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New guides from Extension: Weed control, dairy-defending raptors, and hard cider chemistry

Learn how to control a pesky weed of grain and pulse crops, attract birds of prey to protect dairies, and view a first-of-its-kind study of the chemical properties of eastern Washington cider, with help from new and revised guides from WSU Extension.

Found at the WSU Extension online store, the latest publications include:

Mayweed Chamomile
Mayweed Chamomile

Integrated Management of Mayweed Chamomile in Wheat and Pulse Crop Production Systems (PNW695), Revised May 2022

Producing as many as 17,000 seeds per plant, mayweed chamomile is a troublesome weed in grain and pulse crops throughout the high-rain zones of the inland northwest. This guide shares integrated management approaches to help in long-term, sustainable control. Authors include Extension Small Grains Weed Science Professor Drew Lyon; WSU Research Weed Scientist Ian Burke; Oregon State University Extension Weed Science Specialist Andrew Hulting; and University of Idaho Weed Science Research/Instruction Associate Joan Campbell.

Cider test assayStudies on Fruit and Hard Cider Chemistry of Eastern Washington (TB77E)

With the industry expected to continue growing, now is the perfect time to learn more about the chemistry of Washington-grown hard cider apples. Only a few studies have been published concerning tannin tests for cider apple juices or hard ciders within the northwestern United States. This study examines apple fruit chemistry, including tannin assays, in which several common apple varieties were analyzed. Authors are WSU Department of Horticulture scientists Nathan Tarlyn and Scott Mattinson.

Starling flockAttracting Native Raptors to Dairies for Management of Pest Birds (FS373E)

Pest birds, especially European starlings, cause problems for dairies, consuming and spoiling cow feed, and may also transmit diseases. This guide reviews their impact, describes the benefits of attracting native raptors to manage pest birds, and offers recommendations on how to attract native raptor species to dairy farms. Authors include WSU Animal Sciences students Callan Lichtenwalter, Abraham Reguero, and Emma Impala, and WSU Associate Professor and Dairy Management Specialist Amber Adams-Progar.

See all new and revised WSU Extension Publications here.

Ag student details her career goals as a woman in agriculture

By Carmen Chandler, CAHNRS Academic Programs

Daisy Arias, a recent graduate who studied fruit and vegetable management and field crop management recounts her experiences in college and goals after graduation.

Arias holds a shovel as machinery digs out a hole in the soil.
Daisy Arias getting hands-on experience.

When applying to universities, Daisy was unsure of what she wanted to do. After her first internship in high school, Daisy’s interest piqued for agriculture. She was fascinated with the potential for growth within the industry, and how quickly agriculture is evolving. Washington State University’s Integrated Plant Sciences programs offered Daisy the opportunity to further explore her newfound passion.

Daisy, an Entiat Washington native, grew up around apple orchards and agriculture with parents working in the agricultural industry. She aims to contribute more to agriculture by improving the system for farmworkers and fruit growth. Daisy is also passionate about contributing to the field by changing the narrative for women in agriculture.

As a woman of color in agriculture, Daisy has faced barriers at the start of her career in what is often a male-dominated field.

“You’re looked down upon, you’re not able to compete against these men,” Daisy said.

But Daisy found a way to affect change. Being a minority in STEM encouraged Daisy to join WSU’s Team Mentoring Program. She began as a mentee in her freshman year and was a mentor her final three semesters. With this program, Daisy advocated for minorities at the university and further explored her passion to advocate for women in agriculture.

“The program has shown me that I do have a voice, and my voice does count,” Daisy said.

Daisy has interned with a major agricultural company for the past two summers and was immediately employed after graduation as a research associate. She believes her experiences advocating for minorities have empowered her to speak up for herself in a professional setting.

Graduating with a WSU degree in fruit and vegetable management and field crop management opens students up to numerous fields within the industry.

“I have a friend who works as a technician in the field, and I have another friend who became a manager for a hops company,” she said.

With the multidisciplinary education provided by WSU, students like Daisy are prepared for many aspects of the industry.

Daisy encourages others to enter the field anywhere they can. “It doesn’t matter where you start, you can always grow from there.”

