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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(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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- Dan Long provided an illustrated talk that featured the Cooperator of the Year at the Umatilla County Soil and Water Conservation District annual meeting on February 18, 2015.
- The Liaison Committee of the Pendleton Agricultural Research Centers met in the center conference room on February 10, 2015.
- Stewart Wuest and Tami Johlke are analyzing data on the effect of delayed and reduced tillage on the amount of water stored by summer fallow. The data were collected over the past three summers, and it will take at least three months of concentrated effort to analyze the data.
- Hero Gollany is revising an invited review manuscript on Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas for a Special Issue of Environmental Management Journal.
- Dan Long, John McCallum, John Sulik, Aron Boettcher, and Hayley Peters-Contesse attended the Direct Seed and Oilseed Conference on January 20-22, 2015, and presented two illustrated talks and two poster presentations on their oilseed research. Aron Boettcher and Hayley Peters-Contesse are shown above with their poster presentation.
- Dan Long is preparing a manuscript describing the results of a study of the economic feasibility of segregating grain by protein concentration.
- A manuscript, of Dan Long's, describing the results of a study of profitability of terrain-based, variable-rate nitrogen application on spring wheat was accepted for publication in Agronomy Journal.
- Stewart Wuest attended part of the Oilseeds/Direct Seed Conference in Kennewick, WA. In addition to meeting with collaborators to plan a research proposal, it was a chance to find out what other researchers are learning about soil acidification in the Pacific Northwest.
- Dan Long applied to the FAA and was able to register the unmanned aerial system (UAV) that has been used by USDA-ARS in remote sensing research. The new registration number that was reserved for the aircraft is N56YU.
- Aron Boettcher is preparing for establishing two field experiments with oilseed. One will compare heat resistance and drought tolerance among different oilseed species and a second will compare different crop rotations comprised of cereal oilseed crops.
- Stewart Wuest presented information on efficient water storage, surface residue, and soil organic matter at the annual Conservation District winter meeting for growers in Dayton, WA.
- Hayley Peters-Contesse is compiling a database for life cycle assessment and carbon footprinting of the crop rotation study. She has been able to compile an exhaustive database and is almost ready to start conducting an environmental analysis of each cropping system.
- John Sulik submitted a manuscript to the International Journal of Remote Sensing. The paper describes how remote sensing can be used to measure flower density in canola and assess reproductive capacity and yield.
- John McCallum is working with Stewart Wuest and Tami Johlke on a study of the soil moisture requirements for seed germination of different species of oilseed.
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