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Sharing improved crops, practices for Washington’s drylands: 103rd Lind Field Day

WSU Extension researcher Aaron Esser and spring wheat breeder Mike Pumphrey introduce the latest wheat variety trials at Lind.

Crop scientists, breeders and plant pathologists from WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture welcomed growers and industry partners to the 103rd annual Lind Field Day, held June 13 at WSU’s Lind Dryland Research Station.

Farmers boarded trucks and buses for in-field tours, which included a look at promising and pest-resistant spring and winter wheat varieties with WSU scientists Mike Pumphrey, Aaron Esser, Gary Shelton, and USDA-ARS scientist Kim Garland-Campbell; new winter food-grade peas with USDA-ARS scientist Rebecca McGee and Howard Nelson of Highline Grain; the impact of biosolids on wheat agronomy and soil microbes with Lind Station director Bill Schillinger and USDA scientist Tim Paulitz; as well as a talk on soil health assessments by Shannon Cappellazzi of the Soil Health Institute.

CAHNRS Dean André-Denis Wright joined growers and industry representatives, sharing remarks and thanking Field Day sponsors during the lunch program. The Lind Field Day was one of Wright’s first events as Dean in 2018.

“A year later, it’s good coming back and seeing a lot of familiar faces and friends,” he said. “I love what I do and am grateful for the opportunity to be dean of this college.”

Wright introduced WSU scientist Ian Burke as the new R. James Cook Endowed Chair in Wheat Research. Formerly held by Scot Hulbert, now CAHNRS’ Associate Dean for Research, this role was established in 1997 by a gift from the Washington Wheat Commission, now the Washington Grain Commission, to enhance the development and implementation of conservation farming systems for the wheat-growing areas of Washington.

Wright also shared an update on leadership within the college, noting the selection of Hulbert to oversee CAHNRS’ research office, Rich Zack as permanent associate dean for academic programs, Jill McCluskey as director of the School of Economic Sciences, and David Brown as director of WSU’s AgWeather Network.

In addition, Rich Koenig, Associate Dean of Extension and interim chair of Crop and Soil Sciences and Horticulture, noted a number of new faculty members joining the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, including Clark Neely as the new leader of WSU cereal variety testing program. Neely currently leads variety testing Texas A&M University, and will start at WSU in early August.

Also coming on board is a new Robert A. Nilan barley breeding and genetics chair, as well as scientists in soil health and soil quality for Northwest Washington and the Columbia Basin.

Koenig also honored Lind Dryland Station Administrative Assistant Samantha Crow for her five-year anniversary at the station.

The lunch program also included updates from State Sen. Mark Schoesler, Washington Grain Commission President Gary Bailey, and WSU Extension & Outreach Specialist for Oilseeds Karen Sowers.

Field Day tours continue this summer, through July 9 at locations across the region. WSU hosts a Weed Science Tour June 19 in Pullman.

Learn more about WSU variety testing here.

Learn more about WSU small grains research here.

Burke, flanked by Wright and Bailey, in front of Lind banner. Burke holds plaque.
CAHNRS Dean André-Denis Wright, left, and Washington Grain Commission President Gary Bailey, right, congratulate new Cook Endowed Chair, Ian Burke, at Lind Field Day.
Campbell with mic stands behind variety trail sign. Tour participants stand behind her.
USDA researcher Kim Garland-Campbell discusses promising wheat varieties.
Growers tour and feel wheat plants in research plots at Lind Dryland Research Station.
Chen, standing, holding wheat plant as Murray stands and looks on.
USDA researcher Xianming Chen examines plants with WSU scientist Tim Murray.
Paulitz, right, gestures at a colorful graphic held by Schillinger, left.
Station director Bill Schillinger and scientist Tim Paulitz review biosolid impacts on wheat performance.
Shawver, holding microphone at podium.
Washington Association of Wheat Growers president Jeff Shawver speaks during the lunch presentation
Tour participants stand and ride in farm trucks.
Growers roll out on farm trucks for the annual field tour.
Karen stands and gestures at the podium.
Karen Sowers shares an update on WSU oilseed research and outreach.
Crow, standing with Koenig,, holds certificate and can of cheese.
Associate Dean Rich Koenig recognizes Lind Administrative Assistant Samantha Crow’s five years of service to the station with a certificate and a can of Cougar Gold cheese.