PULLMAN, Wash. – The R. James Cook Agronomy Farm will be dedicated June 28 during the noon program of the Precision Farming and Direct Seed Field Day.
Last year, Washington State University’s Board of Regents voted to name the university’s precision agriculture and
direct seed farm north of Pullman for Cook, who retired in 2005 after 40 years of service to WSU and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
Cook encouraged the university to purchase the 140-acre farm in 1997. It is used to study direct seed cropping and precision farming technology on a large scale.
Cook served as interim dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences from 2003 to 2005. From 1998 to 2003, he held the R.J. Cook Chair in Wheat Research. From 1965 to 1998 he was a research pathologist with the USDA-ARS Root Disease Biological Control Research Unit in Pullman with a joint appointment on the WSU faculty.
Registration for the field day begins at 7:30 a.m. with field tours scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon.
Topics on the tours include precision nitrogen management and stratification of pH and crop nutrients in no tillage, molecular quantification of pathogens in the soil to determine disease risks before planting, the pros and cons of straw utilization, carbon sequestration and trading, weed seed bank technology, and the economics of cropping systems across the landscape.
A complimentary lunch program will celebrate the naming of the farm in honor of Cook. Guest speakers will include former WSU President Samuel H. Smith and Richard Smiley, a former student of Cook’s who is now a professor at Oregon State University’s Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center in Pendleton
The Cook Agronomy Farm is located north of Pullman on Whelan Road. A map of the farm’s location is available at http://css.wsu.edu/farm_map.pdf.
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