Plant pathologist Lindsey du Toit named fellow of the American Phytopathological Society

Lindsey du Toit
Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist Lindsey du Toit.

Internationally recognized for her work protecting valuable seed crops from diseases, Lindsey du Toit has been named a fellow of the American Phytopathological Society.

A professor and Extension Plant Pathologist at Washington State University’s Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center, du Toit studies the origins, spread, patterns, and management of diseases affecting important vegetable and vegetable seed crops at home and around the globe.

In August, she will join nine other new fellows of the APS at the society’s 2022 Plant Health meeting. The fellowship honor recognizes members with distinguished contributions to the science and their society, including original research, teaching, leadership, and outreach.

“It takes a village to raise an effective faculty member, and an even bigger village to raise a fellow,” du Toit said. “This award is an acknowledgement to the many mentors and colleagues in South Africa, the U.S.A., and other countries who encouraged me, pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and inspired me to recognize the gratifying career I could have in plant pathology.”

Dr. du Toit is a past president and councilor-at-large to the society, which is made up of nearly 5,000 plant pathologists in higher education, government, industry and private practice. APS advances high-quality, innovative plant pathology research and the sharing of scientific innovations worldwide.

Dr. du Toit carrot harvest pic
Above, Dr. Lindsey du Toit carries a box of produce during a carrot research trial harvest. Below, du Toit with members of the harvest crew during an organic trial in Washington state.

Organic trial harvest crew with du ToitThe current Alfred Christianson Distinguished Professor in Vegetable Seed Science at WSU’s Department of Plant Pathology, du Toit currently leads or collaborates on multi-million-dollar research efforts investigating pests and pathogens of onions, studying crippling diseases in spinach seed, seeking genetic traits for improved carrots and sweet corn, and managing seedborne pathogens of table beets and Swiss chard. She has been a WSU scientist since 1998.

Dr. du Toit earned her bachelor’s degree in plant pathology at the University of Natal-Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and holds advanced degrees in plant pathology from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

“I hadn’t heard of plant pathology when I started my undergraduate degree,” du Toit said. “Once I recognized that this profession afforded the opportunity to work in science and directly with the communities affected by plant pathogens, I was hooked.”

As an undergraduate, she was given a gift membership to APS by a professor.

“I had no clue, reading the first APS newsletter I received in South Africa in 1991, what impact this membership would have on my career,” du Toit said. “The professional mentoring, networking, and development opportunities provided by APS to graduate students and early career professionals are incredible.”

The society has offered more than 1,200 student travel awards, and APS meetings are rich in scientific exchange and professional development opportunities. Members produce books, journals, and other resources for practitioners around the world.

“APS is a supportive community that believes in the value of our science for improving communities globally,” du Toit said. “It is a sincere pleasure to give back to the APS community that has given me so much.”

Learn about Dr. du Toit’s work on her faculty web page and at the WSU NWREC website. Learn more about APS here.

STEM opportunities abound in agriculture fields

By Carmen Chandler, CAHNRS Academic Programs

Washington State University’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences explores and conducts research in plants, soils, and pests to identify best practices to improve crops and cropping systems. Crop and Soil Sciences strive to make foods safer, healthier, and more sustainable.

The department provides a wide variety of opportunities for students seeking STEM degrees. Opportunities range from lab, field, technology, education, and greenhouse employment. The multidisciplinary education within crop and soil sciences allows students to learn a broad set of skills to take with them into the workforce.

Hannah Peha sits in a field surrounded by bright yellow canola flowers.
Hannah Peha in a canola field.

WSU Crop and Soil Science professor Arron Carter hires students from his classes to participate in several campus job opportunities. These opportunities are not exclusive to soil science majors. Carter encourages any student with an interest in agriculture to search for opportunities early in their college career.

“I would be hard pressed not to find an opportunity for any student who has an interest in agriculture,” Carter said.

Hands-on opportunities allow students to discover the interdisciplinary learning behind various jobs in the Crop and Soil Sciences field. Technology is a key resource. Students have built equipment and assisted Carter with piloting drones on the field.

