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WSU Extension Engineer to be Honored

PULLMAN, Wash. — Tom Ley, a Washington State University Cooperative Extension irrigation engineer, will be honored July 11 at the annual Spillman Agronomy Field Day.

Ley will receive the 10th annual Kenneth J. Morrison Extension Award in Agronomy and Soils. The annual award recognizes WSU extension faculty for significant contributions to agronomic crop production and soil management.

Ley is being recognized for development of the WSU Public Agricultural Weather System, an automated network of 69 remote weather stations that collect and report real-time weather data.

The data enables growers to make crop management decisions that depend heavily on current weather conditions, including spraying for pests, frost warning and protection, irrigation scheduling, and when to plant and harvest.

The information has enabled growers to save water and cut back pesticide applications, saving materials and reducing chemicals released into the environment.

The network was started in 1988 in south central Washington. Remote weather stations now can be found in 12 counties in central Washington, three in western Washington and three in northern Oregon.

Data can be obtained by touch tone telephone dial-in to a digital voice response, by computer modem and over the Internet.

Ley, a member of the faculty since 1983, works at the WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center. He will receive a $400 check and a plaque. The award is named for Kenneth Morrison, extension agronomist at WSU from 1950 to 1987.

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