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Field Day to Showcase No-Till in Low Rainfall Areas

PULLMAN, Wash. — The latest technologies for no-till annual cropping in low rainfall areas will be featured at the Ralston Project Field Day, Thursday, June 4 near Ralston.

Roger Veseth, Washington State University and University of Idaho extension conservation tillage specialist, said the program will feature results from the first three years of a large-scale five-year study on no-till annual spring cropping.

The cropping systems research trial is on 20 acres in an 11-inch annual rainfall zone. Fourteen scientists from nine disciplines at four research agencies, a 12-member grower advisory group, and several agricultural companies have been involved.

Veseth said the research has two major components: large-scale, 5- year cropping systems study with field-scale equipment and a series of 14 complimentary satellite studies investigating fertility, variety selection, alternate crops, seeding rates, and other related agronomic practices.

Ten scientists with WSU, Oregon State University and the Agricultural Research Service will present research results on management of weeds, diseases, and insects; crop performance; fertility and residue management; straw decomposition; soil quality; soil moisture; no-till seeding rates; alternate crops; flex-cropping; inter-cropping, and economics.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Tours will be from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., with a barbecue lunch at noon. To reach the site, take Highway 261 south of Ritzville for 13 miles and then go 3 miles west on Providence Road.

To register for the Field Day and the lunch or for more information, contact Cindy at the WSU Cooperative Extension office in Ritzville, (509) 659-3214 or FAX 659-3206. The field day is free. The barbecue costs $6.50.

Funding comes from several sources including the Washington Wheat Commission; USDA-ARS; Washington Department of Ecology; two USDA-Cooperative States Research, Extension and Education Service grants through the STEEP III program and Columbia Plateau Wind Erosion Project; and Monsanto.

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