Carter believes the biggest misconception students find with his field is that they won’t be able to use their knowledge in multiple careers.

Hannah Peha, a junior Agricultural Biotechnology student, believes something similar: “I don’t think people realize the number of opportunities that there are in Crop and Soil Sciences.”

Hannah currently works as an undergraduate researcher for a barley breeder in the WSU greenhouse laboratory. She is involved in a pathology project working to identify a gene in barley that allows the pathogen to cause an infection in the plant. The research at WSU piqued her interest, and her goal is earning a Ph.D. in plant science before pursuing work in a laboratory.

Hannah took Carter’s plant breeding class, Crop Science 445, and is set to complete an internship at Columbia University this summer. She advises students who are interested in STEM to consider Crop and Soil Sciences.

“If you want to be in a profession that helps people and not necessarily go into medicine, agriculture is the way to go,” Hannah said.

The Crop and Soil Science department is versatile, with many hands-on and applied programs that span many research areas. Professors have a range of connections that can aid students in finding jobs and internships outside of the university.

Arron Carter

Carter advises students to engage in any hands-on opportunity they can. Using jobs or internships in education can allow students to discover the different areas within the field. Carter frequently finds himself collaborating with many different professors and researchers across a wide variety of specialties. Students engaging in these opportunities graduate from WSU with a broad set of tools and knowledge that will help them discover future careers.

WSU’s Lind Field Day returns June 16

Crop tour
Professor and Endowed Chair Drew Lyon points out the differences between similar weeds at a previous Lind crop tour. Returning this summer, WSU crop tours let Washington growers see research in action.

Growers can learn about the latest research on crops and practices for dryland farming at the 104th annual Lind Field Day, Thursday, June 16, 2022, at Washington State University’s Lind Dryland Research Station.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with field tours starting at 9 a.m. A complimentary lunch and program will follow the tours.

Research presentations will focus on WEEDit sprayer technology; winter, club, and spring wheat breeding; pennycress research; and wheat diseases and the Plant Diagnostic Clinic.

WSU administrators will speak during the noon program. State legislature and wheat industry leaders will also provide updates.  An ice cream social will follow.

The Lind Field Day is free and open to the public. Washington pesticide recertification credits have been requested.

For more information, contact Samantha Crow, WSU administrative assistant, at (509) 660-0108 or by e-mail at

Students learn the ropes of ag education careers at regional conference

Anderson and Duim Ag Education
WSU Ag Education students Ruby Anderson, left, and Morgan Duim share ideas for career development activities during the “Ideas Unlimited” workshop at this spring’s regional agricultural education conference.

Sharing ideas as they learned how to launch their own careers as teachers, nine Washington State University agricultural education students attended the National Association of Agricultural Educators regional conference, April 27-29 in Blaine, Wash.

Students Ruby Anderson, Kathleen Chadwick, Sandra Crook, Morgan Duim, Julia Layland, Kaylee Mcghan, Mackenzie McGary, Michael Ramirez Martinez, and Rachael Shrauger joined peers and teachers from 11 western states at the regional conference.

Engaging with teachers from across the west through industry tours, professional development workshops, business meetings, and networking opportunities, students attended the Future Agriculture Teacher Symposium, which explores topics that help educators enter the profession.

“This experience is an excellent opportunity for our students to engage in the professional community they will be entering, and build a network of peers and mentors who will support them through their career,” said Anna Warner, WSU Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education.
Three WSU students led workshops for teachers: Schrauger led “Mentorship for Success,” while Anderson and Layland led “Designing Course Websites.”

“The goal was to give teachers a way to connect technology to their class,” said Anderson, who will attend the Washington Association of Agricultural Education conference this summer, begin student teaching this fall, and plans to graduate in the spring 2023.

“I am beyond excited to use what I have learned and grow the connections I have made in the next few years of teaching,” she added. “It’s so clear how the older generation of ag teachers want the newer to succeed. There are always people in the profession who want to help you.”

Taking part in a Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) workshop, Ramirez Martinez shared and listened to innovative ideas that help teachers develop supervised agricultural experiences for their high schoolers.

