PAM, added to irrigation water (above), keeps
soil particles in place in the furrow, compared to untreated, particle-laden
Now in Spanish: Farm-Ready Findings From Idaho
By Marcia Wood
September 27, 2005
Information about environmentally
friendly ways to grow top-quality potatoes, sugarbeets and other crops on
irrigated farmlands is available in publications from
Agricultural Research Service experts in
Idaho. Now the summaries, or abstracts, of more than 100 of these publications
have been translated into Spanish to streamline use of these methods by
Spanish-speaking farm owners, managers and workers in the United States and
The publications, written by ARS scientists specializing in soil science,
agricultural engineering and plant disease at the agency's
Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho, cover
everything from determining the alfalfa-hay preferences of dairy cows to
zapping erosion caused by irrigation water as it whooshes down furrows.
The abstracts are available online at:
ARS soil scientist
E. Sojka, who heads the Kimberly laboratory, started the
"Publicaciones" project about a year ago. He did that in response to
requests from growers who wanted help in communicating with their
Spanish-speaking employees about how to mix a white, powdery compound called
PAM (short for polyacrylamides) into irrigation water.
Sojka and colleagues at the Kimberly center pioneered the use of PAM to
thwart erosion on irrigated fields. Today, PAM is combined with irrigation
water on an estimated 1 million acres of U.S. farmlands and prevents erosion of
millions of tons of soil every year.
University of Idaho graduate
student Maria Barahona and soil scientist
Szögi, with ARS in South Carolina, did the translations.
Plans call for translating several hundred more abstracts, working from the
newer publications to previous ones that date back to the early 1960s.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief in-house scientific research agency.