Submitted to: Washington State University College of Agriculture and Home Economics
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2013
Publication Date: 6/3/2013
Citation: Sharratt, B.S., Schillinger, W. 2013. Wind erosion potential from oilseed cropping systems. Washington State University College of Agriculture and Home Economics. 62-63. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The United States Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates the use of 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022 with 21 billion gallons being derived from advanced biofuel feedstocks. To meet this goal, the United States Department of Agriculture developed a strategy entitled “A USDA regional roadmap to meeting the biofuels goals of the Renewable Fuels Standard by 2022” in which it is anticipated that 4.6% of the advanced biofuels would be produced in the northwestern United States. Although progress is being made in growing oilseeds for advanced biofuels, little is known concerning the impact of growing oilseed crops on environmental resources. We examined the impact of growing oilseeds in a traditional winter wheat-summer fallow rotation on wind erosion and PM10 (particles less than or equal to 10µm in diameter) emissions in eastern Washington state where atmospheric PM10 is an acute environmental concern. Wind erosion and PM10 emissions were measured at the end of the fallow phase of a winter wheat-summer fallow versus a winter wheat-camelina-summer fallow rotation or a winter wheat-safflower-summer fallow rotation in 2011 and 2012. A portable wind tunnel was used to assess horizontal sediment and PM10 flux after sowing wheat (Figure 1). Our results indicate that total sediment and PM10 flux were as much as 200% higher from the wheat-oilseed-fallow rotation compared with the wheat-fallow rotation (Table 1). The higher sediment and PM10 flux from the oilseed rotation may in part be due to lower biomass of crop residue following the oilseed versus wheat crop. Wind erosion and PM10 emissions may be accentuated by growing oilseeds in traditional wheat-fallow systems in the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, tillage and residue management will be paramount to controlling wind erosion and PM10 emissions from oilseed cropping systems in the Pacific Northwest.