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Biofuels Crop Research To Be Focus of WSU Field Days

PULLMAN, Wash. – Existing and emerging crops designed for use in biofuels will be highlighted at a number of Washington State University field days and tours throughout the state this summer. All of the events are free and open to the public.“Biofuel crops are a good fit in many rotations throughout Washington,” said Rich Koenig, chair of the WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. “They also present another market opportunity for Washington-grown crops.”

Biofuels crop research will be discussed at the following field day events:

June 17, 8:30 a.m. registration – Lind Field Day – WSU Dryland Research Station north of Lind. Professor Bill Pan will discuss the statewide WSU Biofuels Project, while WSU Research Agronomist Bill Schillinger will show experiments on camelina fertility, planting date and method, and 18 camelina varieties planted both in fall and spring. A camelina cropping systems experiment at Lind will not be featured at the field day, but WSU faculty will be available to show these plots on an informal basis after the ice cream social. Five separate winter canola plantings on summer fallow at Lind failed due to either hot temperatures before emergence or bird damage. However, Schillinger reports there are great stands of safflower in farm-scale plots in WSU’s long-term cropping systems experiment on the Ron Jirava Farm 15 miles northeast of Lind near Ritzville. More information is available by contacting Schillinger at (509) 235-1933 or schillw@wsu.edu.

June 23, 9:30 a.m. registration – Wilke Farm Field Tour – Wilke Farm outside Davenport. Professor Koenig will discuss his work with canola fertilization. Professor Scot Hulbert will present information about his early-seeded winter canola study. They also will talk about their plans for future work in oilseed production. WSU Extension Educator Aaron Esser will present information on running the WSU Wilke Farm equipment using biodiesel, as well as review the spring canola variety trial. More information is available by contacting Esser at aarons@wsu.edu.

June 24, 7:30 a.m. registration – Palouse Conservation Field Tour – WSU Extension/U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Palouse Conservation Field Station north of Pullman. One stop in the afternoon field tours will focus on the yields and rotation effects of spring canola in rotation, presented by USDA-ARS soil scientist Dave Huggins. More information is available by contacting Debra Marsh, communications coordinator for the WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, at (509) 335-2615 or marshdj@wsu.edu.

July 1, 9:30 a.m. registration – AgVentures NW Seed Plot Tours – Paul Williams’ farm on the corner of Rief and McRae roads near Davenport/Reardon. Morning tours will include reports on 12 spring canola varieties presented by Paul Porter, seed division manager of Odessa Union Warehouse Cooperative, and by University of Idaho plant breeder/geneticist Jack Brown. The variety plots were planted and will be harvested with farm-scale equipment, and are 60 feet wide and a half-mile long. WSU Plant Pathologist Scot Hulbert will discuss what happened with winter canola that was planted early in the summer last year, and Ashley Hammac, WSU graduate student, will discuss nitrogen fertilizer requirements for canola. Both WSU and UI faculty also will be available to answer questions about oilseed production. More information is available at (509) 253-4324.

July 8, 2 p.m. – WSU Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center Field Day – WSU Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center at Mount Vernon – WSU Extension Scientist Tim Miller will be sharing results of his seeding rate/nitrogen rate trial with camelina and yellow mustard during this field day. Crops were seed at either 5 or 8 lbs. per acre, and then those plots were either not fertilized or fertilized with 50 or 100 lbs. of nitrogen. More information is available by contacting Miller at (360) 848-6138, twmiller@wsu.edu.

July 26 – WSU Puyallup Organic Farm Field tour – WSU Puyallup Organic Farm. Six varieties of canola, camelina and mustard plots will be available for viewing during the annual Puyallup Organic Farm Field Tour. More information is available by contacting WSU Soil Scientist Craig Cogger at (253) 445-4512, cogger@wsu.edu.

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Media Contacts

Bill Pan, professor and coordinator of the statewide WSU Biofuels Project, 509-335-3611