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WSU News Weather, Climate

Summer 2014 hottest on record in central Washington

By Rachel Webber, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

AgWeatherNet-logo-120PROSSER, Wash. – It’s official. This summer’s heat set a record. And it followed the warmest spring in 20 years, which made the 2014 growing season an unusually prolonged period of anomalous warmth. » More …

Wheat gene discovery clears way for non-GMO breeding

By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer

Gill-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have found “the most famous wheat gene,” a reproductive traffic cop of sorts that can be used to transfer valuable genes from other plants to wheat. » More …

Researchers explain mystery of cereal grain defense

By Rebecca Phillips, University Communications science writer

barley_field-130PULLMAN, Wash. – Crop scientists at Washington State University have explained how genes in the barley plant turn on defenses against aging and stressors like drought, heat and disease. » More …

New bark beetle threatens southern Washington forests

By Sylvia Kantor, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

Ponderosa-killedUNDERWOOD, Wash. – Five years ago, when entomologist Todd Murray received a call from a landowner in Underwood whose ponderosa pine trees were dying, he wasn’t surprised. The trees had been stressed by a nearby fire, a situation that commonly results in a flare-up of bark beetles that can kill the trees. But the calls kept coming. » More …

June temperatures above normal despite mid-month cooling

By Hannah Shirley, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

agweathernet-logo-250PROSSER, Wash. – June was warm and dry in Washington, despite a few cool days and isolated wet weather mid-month. The Tri-Cities reached 90 degrees on June 2 and Orondo topped out at 95 degrees on June 23. » More …

Rock Doc: An ancient American woman buried by the sea

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences 

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – I need a cap on my front tooth redone – it has a significant chip. Luckily I live at a time when dentists are in every city and town, plying their trade in ways that can help us each day. » More …

Super-absorbent gel could help farmers save water

By Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture

Gel-80PULLMAN, Wash. – A biodegradable gel that can absorb more than 250 times its weight in water could potentially help farmers retain moisture in drought-stricken fields. » More …