“A school-based co-op is a great way for students to learn real-life skills,” said Ramirez, who offered the example of a summer rabbit co-operative from his hometown of Elma, Wash.

“This conference has given a lot of information that I can use in and out of the classroom,” he added.

NAAE advocates for agricultural education, provides professional development, and helps recruit and retain educators in the profession. Learn more on the NAAE homepage.

Latest Extension guides: Irrigated agriculture, vineyard pests, and hop farming

Field irrigationThe latest new and revised guides from WSU Extension help agricultural producers understand how to improve irrigated farming in south-central Washington; manage vineyard insect pests; and learn how to establish a strong hops farm.

New publications

Overview of Irrigated Agriculture in Benton County (TB81E)

Intended for farm producers, agencies, and partners, this publication is part of a series exploring irrigation system efficiency across five Washington counties.

Irrigated agriculture in central Washington is limited by the semiarid climate and water competition. A data-based approach can help farmers optimize crop yield and farm profitability, while efficient irrigation management can help reduce water waste, save energy, and maintain healthy soil.

Authors include Sylvi Thortenson, Don McMoran, Abdelmoneim Mohamed, Kate Seymour, and R. Troy Peters.

Revised guides

Field Guide for Integrated Pest Management in Pacific Northwest Vineyards (PNW644), $33.

In the second edition of this 160-page guide, experts update pest management practices for established pests and provide new information on emerging pests and diseases.

To produce high-quality wine and juice grapes, effective pest management is essential. The heart of the guide describes individual pests and disorders including insects, diseases, nematodes, and weeds, and share recommendations for management.

Hop bud2020 Estimated Costs of Establishing and Producing Conventional and Organic Hops in the Pacific Northwest

One of the key ingredients in beer, hops are grown commercially in the Pacific Northwest, the hub of U.S. production. Authored by economist Suzette Galinato, this study is a general guide for evaluating the feasibility of establishing and producing conventional and organic hops in the Pacific Northwest, with a capital and machinery endowment suited to a 660-acre hop farm.

See all recent new and revised WSU Extension Publications here.

April 23: Insect Expo event teaches public about bugs

WSU’s Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) hosts their annual public Insect Expo to introduce and educate the community about insects. The event features live insects people can handle, a pollinator table, hissing roach races, and other fun activities. This is free event for both kids and adults. Come learn more about bugs!

Two students sit at a table with cockroaches crawling on their hands. A sign on the table says  'cockroach derby'.
Madagascar hissing cockroaches are a popular attraction at the Insect Expo.

EGSA students will also be selling honey, t-shirts, hats, stickers, and more. Bring your kids, roommates, partners, and friends to play with some bugs. All the insects are non-biting and pretty cute. The Palouse Conservation District will be there talking about their upcoming City Nature Challenge.

The event is Saturday, April 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in WSU’s Ensminger Pavilion.

Keep your lawn green, bring community to the farm with new WSU Extension guides

Farm Walk
A Farm Walk in action.

The latest new guides from WSU Extension explain how to hold a Farm Walk, and help Washington homeowners save water while maintaining a healthy, green lawn.

Revised guides offer detailed crop protection and pest management advice for tree fruit and grape growers.

The WSU Extension bookstore offers a searchable library of knowledge on agriculture, 4-H, natural resources, 4-H, family and home, apparel design, and more.

New publications include:

Learning Agroecology on the Land: Holding a Farm Walk (FS371E)

WSU Extension worked with the Tilth Producers of Washington to launch a series of interactive farmer-to-farmer workshops, called “Farm Walks,” on the state’s leading organic farms. After 15 years and more than 150 Farm Walks, experts draw on evaluations and organizers’ experiences to develop guidelines and share insights with others who may want to offer these programs. Authors include Anne Schwartz, Katherine Smith, Doug Collins, and Marcia Ostrom.

Manage Water by Adjusting Lawn Sprinkler Run Time: Instructions for the Columbia Basin of Washington State (FS372E)

Irrigating to maintain a lawn while also reducing water use is a challenging task. Compared to a uniform farm field, lawns are often a mixture of grass, shrubs, and trees, with shaded and sunny areas that vary by season, slopes, and soil types—all of which affect the water that plants need. Seasonal adjustments with an automatic controller will save money on water bills, maintain your lawn, and conserve water; easy-to-follow steps are included. Authored by WSU Extension Agronomist Andy McGuire.

