College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

WSU’s On Solid Ground – Tree Fruit, Spuds, Don’t Drift, Water Econ 101 – Feb. 13, 2013

WSU’s Big Ideas Campaign Continues to Flourish for Fruit

cherry-st-graphicCherry and stone fruit growers throughout the state have agreed to make a $5 million investment over the next eight years at WSU research and extension centers in Prosser and Wenatchee. This builds on a similar measure voted on by apple and pear growers in 2011 to galvanize cooperation between industry and WSU in response to the university’s historic fundraising effort launched in December 2010.

“The close partnership between Washington’s tree fruit industry and Washington State University continues to be transformational,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “Working together for more than a century, we have helped to make Washington a world leader in tree fruit production. The assessment by cherry and stone fruit growers, in combination with the $27 million investment in WSU made by apple and pear growers in 2011, helps to ensure that our partnership in progress continues for an even brighter future for our state. We are extremely grateful for the industry’s confidence and investment in WSU.”

Washington State Department of Agriculture officials certified the election results Monday, Feb. 4. This substantial financial commitment comes at a time when the state’s $46 billion food and agriculture industry continues to increase its contribution to the state’s economy. Annually, the Washington tree fruit industry accounts for more than $7 billion of economic impact, with more than a third of that derived from exports.

Read the rest of the story by Brian Clark on the WSU ag news site: http://bit.ly/treefruit-wsu.

WSU Potato Sprout Inhibitor Discovery Goes Commercial

spudsConsumers will soon be able to leave potatoes in their pantries a good deal longer thanks to the development of technology discovered by WSU scientists in 2005 that is now approved by the FDA and registered with the EPA to keep tubers from sprouting. Canadian and European registrations have also been filed.

The agricultural products company American Vanguard Corporation licensed the patented application of organic compounds to postharvest potatoes from WSU and conducted seven years of testing via AMVAC Chemical Corporation. The commercial version of the sprout inhibitor is called SmartBlock, which the EPA classifies as a biopesticide.

SmartBlock represents a breakthrough approach in the treatment of postharvest potatoes because it offers safe, comprehensive, long-term storage control that growers and processors can easily apply using existing equipment. AMVAC will begin marketing SmartBlock in the United States immediately.

Rick Knowles, scientist and chair of the Department of Horticulture, and Lisa Knowles, assistant research professor of horticulture, are responsible for the research leading up to SmartBlock. They found that one application of a naturally-occurring food additive to potatoes after harvest inhibited sprouting from two to three months, and two to three applications lasted more than a year. Applications also left little residue.

Economic Impacts

About half of the 9.4 billion pounds of potatoes grown in Washington each year are stored to provide a continuing supply to fresh markets and processing plants. Most varieties begin to sprout about three months after harvest. Because the excess growth hastens deterioration and reduces overall quality, growers and processors in the Pacific Northwest spend an estimated $9 million annually to inhibit sprouting of stored potatoes, said Knowles.

The new technology provides an alternative to other compounds currently used for the same purpose, and is thus expected to facilitate expansion of fresh and processed product exports, particularly to markets with strict chemical residue limits.

WSU economists recently found that the Washington potato industry contributes $4.6 billion and 23,500 jobs to the state. Anson Fatland, director of WSU Intellectual Property, said “We are very pleased to have partnered with AMVAC on the SmartBlock technology. As a result of this very productive and collaborative research relationship, additional intellectual property was developed which resulted in worldwide patent protection.”

According to Dan Bernardo, WSU’s vice president for agriculture and extension and dean of CAHNRS, “This success exemplifies the high quality research being carried out by CAHNRS faculty that has significant impact on Washington potatoes.”

–Brian Clark

Avoid Herbicide Drift

Grape showing continued 2,4-D injury the year AFTER exposure. Vines can show injury for several years due to one exposure. Photo: Jay W. Pscheidt, Oregon State Univeristy, from the PNW Plant Disease Handbook, http://bit.ly/14ODQC9.
Grape showing continued 2,4-D injury the year AFTER exposure. Vines can show injury for several years due to one exposure. Photo: Jay W. Pscheidt, Oregon State Univeristy, from the PNW Plant Disease Handbook, http://bit.ly/14ODQC9.

Herbicide applicators are responsible for managing and controlling off-target drift. As spring–-and one of the two times of year when drift is most likely to occur-–approaches, WSU Extension educators are offering recommendations about how to avoid what can be critical damage to nearby crops, ornamental plants, humans, fish, wildlife, and water resources. Grapes, blueberries, caneberries, and nursery crops are especially sensitive to several herbicides used in agronomic crops, pasture, rangelands, forests, and rights-of-way.

WSU weed specialists advise that appropriate equipment setup, including the choice of droplet size and nozzle type, is necessary for safe and efficient application of herbicides. Other important considerations are weather conditions, cutoff dates, and formulations.

Read the rest of this story by WSU Extension weed scientist Drew Lyon and ag news writer Brian Clark at http://bit.ly/driftprevention. There you’ll also find a short audio clip available to use as a PSA.

Got Water?

irrigWSU Extension economists understand that water issues can be contentious in arid regions such as central Washington. That’s why our experts wrote Understanding the Relationship between Water Price, Value, and Cost, a factsheet to bring you up to speed on common-–yet frequently misunderstood-–terms used to talk about water management.

