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WSU News farmers

$2M grant funds continuing WSU research of organic quinoa

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

quinoa-detailPULLMAN, Wash. – Scientists at Washington State University just completed four years determining the best varieties of organic quinoa for Pacific Northwest farmers to grow. A new grant will help researchers assess crop yields, prices and more to help growers turn a profit. » More …

A win-win for farmers and slowing climate change

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

Bill-Pan-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Climate change is already transforming agriculture in Washington. To help farmers deal with climate change, Bill Pan, a Washington State University professor of crop and soil sciences, is talking to them about ways to both adapt to changes and slow them down. » More …

Author to farmers, environmentalists: Collaborate or fail

BarnyardsandBirkenstocks-coverPULLMAN, Wash. – Author Don Stuart believes two dangerous trends – loss of farms and damage to ecosystems – are connected and are largely caused by political deadlock between farmers and environmental activists. » More …

Right time, place grazing key to sustainability

Cattle grazing. Photo by istockphoto.com

 

 

PULLMAN – Having the right number of cattle on the right piece of land for the right amount of time for the right reasons might be a powerful farming tool for ensuring the long-term sustainability – both economic and environmental – of their operations, according to Donald D. Nelson, Extension beef specialist in the WSU department of animal sciences.

 

“This is a major paradigm shift,” said Nelson. “We are using grazing as a tool to create a desirable future landscape and sustainable ecosystems. Planned grazing mimics natural cycles, which typically are … » More …

Program to aid beginning farmers receives award

PULLMAN — In order to address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers and enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture, several western states will receive a $748,651 award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

 

WSU’s Western Center for Risk Management Education Team received the award after successfully competing for the grant from the NIFA.

 

To place additional emphasis on serving the beginning farmer and rancher population, the Western Center asked a group of extension economists from six states around the west to come together to collaborate on an application to the USDA Beginning Farmer and … » More …

WSU Small Farms Program wins grant to support farmers

PUYALLUP –WSU’s Small Farms Program has been awarded two U.S. Department of Agriculture grants to support and assist beginning and disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. Together, the grants will support and strengthen the Small Farms Program’s innovative immigrant farmer program.

 

According to WSU Extension Small Farms educator Doug Collins, the two grants will help the statewide program achieve its long-term goals.

 

 

“Our statewide team is continually working to help farmers increase financial stability and profitability, improve soil management and water quality, and increase their access to educational networks and public agricultural programs,” … » More …

Roller coaster economy tightens credit for growers

PULLMAN -With dim prospects for higher prices on the near horizon, some eastern Wash. wheat growers may be forced to sell their crops at less than break-even prices to pay off loans they obtained to plant this year’s crop.

“Banks are less inclined to stretch out loans to refinance in this environment,” said Douglas Young, a WSU agricultural economist. “If you are under pressure to make payments on last year’s loan and you’ve got to make payments, then you probably will have to sell.”

The price for soft white wheat plummeted from $15.12 to $4.70 per … » More …

Monitoring the future

Photo: This AgWeatherNet station is located in a field of Washington grapes.  (Photo courtesy of Gary Grove). Washington farmers, in the near future, could be downloading podcasts or check their PDAs for the most up-to-date prediction of frost or plant disease outbreaks. That’s what Gary Grove, the new director of the Washington AgWeatherNet, located in the WSU Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser, anticipates, Grove wants to deliver real-time, weather-related information directly into the hands of people who need it. “The primary goal of AgWeatherNet,” he said, “is to make farming more profitable and, in doing so, strengthen Washington’s economy. Everyone in … » More …