Revised editions

Pest Management Guide for Grapes in Washington (EB0762)

This newly revised guide covers control of diseases, insects, weeds, and vertebrate pests on commercial grapes. Weed controls are outlined for new and established plantings, while disease and insect controls are coordinated to pest and crop stage. Authored by WSU/Extension, WSDA, and USDA scientists; section coordinators include Rachel Bomberger, Wendy Sue Wheeler, Tim Miller, Doug Walsh, Gwen Hoheisel, Inga Zasada, Michelle Moyer, Naidu Rayapati, and Prashant Swamy. Cost is $9.50.


Crop Protection Guide for Tree Fruits in Washington (EB0419)

Revised for 2022, this publication outlines examples of pesticides registered on orchard insect, disease, and weed pests in Washington state, and includes efficacy charts. Cost is $21.50.


See all recent new and revised WSU Extension Publications here.

Photo gallery: Vital creations snag awards at 2022 AMDT Fashion Show

Skelton collection
Pepper Family Best in Show Award Winner Grace Skelton with her models and collection: “Ephemeral Autumn.”

Showcasing dozens of collections themed around life, renewal, and change, students in the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles presented the 39th annual WSU Fashion Show to a live audience, April 1 at Beasley Coliseum.

The show featured 14 senior designers from the Class of 2022, junior and sophomore class-created designs, as well as fashions by one 2021 senior who was not able to show works in last year’s virtual event.

Titled “Vitality,” the fashion show was organized by an all-AMDT student production class, and featured roughly 50 models recruited from the community and trained to walk on the runway.

Senior collections explored dozens of ideas: personality, exuberance, elegance, breaking limits, utility, humanity, mental health, Pacific Northwest trails, and the colors of the dawn.

Nine seniors won show awards for their creations:

  • Rising Star Award: Angelique Attalah
  • Social Awareness Award: Ciara MacDonald
  • Craftsmanship Award: Stone Duran
  • Diversity Award: Sydney Jensen
  • Visual Impact: Joseline Davila
  • Most Innovative Designer and Department Chair’s Choice Award: Keyondra White
  • Cutting Edge Award and Associate Dean’s Choice Award: Gene Brown
  • Most Marketable Collection and Dean’s Choice Award: Colby Van Dyk
  • Mollie Pepper Family Best of Show Award: Grace Skelton

View an album with more photos on the CAHNRS Flickr photostream.


Keyondra White
Keyondra White comes on stage for her collection, “All You: Unlocked.”

Model in white gown
A model shows one of the 2022 AMDT student-designed fashions.

Edeza-Rodriguez collection and models
Kasandra Edeza-Rodriguez with her model team and collection, “Nuestro Nivel.”

Gomez fashion group
Senior designer Luis Gomez, center in black, with his untitled collection, referencing earth tones, military silhouettes, and plenty of pockets.

Van Dyk with models and bouquet
Colby Van Dyk and her floral, pink-inspired collection, “Dianthus.”

Models with Mercedes Pinnell
Mercedes Pinnell joins models for her collection, “Sole.”

Stone Duran group
Stone Duran with his fashions, titled “Chrysanthemum.”

Sydney Jensen collection with models
Sydney Jensen with her collection, EOS, or “Of the Dawn.”

All You: Unlocked
Keyondra White’s full collection.

Gene collection AMDT Fashion Show
Gene Brown with her modeled collection, “Quiet Opulence.”

Brooks, center, with five models
Amiah Brooks, center, with models showing her bright, rhinestone-jeweled collection, “No Limits.”

Fashion models with Silva, standing
Isaac Silva shares his collection, “Broken Trails.”

Models with designer, on stage.
Ciara MacDonald with her designs, “Saving Grace.”

Joseline Davila and her collection, “The Starter Pack,” fashionable utility wear for females.

Production Crew
The AMDT Fashion Show Production Crew is thanked on stage.