Check back here often for more local event updates from USDA-ARS Pendleton, Oregon.
- A busy, exciting and productive field season is fast arriving with the warming temperatures and growing crops in eastern Oregon.
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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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(Bottom Left) Stewart Wuest, Tami Johlke and Mandy Wuest collecting soil cores in a tillage trial on station. (Top) Stewart Wuest and Tami Johlke collecting soil cores. (Bottom Right) Kate Reardon and Tami Johlke processing soil cores by cutting the cores to specific depths and transferring them to bags.
- Kate Reardon and Stewart Wuest were asked to contribute to a study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University in conjunction with the NRCS to determine the potential of microbial enzyme activity as a soil quality indicator for agricultural soils. Pendleton was one of the sites of interest for the nationwide survey based on the long term experimental plots maintained since the 1930s in continuous winter wheat or winter wheat with different crop residue treatments. Other experimental plots included in the survey are tillage trials that have been managed for 8 years or greater. The trials include annual and winter wheat-fallow rotations with minimum and no tillage at two different sites, one on station and one in Echo, Oregon.
Kate Reardon and Mandy Wuest are testing different dyes as root stains for Brassica carinata (Ethiopian mustard). Shown are 6 day old B. carinata seedlings that were germinated on filter paper soaked in the different dyes.
Stewart Wuest, John Williams and Kate Reardon along with help from Tami Johlke and Mandy Wuest collected soil cores to determine whether oilseed rotation improves the soil structure in wheat cropping systems.
March 2, 2015.
- A new phone system was installed in our building after the old PBX failed and left us without service. Information technology and procurement specialists in the Western Business Service Center responded quickly in getting the new system.
- The above photo, from February 9, 2015, compares late seeded no-till (left) and early seeded deep-furrow (right) winter wheat. Both received phosphorus and sulfur near the seed row at planting. In the past seven years our late seeded winter wheat has yielded as well or better than wheat seeded earlier into tilled fallow. Stewart Wuest is studying whether this is due to better rainfall capture in the no-till soil, as no-till also tends to absorb and store rainfall better than tilled soil, or due to better fertilizer placement of the no-till drill because the no-till drill used for late seeding bands fertilizer near the seed row. It is important to understand these differences so that the productivity and climate resilience of both systems can be improved.
Winter wheat in farm fields surrounding the Pendleton Agricultural Research Center are greening up and growing in response to warmer temperatures. February 15, 2015.
- Kate Reardon, John Williams, Stewart Wuest and crew collected soil samples from plots where mustard and canola was grown either last year or the year before. We are testing whether a single crop of these brassica species can produce a lasting effect on soil tilth by measuring soil aggregation. Over the years many farmers have reported a noticeable effect on tilth, tractor power requirements, and runoff from fields where canola was grown.
Hero Gollany is monitoring soil organic carbon stock changes in the long-term no-till experiment. In the photo above, Wayne Polumsky is preparing soil samples for digestion. Joe St. Claire and Wayne Polumsky will be determining soil organic carbon in the samples. March 4, 2015.
New jib booms were installed in the metal fabrication bay of the machine shop. We can now move heavy iron pieces off the storage rack in a safe and efficient manner. March 9, 2015.
- Hero Gollany presented the CQSTER model to Agren® in a webinar on March 6, 2015. AGREN is a web based provider of soil and water conservation planning tools in Iowa. They are interested in developing “Soil Health” tools.
Steve Umbarger and Aron Boettcher are calibrating the Seed Hawk air till drill for seeding spring oilseed and spring cereals into the cropping system study. Several other field experiments will be seeded late this week. Soil temperatures are consistently warm enough to allow the planting of seed. March 9, 2015.
Wayne Polumsky is processing soil samples in the soil preparation room. These samples were taken last summer in the long-term conventional tillage, no-till winter wheat–pea cover crop rotation, and winter wheat–fallow plots. March 6, 2015.
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