexibility regarding the administration of public land grazing as a challenge to managing and becoming prepared for drought.
  • Nature and Nurture’s Influence on Cattle Distribution

    Howery, Larry D.; Bailey, Derek W. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2018-03)
    Although stocking rate is often described as the most important decision livestock managers make, most environmental concerns associated with cattle ranching in the western U.S. result from undesirable grazing distribution patterns, especially on public lands. In the West, mountainous terrain and arid and semi arid climatic conditions restrict where cattle are willing and able to go. For example, cattle typically congregate on gentle terrain and in areas near limited water sources. Cattle are typically reluctant to graze steep slopes, climb high ridges and travel long distances from water. These preferences can lead to excessive forage use on gentle terrain located near water, including riparian areas, while abundant forage on rugged terrain and areas far from water are left ungrazed. In summary, concerns with cattle grazing in the western U.S. are usually not a consequence of too many cows, but instead, are due to cattle selectively concentrating use in certain areas while avoiding other areas.
  • Rain Gauges for Range Management: Precipitation Monitoring Best Practices Guide

    Crimmins, Michael A.; McClaran, Mitchel; Brugger, Julie; Hall, Ashley; Tolleson, Douglas; Brischke, Andrew (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2017-11)
    Precipitation in the form of rain and snow is critical to many aspects of working lands from controlling the growth of vegetation used in grazing by livestock and wildlife to recharging local water resources found in springs, tanks and riparian areas. Land management decisions often require some knowledge of how much precipitation fell within a management unit to assess how past actions have performed and what to do next. For example, do forage conditions reflect a lack of precipitation or grazing management? Did the next pasture or allotment in my rotation get any rainfall over the past season?
  • Value of University of Arizona Cooperative Extension’s Involvement in Immediate Post-Wallow Fire Grazing Recovery

    Duval, Dari; Ruyle, George; Dyess, Judith (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2017-11)
    The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension participated in cooperative efforts to monitor rangeland recovery and assess forage availability after the Wallow Fire that provided critical information supporting the Forest Service’s decision to allow grazing to resume on allotments earlier than originally anticipated. Enhancement and use of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Vegetation GIS Data System software allowed Forest Service and University personnel to quickly record and analyze ecological data. This ecological data was important to determining the response of vegetation to provide forage for livestock and wildlife. Estimates of benefits to ranchers from earlier resumption of grazing on their allotments range from $12,241 to $52,835 per allotment. Estimates of total rancher benefits range from $477,410 to $2,060,577.
  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System Components

    Franklin, Ed (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2018-05)
    Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems are made up of different components. Each component has a specific role. The type of component in the system depends on the type of system and the purpose. For example, a simple PV-direct system is composed of a solar module or array (two or moremodules wired together) and the load (energy-using device) it powers. The most common loads are submersible waterpumps, and ventilation fans. A solar energy system produces direct current (DC). This is electricity which travels in one direction. The loads in a simple PV system also operate on direct current (DC). A stand-alone system with energy storage (a battery) will have more components than a PV-direct system. This fact sheet will present the different solar PV system components and describe their use in the different types of solar PV systems.
  • Non-Native, Invasive Plants Of Arizona

    Gornish, Elise S.; Howery, Larry D. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2019-10)
    The noxious weed problem in the western United States has been described as, a biological forest fire racing beyond control because no one wants to be fire boss. Indeed, when small weed infestations are left unchecked, they can grow exponentially and spread across the land much like a slow-moving biological wildfire. However, land consumed by fire usually recovers and is often more productive than before the fire occurred. On the other hand, land consumed by noxious weeds may be irreversibly changed and never again reach its full biological potential.
  • Stand Alone Photovoltaic (PV) Systems: A Description & Function of System Components

    Franklin, Ed (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2022-01)
    Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems provide electrical energy from the sun. The simplest systems match a solar PV cell or module to a direct current (DC) load such as a water pump or a ventilation fan. These electrical loads operate when the sun is shining. To operate an electrical load such as a direct current (DC) light during evening hours requires an energy storage device such as a battery. A flashlight is an example of a direct current (DC) load (lamp) operating on batteries. The lamp will shine if the batteries produce a charge. When the batteries lose their energy, the lamp begins to fade and will eventually cease to shine. A solar cell connected to the batteries of the flashlight could re-charge the batteries during daylight, so energy is once again provided to the lamp. For the circuit to operate, the size of the cell must match the size of the battery. Larger electrical systems with voltages higher than 1.5-volt batteries require a component to regulate the flow of electric current from the PV module to the battery and monitor the state of charge (SOC) of the battery and protect the battery from being drained by the electrical load. Examples of solar PV circuits with batteries include solar-charged calculators, wrist watches, flashlights, and lanterns. Our garden pathway lights are solar-powered as well as wall-mounted outdoor spotlights. They are simpler to install because they are not wired to our house circuits and are gaining popularity with homeowners. This publication is intended to guide homeowners with an interest in stand-alone solar PV systems.
  • A Mobile Solar Pv Water Pumping Demonstration System For Public Outreach

