ARS researchers continue to evaluate how water infiltrates into the soil in an experiment that was set up in 1982 to study the long-term effects of no-till production on soil quality and wheat yield.
Repairing critical deferred maintenance including replacing electrical distribution components. Replacement of roofing system on main lab/office facility.
February 2010 - Construction contract awarded for $203,034 for the Roof Replacement at the Main Building
Research at the Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center
The Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center in Pendleton, OR, manages some of the longest running agricultural experiments on cultivated land in the western United States.
Today, most of the nation's soft white wheat crop is produced in this area and the crop is worth more than $1 billion annually.
But settlers first began farming here in the late 1870s. By the early 1900s, lower yields and erosion were already problems. The Pendleton experiment station was established in 1928 to provide practical solutions. Experiments set up as far back as 1931 help chronicle the history of farming in this region and now give scientists a unique resource for setting the best future course.
These research plots give us a baseline for comparison that can be achieve in no other way. The studies to identify sustainable management practices and potential climate changes have created international interest.
The Pendleton experiments include a plot that was taken out of crop production in 1931 and returned to lightly grazed grassland, plots have been conventionally plowed and planted with cereal grains every year since 1931 as a comparison for other crop rotations, fields where planting winter wheat has been alternated with fallow since 1931 and fields planted by no-till cultivation with and without crops rotations.
Data collected over 6 decades from these experiments show that grain yield has nearly doubled since the 1930s, thanks to improvements in wheat varieties and soil fertility management.
The Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center provides growers with information to develop and manage effective whole farm systems while protecting the local ecosystem and environment. These scientists have developed a new model to estimate crop residue amounts that can be removed for bioenergy production without decreasing soil productivity. This model will support the development of renewable biofuels while maintaining crop yields to ensure profitability for producers and adequate and affordable food supply for consumers.
Project Photographs During Construction