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Direct Seed and Precision Farming Technologies Showcased

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Direct Seed and Precision Farming Research Field Day, Thursday, June 28, will be the first field day ever held at the new WSU Cunningham Agronomy Farm northeast of here.

The field day program will feature new technologies for direct seed cropping systems and precision farming in the intermediate and higher rainfall zones.

“The 140-acre Cunningham Agronomy Farm is a new long-term research site managed under continuous direct seeding with field scale equipment since 1999,” said Roger Veseth, WSU / UI extension conservation tillage specialist.

A 90-acre portion of the farm has been intensively grid sampled at 370 global positioning system-referenced sites for data on soil characteristics, soil nutrients, soil water content and crop use, weed seed bank, and soilborne pathogens levels. Yield and protein maps have been generated under spring grain crops in 1999 and 2000. In 2001, a long-term direct seed cropping systems study was started on six crop rotations and three residue management options.

Pesticide applicator recertification credits have been requested for Washington, Idaho and Oregon, as well as Certified Crop Advisor Continuing Education Units.

Registration and refreshments will begin at 7:30 a.m. The agenda includes:

  • Introduction and Overview – R. James Cook, WSU Endowed Chair in Wheat Research;
  • Cropping systems based on rotations with spring and winter varieties for wheat, barley, canola and peas – Cook;
  • Precision protein management for hard red spring wheat – David Huggins, USDA-ARS soil scientist;
  • Soil pH management, spatial variability of soils, and carbon sequestration – Greg Schwab, WSU extension soil scientist, and Bruce Frazier, WSU soil scientist;
  • Weed management focusing on wild oats and use of herbicide-resistant spring canola – Joe Yenish, WSU extension weed scientist;
  • Distribution and management of root diseases – Tim Paulitz, USDA-ARS plant pathologist;
  • Watershed water quality research – Jeff Smith, USDA-ARS soil scientist;
  • A hosted lunch program will feature John Hassell, executive director of the national Conservation Technology Information Center, West Lafayette, Ind. He will discuss trends toward direct seeding/no-till from national and global perspectives.

The Farm is one-and-a-half miles north of Pullman on Hwy 27, then about four-and-three-quarters miles east on Whelan Road.

RSVP for lunch and send information requests to Debbie Marsh, extension secretary at the WSU crop and soil sciences department phone (509) 335-2915 or e-mail

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