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WSU professors named to state Academy of Sciences
August 26, 2010




Besser, Dillman, McElwain, Pooviah (l-r)



By the Washington State Academy of Science


OLYMPIA – The Washington State Academy of Sciences has announced the election of 17 new members in recognition of their distinguished and continuing scientific achievements. Three are from WSU, including:


Thomas Besser, professor, School for Global Animal Health

Don Dillman, Regents Professor, departments of sociology and community and rural sociology, and deputy director of the Social and Economic Science Research Center

Poovaiah, B. W. (Joe), Regents Professor, Department of Horticulture


A fourth WSU … » More …

WSU scientists to present at regional crop adviser conference
July 19, 2010

PULLMAN, Wash. – Scientists from the WSU department of crop and soil sciences will be among the featured presenters at the Northwest Certified Crop Adviser Conference to be held Aug. 2 – 4 in Spokane.


WSU faculty members will lead six of the conference’s 24 breakout sessions:


Rich Koenig, soil scientist and chair of the department of crop and soil sciences, will present two sessions – one on soil pH and one on phosphorous chemistry and fertility;

Craig Cogger, WSU Extension educator, will present one session on organic nutrient management;

Professor Bill Pan will lead a session on nitrogen management for high yielding … » More …

More beef, less environmental impact
July 14, 2010



PULLMAN – Advances in productivity over the past 30 years have reduced the carbon footprint and overall environmental impact of U.S. beef production, according to a new study presented today by a WSU researcher.



In “Comparing the environmental impact of the US beef industry in 1977 to 2007,” assistant professor of animal science Jude L. Capper revealed that improvements in nutrition, management, growth rate and slaughter weights, have significantly reduced the environmental impact of modern beef production and improved its sustainability.


Challenging misconceptions

» More …

Automation scientist leads precision ag systems
July 6, 2010


PROSSER – Qin Zhang, a professor in the department of biological systems engineering and a senior scientist in agricultural automation, is the new director of WSU’s Center for Precision Agricultural Systems headquartered in Prosser.


Zhang, who has served as assistant director of CPAS for the past year, assumed his new responsibilities on July 1. He succeeds Francis J. Pierce, professor in the departments of crop and soil sciences and biological systems engineering and founding director of CPAS.


Pierce is the newly elected president of the American Society of Agronomy, and in addition to those … » More …

Wilcox brothers to share lessons learned in century of farming
November 10, 2009

PULLMAN – “Wilcox Wisdom: 100 Years of Know-How,” featuring Andy and Jim Wilcox, will begin at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, in the Atrium of the Vogel Plant Biosciences Building. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.


Since 1909, four generations of the Wilcox family have lived and worked at the main farm’s location at Roy, just outside Tacoma. Today, Wilcox Family Farms is one of the leading egg producers in the country and a leader in organic agriculture. That journey is the topic of a public conversation at WSU.


“The Wilcox family’s story is one of … » More …

Project could become model to help communitites
January 16, 2009

A pilot project to put fragile land into grass-fed beef production could serve as a model to protect the environment and supplement farm income.


WSU is conducting the two-year project in Adams County on land coming out of the Conservation Reserve Program. The CRP was created by the 1985 federal farm bill to pay farmers to remove highly erodible land from production for 10 to 15 years.


More than 1 million acres in Washington is enrolled in CRP. While the program has protected land and helped farmers, it has harmed local economies. With future funding uncertain, farmers with expiring contracts must decide … » More …

Ag industry explores climate change
July 2, 2008

MOSES LAKE – As Washington experiences longer summers, higher temperatures, reduced snow pack, and more extreme weather events, the state’s farmers and ranchers are wondering what the impact will be to their bottom line. As some of the most climate-dependent business owners in the state, farmers may have the most to lose.

A group of Washington’s most innovative agriculture producers are joining university researchers, natural resource conservationists and advocates for agriculture to take an in-depth look at the risks presented by global climate change, as well as the potential opportunities.

The Agricultural Working Group on Climate Change Mitigation, part of the state’s … » More …

Keeping Washington agriculture strong
September 27, 2007

In the fall, many Washingtonians visit orchards. Last week, I was one of them.

My trip to Central Washington centered around the dedication of a new Washington State University tree fruit research orchard near Rock Island. The work that will be done there, and will continue in the main research labs in Wenatchee, provides a good illustration of what WSU must do to support the economy and a way of life in our state.

Tree fruit, of course, is big business in Washington. An independent study of the tree fruit industry found that the industry as a whole produces $6 billion in economic value … » More …

New farming, ranching courses offered
September 24, 2007


PUYALLUP — This fall local farmers and those interested in becoming farmers have an opportunity to learn about new farming models. Selected county extension offices in Washington and Idaho are now taking registrations for a weekly course titled Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching. This evening course is part of an expanding series developed by the Cultivating Success program of Washington State University and the University of Idaho. Courses are already beginning in some areas, but late registrations are being accepted.


This 12-to-14 week course combines classroom and on-farm experience to give students lessons in technical … » More …

Huge discovery might change farming, protect environment
June 28, 2006

PULLMAN – Researchers at Washington State University and in the United Kingdom have announced a discovery that may someday allow the world’s farmers to decrease their dependence on nitrogen fertilizers, resulting in billions in savings to farmers and a reduction in the amount of nitrogen pollution that has already turned some waterways into dead zones.

Legumes, such as beans, peas, and alfalfa, host billions of bacteria in tiny nodules along their roots. The bacteria convert, or “fix,” atmospheric nitrogen into a form the plants can use. But in findings reported in the June 29 issue of the journal Nature, researchers from WSU and the John … » More …