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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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History
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HISTORICAL TIME-LINE                                                                      

1928 – The Pendleton Field Station was established as a cooperative project between the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Division of Dryland Agriculture.

1931 –The long-term tillage and rotation plots were established, and remain today as the oldest continuously managed research plots in the western United States. Cereal-breeding research was initiated at Pendleton by the USDA Division of Cereal Crops and Disease.

1940 – Tillage and fertility experimental plots were initiated to study conservation tillage techniques and nitrogen fertilization.  These plots still exist.

1948 – The research program was enlarged with funds from the USDA to do research on soil and water conservation.

1952 – All Soil Conservation Service funds transferred to the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and administered by the Soil and Water Conservation Research Division.

1963 – Cereal/legume rotations and water requirements of crops were examined for different rainfall zones.

1965 – Congress appropriated funds to establish the Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center (CPCRC).  Facilities were completed in 1970 and staff grew from two scientists in 1965 to seven scientists in 1980. Objectives of CPCRC were defined and expanded after considerable public input.  Emphasis was put on research problems pertinent to the Columbia Plateau but consistent with the national objectives of the ARS 

1965-1985 – Water use data from long-term plots provides information to create agroclimatic zones maps for the Pacific Northwest.

1977-2000 – Cereal leaf, tiller, and root developmental research leads to MODWHT, a wheat growth model.

1975-present – Use of the long-term plots allows in depth studies of effects of management on soil properties and carbon sequestration.  Long-term changes in soil organic matter content and quality influenced by crop rotation, tillage and crop productivity were defined using the long-term plots.  Runoff and erosion plots provided data to improve the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, and to better define water and sediment quality as related to management.

1980-1985 – Identification of non uniform chaff and straw distribution by practically all combines during harvest led to rapid improvement in residue dispersal systems and much improved drill performance and crop growth in no-till systems.

1999-present – Research on mechanical manipulation of residues has led to better seedling emergence and vigor, and improved no-till drill performance. 

2000-present – An improved residue management method was developed using ground-driven rubber fingered wheels that attach to no-till drills and pin residue to the soil surface thus preventing the residue from lodging on the furrow opening tines and plugging the drill.

2004 - By incorporating soil texture class, drainage class, and harvest operation, the carbon sequestration model (CQESTR) is improved thus making it one of the most widely used agronomic models for assessing crop production methods and their influence on soil carbon storage and potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Paired watersheds are used to effectively demonstrate the benefits of conservation tillage in controlling soil erosion.

Historical Photo Gallery
 

USDA PERSONNEL, 1928-Present

 
Name
Position
Dates
 
George Mitchell Asst. Agronomist, Superintendent (USDA) 1928-1948
J. Foster Martin Asst. Agronomist 1934-1950
Merrill M. Oveson Agent (USDA, OSU)
Superintendent (USDA, OSU)
1931-1938
1948-1966
Jack T. McDermid Agent 1943-1944
Francis H. McNeal Asst. Agronomist 1947-1948
Theo. R. Horning Agricultural Engineer 1949-1964
Cleveland J. Gerard Asst. Soil Scientist (USDA, OSU) 1954-1957
Donald W. George Asst. Agronomist 1954-1965
John Slosser Agricultural Engineer 1955-1957
Charles M. Smith Soil Scientist 1957-1961
Robert E. Ramig Soil Scientist
Location Leader
1957-1990
1970-1981
Ronald W. Rickman Soil Scientist 1969-2001
Paul E. Rasmussen Soil Scientist 1971-1999
Raymond R. Allmaras Supervisory Soil Scientist
Research Leader
Technical Advisor
1971-1984
1972-1984
1972-1981
Clyde L. Douglas, Jr. Soil Scientist 1975-2001
Betty L. Klepper Supervisory Plant Physiologist
Research Leader
1976-1996
1985-1996
Joseph L. Pikul, Jr. Soil Scientist 1976-1991
Clarence E. Johnson Agricultural Engineer 1977-1979
Gerald O. George Agricultural Engineer 1977-1980
John F. Zuzel Hydrologist 1979-1995
Dale E. Wilkins Agricultural Engineer 1979-2003
Harold P. Collins Soil Microbiologist 1987-1991
Stephen L. Albrecht Soil Microbiologist 1992-2009
John D. Williams Hydrologist 1995-present
Stewart B. Wuest Soil Scientist 1997-present
Mark C. Siemens Agricultural Engineer 1999-2008
Amos I. Bechtel Agricultural Scientist 2000-2002
Hero T. Gollany Soil Scientist 2002-present
Dan S. Long Supervisory Agronomist & Research Leader 2004-present


Last Modified: 6/20/2012
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