The Palouse Conservation Field Station (PCFS) is located about three miles NW of Washington State University. Unit scientists conduct research investigations at the PCFS to help identify crop, fertilizer and tillage management systems that will protect air, soil and water resources and provide economic diversification of agriculture in the Palouse region.
The PCFS began as an experiment station in 1930. At that time, the name of the station was the Pacific Northwest Soil Erosion and Moisture Conservation Experiment Station. This experiment station was one of 10 erosion experiment stations authorized by Congress in 1929. The original focus of the research at the station was to determine the causes of runoff and water erosion and to identify the most effective and practical methods of mitigating the loss of soil and water from the steep hill slopes. The name of the experiment station was changed to the PCFS in 1961.
The PCFS comprises about 200 acres of rolling cropland. Buildings at the PCFS include a greenhouse, laboratory, rain tower, machine shop, agricultural chemical storage warehouse, and other storage facilities.
Experiments conducted at the PCFS include investigations into crop nutrition/pests/rotations/varieties, water quality and erosion, and greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these experiments are conducted in collaboration with Washington State University scientists.