ARRA - Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center, Pendleton, Oregon
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.
Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center, Pendleton, Oregon
- Scope of work under Recovery Act
Repairing critical deferred maintenance including replacing
electrical distribution components. Replacement of roofing system on main
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
Project Photographs Before Construction
Project Photographs During Construction