2012 Annual Report
Objective 1: Develop cropping practices for improving crop water use in dryland production systems and landscapes across PNW agroecological zones. (Pullman all of Obj 1) Sub-objective 1A: Optimize crop establishment practices and crop water use for improving the performance of winter canola. Sub-objective 1B: Improve stand establishment methods for spring canola to minimize weed competition and increase crop water use. Sub-objective 1C: Contrast fall-planted facultative wheat and spring-planted wheat for abilities to suppress weeds and increase yield, profitability, and crop water use. Sub-objective 1D: Determine effects of Russian thistle on crop water use, and production costs and quality of forage spring triticale.
Objective 2: Evaluate cropping system diversification strategies (forage and biofuels) for increasing agronomic performance of agricultural landscapes across PNW agroecological zones. Sub-objective 2A: Determine productivity and profitability of integrating alternative forage and biofuel crops into wheat-based production systems. (Pullman) Sub-objective 2B: Determine production potential of perennial biofuel and forage crops incorporated as riparian buffers in agricultural landscapes. (Pendleton and Pullman)
Objective 3: Assess how new optical light reflectance spectrometers (advanced technology) can be used to increase cropping system performance in agricultural landscapes. (Pendleton – all of Obj 3) Sub-objective 3A: Apply information from on-combine yield monitors and optical sensors into site-specific nitrogen (N) application thereby improving grain quality and yield, and N use efficiency of cereal crops. Sub-objective 3B: Assess the quantity and quality of wheat residue at site-specific field locations across farm fields. Sub-objective 3C: Measure and map determinants of grain quality value (i.e. test weight, protein concentration, and foreign weed material), and apply this information into grain segregation on a combine harvester.
Objective 4: Synthesize available crop and cropping systems research across PNW agro-ecological zones to assess biophysical production factors influencing cropping system performance and ecosystem services. Sub-objective 4A: Compile and summarize existing databases of dryland crops and cropping systems to calibrate and corroborate process-oriented models. (Pendleton) Sub-objective 4B: Utilize existing datasets and process-oriented models to spatially evaluate the suitability of past, present, and future cropping system strategies. (Pullman) NP216 Cross-location project associated with Pendleton, OR 5356-13210-003-00D (Long).
Obj. 1B. A repeat of the first year’s spring canola variety by row spacing experiment was planted in three locations in the low-rainfall region of north central WA in 2012. In 2011 when averaged over row spacing, “Invigor” (glufosinate tolerant) spring canola yielded 935 lbs/acre (A) compared to the glyphosate tolerant, late maturing variety at 1,120 lbs/A and the early maturing variety at 1,045 lbs/A. Yields were slightly higher in the 7-inch row spacing for both the “Invigor” and the late maturing variety compared to the 14-inch spacing.
Obj. 2A. A long-term cropping system study was initiated in 2010 to increase residue and soil moisture so that chemical fallow can replace traditional tillage summer fallow and winter canola can be planted no-till at an optimum time. In the fall of 2011 a tall winter wheat and winter triticale were planted no-till and will be harvested this summer with either a stripper header or conventional combine header. If soil moisture is within 2" of the soil surface in the current chemical fallow, winter canola will be planted no-till.
Obj. 4B2. A spatial framework of Agroecological Zone (AEZ) was developed for the Inland Pacific Northwest by combining biophysical characteristics (climate, soil, terrain) with geo-referenced cropland use data available through NASS. This delineation of AEZs using biophysical and socio-economic variables will enable forecasting shifts in AEZs based upon climate change.
Long, D.S., McCallum, J.D., Young, F.L., Lenssen, A. 2012. In-stream measurement of canola (Brassica napus L.) seed oil concentration using in-line near infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy. 20(3):387-395.