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WSU Sets Direct Seed, Precision Farming Field Day

PULLMAN, Wash. — A field day on direct seed systems and precision farming research at the WSU/USDA-ARS Cunningham Agronomy Farm will be held on June 28.

The 140-acre Cunningham Agronomy Farm is a new long-term research site. Research there focuses on development of direct seed cropping systems and understanding field variability of a typical Palouse landscape as a foundation for precision-agriculture technology in this region.

More than 20 scientists are involved in the research effort, as well as a 12-member advisory committee comprised of growers, scientists and representatives from agribusiness and government agencies.

A 92-acre portion of the farm has been intensively grid sampled at 369 Global Positioning System-referenced sites for data on soil characteristics, soil nutrients, soil water content and crop use, weed seedbank, and soilborne pathogen levels.

Yield and protein maps have been generated under spring grain crops for the 1999 and 2000 crop years. In 2001 a long-term direct seed cropping systems study with field scale equipment was initiated using six crop rotations and three residue management options.

The field day program will showcase a variety of the research projects. Landscape variability research will highlight crop yields, protein, soil acidity and other soil properties, weed and disease potential, and the GPS/Global Information Systems data collection process.

Reports on direct seed research will include the new large-scale trial comparing six crop rotations and three winter wheat residue management options; direct seed variety trials, and several weed and root disease management studies.

The Cunningham Farm is located 1.5 miles north of Pullman on Hwy. 27, then 4.7 miles east on Whelan Road, traveling past the McGregor Co. plant and rock crushing area. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the program will be from 7:45 to noon.

For more information, contact the WSU Crop and Soil Sciences Cooperative Extension Office, phone (509) 335-2915, or Roger Veseth, WSU / UI Extension Conservation Tillage Specialist at (208) 885-6386, e-mail rveseth@uidaho.edu.

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