Clearly communicating about the economics of water is dependent on adequate explanation and distinction between key words such as price, value, and cost. These terms are typically used to differentiate concepts within public policy forums for water reallocation, but non-economists (including producers as well as consumers) tend to use them interchangeably. Confusion over meanings can generate arguments and create unnecessary misinterpretations. This WSU Extension factsheet explains the differences and connections between price, value, and cost in the context of water, and when each concept is relevant and when it is not. The discussion includes the relevance of water rights.

Download your free copy of FS110E at the WSU Extension Online Bookstore: http://bit.ly/water-econ.

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CAHNRS is more than agriculture. With 24 majors, 19 minors, and 27 graduate level programs, we are one of the largest, most diverse colleges at WSU. CAHNRS Cougs are making a difference in the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities, improving ecological and economic systems, and advancing agricultural sciences.

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With 24 majors, 19 minors, and 27 graduate level programs, CAHNRS is one of the largest, most diverse colleges at WSU.

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CAHNRS leads in discovery through its high-quality research programs. In 2014, CAHNRS received research funding exceeding $81.5M. This accounts for nearly 40% of all research funding received by WSU.  

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Inspiring Teamwork - Arron Carter pic

Inspiring Teamwork – Arron Carter

It started with a car, a ’69 Corvette Stingray to be exact.

When Arron Carter, the director of the Washington State University Winter Wheat Breeding Program, was in high school his agricultural teacher had a ’69 Corvette Stingray. Every year this teacher would let his favorite senior take the car to senior prom. Carter had never taken an agriculture class before, but he knew he wanted to drive that car.

“Well, if I’m going to be the favorite senior,” Carter said to himself, “I’d better start taking some ag classes.”…

Read More: Inspiring Teamwork – Arron Carter

 










CAHNRS Office of Research

Agricultural Research Center

Mission Statement

The goal of the Washington State University CAHNRS Office of Research is to promote research beneficial to the citizens of Washington. The Office of Research recognizes its unique land-grant research mission to the people of Washington and their increasing global connections. The CAHNRS Office of Research provides leadership in discovering and applying knowledge through high-quality research that contributes to a safe and abundant food, fiber, and energy supply while enhancing the sustainability of agricultural and natural resource systems.

Research Update

Washington State University’s screening continues to find no evidence of glyphosate herbicide resistance in Pacific Northwest wheat varieties

In each of the last three years (2014, 2015 and 2016), the field screening process has involved over 80 varieties, 2,000 advanced breeding lines and more than 35,000 individual plots from WSU cereal breeding and variety evaluation programs. Collectively, varieties included in these trials represent over 95 percent of the wheat acreage planted in Washington.

Featured Research

Want fries with that? Stealth potato virus threatens industry

Newly emerged viruses threaten the U.S. potato industry, including potatoes grown in Washington. Several newly evolved strains of the disease known as potato virus Y, or PVY, can render potatoes unmarketable and reduce crop yield. What’s worse is the new viruses are particularly difficult to detect with the naked eye.

Horned larks undeterred by efforts to protect canola seedlings

Horned larks are turning up in droves near Lind, Wash. and decimating newly planted winter and spring canola fields despite multiple efforts to deter them.

In search of the perfect steak

Imagine taking your first bite of a $40 rib-eye steak—only to chew on beef that’s as tough as shoe leather. Talk about disappointment! “A tough steak is not a pleasant experience,” says Frank Hendrix, a WSU Extension Educator and animal scientist.

Workshops to discuss changing water forecast for Columbia Basin

How changing water availability in the Columbia River Basin could affect people, farms and fish is the focus of a series of free public workshops in June. Scheduled for June 21, 22 and 23 in Richland, Wenatchee and Spokane, the workshops give a first look at the 2016 Columbia River Basin Long-Term Water Supply and Demand Forecast.

After landslide, communities rewarded for resilience

Two years after the deadly landslide that devastated the Oso, Wash., area, the towns of Darrington and Arlington were announced April 27 as finalists in the America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition.

$11M funds food safety tech transfer to markets

WSU aims to meet growing demand for safe, high quality, additive-free packaged foods thanks to two recent investments in innovative food processing technology based on microwave energy.




Alumni & Friends

Welcome to alumni, friends, and supporters of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). You are a core part of our CAHNRS Coug family and have made major impacts in our college, communities, and throughout the world. We recognize only a handful of them here.

More than 9,000 alumni and friends contributed to our Campaign for WSU, the most ambitious fundraising effort in university history. The campaign concluded in 2015 with $215 million and endless amounts of impact. Here is a glimpse of what transpired in the Campaign.

Although the campaign concluded, momentum continues to make a difference in our land-grant mission and education. On-going investment in time and resources from our alumni and friends helps to advance our best programs, attract the most talented faculty, and support our brightest students.

There are so many ways to stay involved with CAHNRS. Share your news in the college’s magazine ReConnect. Get involved with student success or support our college as whole by making a gift to the CAHNRS Excellence Fund.

 

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CAHNRS Alumni & Development
PO Box 646228
Pullman, WA 99164-6228
PH: 509-335-2243
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Contact Dean’s Office:
Hulbert 421
PO Box 646242
Pullman WA 99164-6242
cahnrs.deans@wsu.edu
509-335-4561

Lisa Johnson:
Assistant to the Dean
Hulbert 421C
PO Box 646242
Pullman WA 99164-6242
janowski@wsu.edu
509-335-3590







How many varieties of wheat has WSU developed?

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