Latest WSU guides tighten pear irrigation, shed light on wheat, buckwheat production

Buckwheat field
Buckwheat production west of the Cascades is less common than east of the mountains, but promising because of the favorable climate.

WSU scientists share free guides monthly that help Pacific Northwest agriculture and home growers. The latest online publications offer irrigation tips and evaluation for pear growers, review past production at WSU’s Wilke Farm as well as buckwheat west of the Cascades, and share scientifically sound approaches to home-garden companion plants.

Buckwheat Production West of the Cascades (PNW732)

Naturally gluten-free, buckwheat has a variety of culinary uses regionally and internationally. Learn about market opportunities, how to establish a strong stand, and the best management and harvest practices for this tasty, nutritious crop. Authors are Rachel Breslauer, Justin O’Dea, Stephen Bramwell, and Kevin Murphy.

WSU Wilke Research and Extension Farm Operation, Production, and Economic Performance for 2022 (TB95E)

For farmers and consultants in eastern Washington’s intermediate rainfall zone, this annual publication documents production and operations on WSU’s Wilke Farm near Davenport. It also helps faculty with small-plot research experiments. Wilke Farm remains in a direct-seed cropping system using no-till fallow, winter wheat, spring cereals, and broadleaf crops. Broadleaf crops are used in place of spring and winter cereals when weed pressures and market prices create opportunities for profitable production. Authors are Aaron Esser and Derek Appel.

Gardening with Companion Plants (Home Garden Series) (EM128E)

Pseudoscientific claims abound in recent, popular literature regarding the benefits of companion planting, creating confusion for home gardeners. This publication encourages the use of scientifically sound companion planting practices, which improve plant health and productivity, decrease damage from insects and disease, and decrease the need for pesticides and fertilizers. It is authored by Linda Chalker-Scott.

A mature pear orchard
A Washington pear orchard.

Improving Irrigation Efficiencies in Pears Case Studies (TB97E)

Hot summers and cork spot can present significant challenges for pear growers in central Washington. Irrigation frequency and timing can affect tree growth, productivity, and fruit quality in pears. This guide offers case studies that illustrate common irrigation system challenges in Washington pear orchards, as well as the results of upgrades designed to address site-specific problems. Authors are Lee Kalcsits, Tianna DuPont, and Troy Peters.

Evaluating Your Pear Irrigation System (FS385E)

Common challenges in central Washington pear orchards include over- and underwatering, irregular water distribution, and low holding capacity in sandy soils. Learn about the potential solutions and tools that can boost fruit quality and growers’ profits in this guide by Tianna DuPont and Troy Peters.

View more new Extension guides at the Online Bookstore Updates webpage.