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WSU at Benaroya Hall, Ag Leases, Biofuels

Posted by | August 22, 2007

WSU at Benaroya Hall

You are cordially invited to a special celebration of 50 of the finest research, outreach, and teaching programs of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and WSU Extension. Join WSU President Elson S. Floyd, your colleagues, and our community-based partners at “WSU at Benaroya Hall: In Concert with Communities.”

Music to the Mouth – More than 15 of the Seattle area’s best-loved restaurants and chefs are preparing a mouth-watering menu for our enjoyment. They’re using foods supplied by the farmers, ranchers and fishers who work side-by-side with WSU faculty to sustain agriculture and natural resources. Enjoy dishes prepared by Tom Douglas Restaurants, Sitka & Spruce, Wolfgang Puck, Rover’s, Barking Frog, 0/8 Seafood Grill, Stumbling Goat, Café Flora, and many more favorites!

The Harmony of Partnership – We’re showcasing dozens of our faculty and their exceptional programs. Each faculty member is bringing a community-based partner—an agricultural producer, small business owner, school district or non-profit representative—who collaborates with WSU. You’ll hear with your own ears the impact that WSU has in communities across state.

Perfect Pitch – If you’ve ever had trouble explaining “The WSU Difference” to your friends, family members, elected officials—to anyone—then be sure to invite them to this event. It will be a memorable evening of conversation and great food. And, this is a kid-friendly event, so bring your future Cougars, too!

Space is limited. Register now at

Seattle Skyline

“In Concert with Community”: Join us at Benaroya Hall in Seattle for a showcase event featuring CAHNRS and WSU Extension faculty, their community partners, and some of the region’s finest chefs.

Landlords Want to Cash in On Record Wheat Prices

When wheat prices were low, WSU farm business economist Herb Hinman heard from tenant farmers in eastern Washington who were having trouble making ends meet under the terms of their lease agreements. Now that tenants are reaping the rewards of $6 per bushel wheat, he is hearing a different tune from landlords.

“Many want to change the rental arrangements to get a larger share. If you’ve got a fair and equitable crop lease at low prices,” Hinman said, “that same crop share lease is fair at high prices. Everyone is making more money.”

About half of the wheat land in eastern Washington is farmed under some sort of lease arrangement, according to the economist. While crop share leases, in which landlords receive a predetermined share of the crop at harvest, predominate, cash leases are becoming more popular.

For more information, please visit WSU Agriculture: For more on crop leases, check out Extension Bulletin 1981E, “Analyzing Dryland Crop Leases,” available free online at

Farm business economist Herb Hinman talks with a WSU student.

Grant Enables Biofuels Soil-impact Study

WSU’s Precision Agricultural Systems has received a three-year, $395,000 grant from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study how biofuel crop production affects soil conditions.

“Corn acreage is expected to increase 15 percent by 2008, largely due to corn prices driven by corn ethanol demand that already exceed any previous record price,” said Francis J. Pierce, director of the center. “No one knows how the mass production and removal of biofuel crops will affect the soil and production of these crops.”

Over the next three years, WSU researchers will work with USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists at Prosser, WA, and Pendelton, Ore., to study how changes in crop production practices associated with growing crops for energy production will impact soil quality and ecosystem health.

For more information, please visit WSU Agriculture:

WSU Center for Precision Agriculture director Fran Pierce standing in a test plot of corn.