    Franklin, Ed (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2021-10)
  • Rangeland Plant Life Forms

    Howery, Larry D.; Hall, Ashley; Noelle, Sarah (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2021-09)
    Allen et al. (2011) defined rangelands as: Arid and semi-arid land on which the indigenous vegetation is predominantly grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs that are grazed or have the potential to be grazed, and which is used as a natural ecosystem for the production of livestock and wildlife. Rangelands may include natural grasslands, savannas, shrub lands, many deserts, steppes, tundras, alpine communities, and marshes.
  • Using Repeat Photography as a Tool to Monitor Rangelands

    Hall, Ashley; Howery, Larry D. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2021-09)
    In many situations land managers have recollections or anecdotes about an area such as, “This pasture used to produce more grass” but do not have data to backup these statements. Repeat photography is a simple and relatively quick way to monitor rangelands. Repeat photography can illustrate changes over space and time for rangeland attributes like plant growth, species composition, total plant cover, litter, spatial arrangement of plants, and soil erosion. These are all important attributes that can be related to grazing management practices, fire, drought, precipitation, and other environmental variables. When it comes to convincing others that management practices are improving the landscape, a series of photographs taken at the same location through the years can vividly demonstrate change on the range. It is especially important to document change when people may have the historical context of the landscape.
  • Novel Approaches to Ecological Restoration in Semi-Arid and Arid Habitats

    Gornish, Elise S.; Shaw, Julea; Farrell, Hannah; Roche, Leslie M. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2021-07)
    As climate change, excessive land use and dominance by weedy species continue to degrade natural systems at an accelerating rate, management approaches, such as ecological restoration, become more critical for mitigating habitat destruction. The immense challenges posed by widespread environmental change highlight the importance of identifying best management practices for designing and deploying effective restoration strategies that are logistically and monetarily feasible. This is particularly important in systems characterized by high stress, such as semi-arid and arid habitats. Ecological restoration strategies in these systems is challenging and often results in poor outcomes, despite significant resource inputs.
  • Agroforestry as a Sustainable Ancient Agriculture Practice: Potential for Small-Scale Farmers and Ranchers in Dry Regions

    Mpanga, Isaac K.; Allen, James A.; Schuch, Ursula K. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2021-06)
    Human activities have contributed to climate change in many ways, including unsustainable agriculture activities such as monocropping and intensive use of chemicals, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The problems caused by these conventional systems have led to the search for more sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices that will support our ecosystems without compromising future food security. This is especially critical in areas such as the southwestern United States (U.S.), with its arid conditions and climate extremes. This bulletin summarizes the main agroforestry practices, their importance, practical applications, and implementation challenges for small-scale farmers and ranchers in the southwestern U.S.
  • Poultry Manure Effects on Soil Minerals in a Flood Irrigated Sandy-Loam Pastureland

    Mpanga, Isaac K. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2021-05)
    Interest in the use of poultry manure as a soil amendment has grown along with increased concern of sustainable resource use and recycling on Arizona farms, particularly in organic production systems. According to Mpanga et al.(2020a), manure application in Arizona increased by 30%from 2012 to 2017. Application of poultry manure to soil has numerous benefits such as increasing soil fertility, improving soil texture and structure, and increasing soil water infiltration, organic matter content, and microbial activity (Koelsch K., 2018). However, poultry manure application could also have negative consequences including increased soil salt content, the potential for zoonotic disease transmission in vegetable production, and objectionable odors. This bulletin reports on an evaluation of the effects of poultry manure application on soil minerals on a Northern Arizonan sandy loam soil with flood irrigated pasture.
  • Monitoring Drought in Arizona

    Brischke, Andrew; Crimmins, Michael; Grace, Josh; Hall, Ashley; McClaran, Mitchel (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2020-12)
    Drought is a normal part of climate variability. It is a slow-moving phenomenon moving across space and time which is often difficult to define or identify. The definition of drought is often related to how drought affects someone or something. Climatologists or weather professionals may define drought by the amount of accumulated precipitation. Agriculturists may define it by how it affects their crops or pastures. Hydrologists may define drought by how much snowpack or reservoir levels. Fundamentally, drought can be summed up as when water availability does not meet water demand.
  • The U.S. Drought Monitor

    Brischke, Andrew; Crimmins, Michael; McClaran, Mitchel; Hall, Ashley; Grace, Joshua (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2020-12)
    Drought is a complex and slow-moving natural disaster which can cause severe damage comparable to other natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and flooding. Drought can be detrimental to crop and livestock production, the water and energy cycles, and wildlife habitat (Vose et al. 2016). Warming temperatures and increased frequency of drought increases wildfire activity and severity throughout western states (Westerling et al. 2006). Droughts can be difficult to discern in arid climates like Arizona where the climate is already relatively dry and warm. Nonetheless, droughts do occur and are infrequent climatic extremes eventually occurring in every location.

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