PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s R. J. Cook Agronomy Farm in Pullman has been named one of just ten long-term agroecosystem research sites in the country by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “This designation is testimony to the quality of work being conducted by ARS and WSU to make agriculture more sustainable on all fronts,” said Rich Koenig, chair of WSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.
The USDA Agricultural Research Service designated the sites to engage in research to address questions related to the condition, trends and sustainability of agricultural systems and resources across the United States. Sustainable agricultural systems that provide a safe, nutritious, ample and reliable food supply; produce bioenergy; provide essential ecosystems services; and mitigate climate change are needed for the well-being and welfare of future generations, according to the ARS.
ARS’s Land Management and Water Conservation Research Unit in Pullman will coordinate the Cook Farm LARS. David Huggins, WSU adjunct soil scientist and USDA-ARS soil scientist, will be the principal investigator for the site. Cook Farm was established by a team of ARS and Washington State University scientists involved in direct-seed cropping and precision agricultural research.
Enhanced resources in the ARS program initiative on Environmental Stewardship in the FY 2013 President’s Budget will strengthen ARS’ capacity to conduct network-wide research in diverse agricultural systems across the country. Environmental data collected from this network will enable integration and synthesis of findings with the Long Term Ecosystems Research network and the National Ecological Observatory Network sponsored by the National Science Foundation.