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April 24: Innovators talk focuses on Northwest quinoa

By Rebecca E. Phillips, University Communications

quinoa-220SEATTLE, Wash. – Efforts to establish a quinoa production center in the Pacific Northwest will be presented by crop breeding expert Kevin Murphy at the Washington State University Innovators lecture and lunch 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 721 Pine St., Seattle. Register at http://bit.ly/1dLtwOL. » More …

Grad student’s find sheds light on disease spread

PULLMAN – Washington’s peppermint producers can make better informed decisions about what to plant and how to rotate their crops, thanks to a discovery by graduate student Jeremiah Dung. The state’s peppermint industry was valued at $36.6 million in 2009.

 

Dung, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in plant pathology, earned first place in a graduate student paper contest at the Pacific division of the American Phytopathological Society last summer for his work regarding a soil-borne fungus called Verticillium dahliae. He also presented his findings at the regional meeting.

 

The Pacific division is the largest in the APS and includes members from 13 states.

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Organic gardens may yield more nutrients

PULLMAN – One of the hottest trends in gardening today is organic gardening which relies on natural processes to grow plants. There is now a growing consensus among scientists that organically grown fruits and vegetables may contain higher levels of nutrients than conventionally grown produce.

“Organic gardening is experiencing a surge in interest,” said Tonie Fitzgerald, state Master Gardener program leader for WSU Extension, “and there is more information about doing it correctly.”

Master Gardeners are university-trained volunteer educators who answer garden-related questions, teach gardening classes, and manage demonstration gardens on behalf of county extension offices across the state.

There is no question that organic … » More …

Pest management fruit school is now offered

WENATCHEE – WSU, in collaboration with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, is offering the 2008 Pest Management Fruit School, Dec. 11-12.

 

WSU Fruit Schools are a series of intensive workshops designed to empower fruit growers, orchard managers, crop consultants and field staff with up-to-the-minute information on relevant issues to the industry.  This year focuses on integrated pest management.

 

Jay Brunner, director of the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, will present the key note address.

 

“Tree fruit pest control is changing,” Brunner said, “due to a range of factors, regulations, new pesticides, export barriers, and consumer expectations.” Brunner’s … » More …

WSU provides rural poor with support

PULLMAN – WSU’s role as a land-grant university has reached global proportions. In addition to its presence in the state’s 39 counties, the university has made a commitment to the rural poor in developing countries, from Malawi and central Asia, to Afghanistan and now Iraq.

WSU is working to develop and promote alternative livelihood options for rural Afghani farmers dependent on opium poppy as their primary crop and source of income, and Iraqis are learning to raise safe and abundant alternative crops. And, at WSU in Pullman, three scientists from Yemen are working side by side with WSU researchers to answer critical questions about … » More …

Faculty member honored for international work

Naidu Rayapati, a plant virologist at the Washington State University Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, has received the International Service Award from the American Phytopathological Society.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to plant pathology by international members for countries other than their own. Rayapati was honored for accomplishments in solving virus disease problems in subsistence agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and for capacity building for virus research in developing countries.

Rayapati, a member of the WSU faculty since 2004, is a native of India, where he earned three academic degrees. During his career, he has worked on crop virus problems in various developing countries, … » More …

Organic research sees the numbers

Grain Millers, Inc., in Eugene, Ore., can’t get enough organic grain and is currently offering about $9 per bushel for what it can find, including barley. That’s about double the prices paid for conventionally grown grain.Cargill’s Ferndale Growers, which formulates organic feed for the state’s organic and dairy meat industries, is paying $100 to $200 a ton for organically grown grains delivered to the plant. That’s also about double the going price. Much of the demand for organic grain, including wheat, is being fueled by growth of organic dairies in the Northwest, according to Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, coordinator for Washington State University’s BIOAg program which promotes sustainable … » More …

Biofuels, biometeorology subject of Campbell lecture

PULLMAN – John M. Baker, research leader with the U.S.Department of Agricultural Research Service, will deliver the fourth annual Campbell Lecture at 4:10 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, in room 203 of the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education.Baker, whose research has focused on the impact of farm management practices on the cycling of carbon and other greenhouse gases in agricultural systems and the development of farming practices to improve water quality, will discuss biometeorology and biofuels.Biofuels are renewable fuels derived from agricultural crops, such as soybeans, rapeseed and from biodegradable materials, such as crop residue, animal manure or sewage.The U.S. Department of Energy has set a … » More …

Organic dryland grain cop field day rescheduled

Field studies on dryland organic grain production will be featured at the 4th-annual Organic Dryland Grain Crop Field Day, scheduled June 20 at the Les and Pat Boyd farm.Field day topics include:*Production systems that facilitate the transition from conventional to organic grain production*The economics of making the transition*Earthworms as indicators of soil health during the transition*Potential use of goats to control weeds biologically*Winter legumes as green manure cover crops*Seeding rates of hairy vetch as green manure*Rhizoctonia root disease and weed seed bank depletion in spring wheat*Palouse prairie refuge planting for weed suppression and beneficial insect conservation along farm margins*Conserving beneficial insect communities on dryland farms*The … » More …