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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Recent Local Events

Check back here often for more local event updates from USDA-ARS Pendleton, Oregon.

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The recent break in updating our recent events is due to our webmaster taking a few weeks off to deliver her new baby. We are glad to have her back!


  • All personnel are getting their equipment ready for harvesting plots and recording data. Harvest is anticipated earlier than normal in July of this year.

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  • Dr. Andrew Hammond, Pacific West Area Director, visited Pendleton on July 21, 2015.

    John Williams and Stewart Wuest presented findings from their research on soil water/crop yield relationships at the annual field day event on June 9, 2015.

  • Stewart Wuest and Steve Umbarger tilled a series of test plots near Echo, OR that will compare different types of tillage for tilled summer fallow, and compare them to no-till fallow. The tillage implements included a Haybuster undercutter sweep, a disk, and a Cultiweeder. They are being compared in single passes, and with a second pass cross-wise to the first. Soil water will be measured repeatedly during the summer and depth to seed-zone moisture measured at seeding time. We will also compare the storage of early fall rain.

    Jeniffer Cardez is at Pendleton this summer undertaking an internship through the Pathways to Diversity in Food Science Careers project. She is majoring in agricultural science at the University of Puerto Rico.

    Field workers remove weeds from plots of different cereals and oilseeds in a crop rotation study. The weeds are commonly Russian thistle, kochia, tumble mustard, and prickly lettuce. Each weed species is weighed to determine biomass and its effect on crop yield.

    Mandy Wuest, Steve Umbarger and Keenan Hack harvesting canola and spring wheat in a study investigating whether Brassica rotation improves water infiltration and wheat productivity.

  • John Williams’ (hydrologist) and Kate Reardon’s (microbiologist) first year evaluation of the influence of Brassica (canola and mustard) cropping on the biological and physical properties of soil in wheat production. The goal of the experiment is to establish whether Brassica plants improve water infiltration, influence the soil microbiology, and determine at what distance from the plant the effects can be observed. The aerial image, below, was taken by an unmanned multirotor helicopter equipped with a Canon Powershot SX-260 camera. The image shows the first two replications of the experiment in which the two blocks on the left were planted in passes of all wheat or wheat with two rows of brassica. The bands along the right hand side of the blocks are regions that were sampled for wheat productivity (yield) and will be used to measure water infiltrability after harvest. The two blocks on the left (only two strips of wheat per block) are next year’s replications and will be planted and analyzed in 2016.

    Aerial image of the experimental plots.

    The unmanned multirotor helicopter navigated by John Sulik and Aron Boettcher.

    Wayne Polumsky, Patrick Nash, and Keenan Hack perform combine harvest of the long-term no-till plots. Wayne operates the combine while Patrick and Keenan bag and check wheat on July 15, 2015.

  • Hero Gollany examines nitrogen use efficiency in the long-term wheat/fallow and wheat/pea rotations under no-till, and wheat/fallow under conventional moldboard. Bundle harvest was conducted on July 13, 2015 to determine wheat yield, and aboveground biomass production to calculate harvest index. She is also evaluating in-season N fertilization in the GRACEnet experiment using continuous wheat plots under direct-seeding. These plots were combine harvested on July 15, 2015.

    Wayne Polumsky preparing the GRACEnet plots for combine harvest on July 15, 2015.

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  • Kate Reardon, John Williams and Stewart Wuest are finalizing analysis of data from research conducted in the low precipitation zone (< 12” per year) of the interior Pacific Northwest designed to develop viable alternatives to the traditional, two year winter wheat – fallow cropping system.

  • Steve Umbarger has completed spraying for weeds this spring on all winter seeded crops.

    Aron Boettcher and Steve Umbarger are seeding the spring cereals and canola at the Cropping Systems Trial with the Seed Hawk Drill. March 12, 2015.

    Mandy Wuest preparing sieves for the wet aggregate stability analysis of soils in an oil seed and small grain systems trial. April 2, 2015.

    Hero Gollany is monitoring nitrogen use efficiency in the GRACEnet experiment for three cropping systems (wheat-wheat and wheat-wheat-sudan under direct seeding, and wheat-fallow rotations under sweep tillage). Wayne Polumsky and Joe St. Claire collected soil samples to determine soil nitrogen status for the three rotations. In the photo above, Joe St. Claire is conducting nitrate and ammonium analysis in preparation for in-season nitrogen fertilizer application to the GRACEnet plots. April 1, 2015.

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Tractor in field

Last Modified: 7/30/2015
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