PULLMAN, Wash. — David Granatstein, statewide coordinator for the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources and sustainable agricultural specialist, was honored Thursday as the 15th recipient of the Kenneth J. Morrison Award in Agronomy and Soils.
The award recognizes Washington State University Cooperative Extension faculty for significant contributions to agronomic crop production and soil management.
Among other things, Granatstein, who is headquartered at the WSU Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, works with the Northwest Food Alliance exploring market-driven incentives to encourage the use of more environmentally sound farming practices.
He also has conducted research into the use of compost as a soil amendment in tree fruit production and into the use of cover crops for beneficial insect habitat.
“David is an excellent scientist who is very knowledgeable of basic soil biology, soil fertility and physical and environmental limitations to growing crops,” said David Bezdicek, professor of crop and soil sciences at WSU. “One of his strengths is his insistence on working with growers and his extension ethic.”
Bezdicek nominated Granatstein for the award.
In 1994, Granatstein started a collaborative on-farm research and extension program with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Grant County conservation districts to evaluate the use of polyacrylamide for controlling soil erosion in rill irrigated fields. The tests found that the use of polyacrylamide reduced tail water sedimentation by 97 percent.
By 1997, half of the rill-irrigated fields in Grant County – 87,000 acres – were treated with PAM, reducing sediment delivery by more than 1.2 million tons annually.
Granatstein began his career at WSU in 1988 as a research associate in crops and soil sciences. He was a member of a team that established a composting facility on WSU’s Pullman campus.
The Morrison award was presented at the field day of WSU’s Agronomy Farm. Granatstein received a plaque and a check for $500.
The award honors the memory of Kenneth J. Morrison who served as WSU extension agronomist from 1950 to 1987.
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