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Fighting tulip weeds, diseases with cover crops
February 25, 2015

By Cathy McKenzie, WSU Mount Vernon

Skagit-Valley-tulipsMOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Rotating cover crops in tulip fields shows promise for fighting disease in the economically important flower bulb, according to early research findings at the Washington State University research center in Mount Vernon.

Grafting research could rescue state’s watermelon crop
February 23, 2015

By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

watermelonMOUNT VERNON, Wash. – The watermelon crop has declined dramatically in Washington because of disease. But Washington State University researchers are developing a solution that involves grafting watermelon plants onto squash and other vine plant rootstocks.

Feb. 27: Potato workshop highlights best practices, research
February 18, 2015

By Cathy McKenzie, WSU Mount Vernon

potatoMOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Diseases and weeds that afflict potatoes and best practices for growing them in western Washington are among the topics at a potato workshop 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at the Washington State University Mount Vernon Research Center, 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon.

Grant enables WSU scientists to study cider apple qualities
February 16, 2015

By Cathy McKenzie, WSU Mount Vernon

Miles-80MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Cider apple qualities and consumer preferences will be evaluated thanks to a $40,000 “Emerging Research Issues” grant received this month by Washington State University researchers.

Fruit quality the focus of new biodegradable mulch research
February 13, 2015

By Cathy McKenzie, WSU Mount Vernon

DeVetter-80MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Biodegradable mulches provide eco-friendly benefits to the agriculture industry, but the effects on fruit quality of these weed-controlling, moisture-preserving products are largely unknown.

Feb. 11: Blueberry workshop examines organic alternatives
February 5, 2015

By Cathy McKenzie, WSU Mount Vernon

blueberries-80MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Alternatives to pesticide use will be discussed by Washington State University researchers at a blueberry growers workshop 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, at the WSU research center, 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon.

Winter soil testing, research aid spinach seed growers
December 19, 2014

By Cathy McKenzie, WSU Mount Vernon

soil-prep-80MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Soil from area growers is being tested through mid-February at Washington State University Mount Vernon to determine field suitability for planting spinach seed in spring. Meanwhile, related spinach disease research recently was accepted for publication.

Study reveals promise for expanding hard cider industry
November 12, 2014

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

apples-80MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – A new study by researchers at Washington State University shows that mechanical harvesting of cider apples can provide labor and cost savings without affecting fruit, juice or cider quality.

Nov. 20: Advocate promotes agricultural, cultural diversity
October 24, 2014

By Louisa Winkler, WSU Mount Vernon

Gary-Nabhan-80MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – An expert on the cultural and plant diversity stewarded by farming communities around the world will present the free, public Harvest Seminar at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Washington State University Mount Vernon Research Center, 16650 State Route 536.

Rebuilding soil boosts threatened beet seed production
October 21, 2014

By Cathy McKenzie, WSU Mount Vernon

du-Toit-80MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Growers in the fertile Skagit Valley have reported drops in historical beet seed yields of as much as 50 percent, according to Lindsey du Toit, vegetable seed pathologist at Washington State University. While disease and herbicides may cause isolated problems, researchers recently determined that poor soil is the prevailing factor.