WSU Agronomy Field Days Scheduled in June and July

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University will host three major agronomy field days in June and July focusing on “Novel Solutions to Traditional Problems.”

The 91st annual field day of the WSU Lind Dryland Research Station is scheduled June 14. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the field tour at 9 a.m. Research topics will include winter wheat and spring wheat breeding, camelina as a dryland oilseed crop, soil fertility needs for late-planted winter wheat and root-lesion nematodes. A complimentary lunch program will include brief updates by WSU, state legislators, wheat industry leaders and introduction of several new WSU faculty members. An ice cream social will follow.

The research station is located northeast of Lind on Experiment Station Road.

The Precision Farming and Direct Seed field day is scheduled June 28 at the Cook Agronomy Farm. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with field tours scheduled from 8:00 to noon.

A complimentary lunch program will celebrate the naming of the farm in honor of R. James Cook, longtime scientist and administrator with both the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and WSU. Guest speakers will include former WSU President Samuel H. Smith and Richard Smiley, a former student of Cook’s who is now a professor at Oregon State University’s Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center in Pendleton.

The Cook Agronomy Farm is located north of Pullman on Whelan Road.

The Spillman Agronomy Farm field day scheduled July 12 will offer field tours looking at cereal and pulse breeding programs plus stops that show how novel solutions have been incorporated into current breeding programs, including identification of cold tolerance genes in winter wheat, creating double haploid wheat plants using wheat-corn hybridizations and breeding wheat and barley for celiac patients.

Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. at the farm, which is located just south of Pullman on Johnson Road. Field tours are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. followed by a complimentary lunch.

After the lunch program, WSU and USDA-Agricultural Research Service wheat geneticists will host a two-hour marker-assisted selection workshop, “CSI­plant style: From the lab to the wheat field,” beginning at 1:45 p.m. at the Plant Biosciences Building on the WSU campus.

Participants will get hands-on experience applying biotechnology techniques to wheat improvement, including cross-hybridizing wheat plants, extracting DNA, conducting molecular marker analyses and selecting plants based on their marker profiles to advance to the next stage of the breeding process.

To register for the workshop, please call Deb Marsh, (509) 335-2915 or e-mail . Contact John Burns at (509) 335-5831 or for more information on the field days.

A complete calendar of 2007 Pacific Northwest crop tours is online at

– 30 –