PULLMAN, Wash. — A group of dryland wheat growers will turn a $25,000 check over to Washington State University at a reception scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the WSU Lind Dryland Research Station to start an endowment for the research facility.
The group, called the “Growers for Dryland Research,” was formed a year ago to secure stable funding for the station.
For 81 years, the 320-acre facility has been the focal point of WSU crop development and management research to help growers who farm the dryland region in the east central part of the state.
Twice in the past decade, the station was almost closed because of budget cuts at WSU. While the facility has survived, declining budgets have taken their toll. The newest piece of equipment is a 15-year-old field cultivator. An underpowered crawler tractor was purchased during the Johnson Administration.
“The main challenge at Lind is to get some operational funds,” said Bill Schillinger, who became “faculty in charge” of the Lind station in August as part of a new job as extension dryland research agronomist.
Growers ultimately hope to raise $500,000 to $1 million. The interest would provide permanent operating funds for Lind.
The check university officials will accept will be deposited in the WSU Foundation. The public is encouraged to attend the reception.
Dryland growers can count on only eight- to 12-inches of rainfall a year and normally fallow fields every other year to conserve soil moisture. They produce about 40 percent of the state’s wheat crop.
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