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Faculty, growers meet to prioritize oilseed research

Posted by | April 1, 2016

Prioritizing canola and oilseed research and Extension needs, the annual Washington State Oilseed Cropping Systems (WOCS) project meeting was held March 1 at the Lewis Alumni Centre on the Pullman campus.

Canola growers, industry, WSU and University of Idaho faculty, state agency representatives, the Washington Oilseeds Commission, and a visiting scientist from Columbia attended. Faculty and graduate students summarized their 2015 research and Extension projects and outlined research continuing in 2016.

Dr. Rich Koenig speaks to stakeholders, emphasizes tools and outreach in delivering oilseed data to growers and industry.
Dr. Rich Koenig speaks to stakeholders at the WOCS project meeting, emphasizing tools and outreach in delivering oilseed data to growers and industry.

Jim Moyer, Associate Dean of CAHNRS and Director of the Agricultural Research Center, gave his perspectives about how the WOCS project has contributed to the overall goals of CAHNRS and the ARC, and the positive return on the state funds invested in the project since 2007. He further emphasized the need to use these funds as seed money to garner additional grant funding to address the goals of the project.

Rich Koenig, Associate Dean and Director, WSU Extension, emphasized the importance of Extension publications, decision tools, workshops and other outreach in delivering the data and information generated by the WOCS team to stakeholders, particularly growers and industry. As Interim Chair of Crop and Soil Sciences, Koenig noted that Bill Pan, faculty leader of the WOCS project, had expressed his intention to retire. CAHNRS will begin searching for a new faculty lead of the WOCS project this year to allow ample time to transition responsibilities of this program.

Looking ahead

In the afternoon, the group gathered input on important topics for the WOCS team to address in 2016-17, to improve and increase oilseed production in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest. Topics were organized into a list of priorities for both research and Extension that ranged from developing a Pacific Northwest canola growers guide to evaluating feed quality of canola forage.

Stakeholders tour a spring canola field in 2015.
Stakeholders tour a spring canola field in 2015.

“To approach the priorities successfully, we will certainly need to rely on collaborative efforts within the WOCS team, and between WOCS faculty and students, growers, industry, WSU, UI, and Oregon State University,” commented Pan.

The WOCS project currently involves 14 WSU and USDA-ARS research and Extension faculty, six technicians, and seven graduate students from Crop & Soil Sciences, Plant Pathology, School of Economic Sciences, and Animal Sciences.

Click here to view the presentations from the meeting.