Soil Carbon Dynamics and Climate Change Mitigation in the Inland Pacific Northwest
Increasing soil carbon sequestration through changes in agricultural management has been highlighted as one of the most significant ways that agriculture can contribute to global mitigation of climate change. This webinar examines the potential for soil carbon sequestration in the Inland Pacific Northwest. Join WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR) Research Associate, Georgine Yorgey, for a look at some of the experimental and modeling data available in this region, and a discussion of the implications for mitigation through agricultural soil carbon sequestration. View this webinar if you are curious about how agricultural soil carbon sequestration can contribute to climate change mitigation in the Pacific Northwest.
Anaerobic Digestion: Beyond Waste Management
A new 7.5 minute video produced by CSANR shows how state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion systems can offer multiple benefits to society. Organic waste, be it municipal or industrial solids and liquids or manure, has long been a source of air and water pollution as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Anaerobic digestion, a biological process of breaking down organic waste material, is no longer used only to reduce odors and produce electrical power. When centered within a system of complementary technologies anaerobic digestion offers much more. Working with commercial partners, researchers at Washington State University have transformed an environmental concern in agriculture into an environmental, economic, and social solution. WSU researchers have expanded the capacity of anaerobic digestion to address problems of nutrient management, to produce transportation fuels, and much more.
Celebrating 20 Years of Science for Sustainability
CSANR has been focused on sustainable agricultural research for the past 20 years. This video highlights how far the Center has come and what the needs are into the future.
Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Pacific Northwest
Understanding the greenhouse gas impacts of agriculture depends on how emissions are inventoried. This webinar covered different types of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions inventories, globally and in the Pacific Northwest. It also provided a brief overview of the mitigation potential from agriculture.
What do we currently know about the impacts of climate change on Pacific Northwest cropland agriculture?
A changing climate will likely affect each of the highly diverse agricultural systems found in the Pacific Northwest, from extensive rain-fed cereal grain farming systems to intensive horticultural production systems dependent on irrigation. WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture Natural Resources (CSANR) Director, Chad Kruger, explores how early research findings indicate that climate change may affect crop production in the Pacific Northwest. This webinar also highlights some of the ongoing research in the region that will provide additional scientific insight into this question during the next several years.
New study shows pesticide use rises as herbicide-resistant weeds undermine performance of major GE crops
Oct 1 2012 - A study published this week by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops — cotton, soybeans and corn — has actually increased. This counterintuitive finding is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. Benbrook’s analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HT) crops on pesticide use.
Carbon storage and nitrous oxide emissions of cropping systems in eastern Washington: A simulation study
Stöckle, C., S. Higgins, A. Kemanian, R. Nelson, D. Huggins, J. Marcos, and H. Collins. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 2012 67(5):365-377; doi:10.2489/jswc.67.5.365.
Soil carbon sequestration in the dryland cropping region of the Pacific Northwest
Brown, T.T., and D.R. Huggins. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 2012 67(5):406-415; doi:10.2489/jswc.67.5.406.
Renewable Natural Gas and Nutrient Recovery Feasibility for DeRuyter Dairy
May 2012. Coppedge, B., G. Coppedge, D. Evans, J. Jensen, K. Scanlan, B. Scanlan, P. Weisberg and C. Frear. An anaerobic digester case study for alternative outtake markets and remediation of nutrient loading concerns within the region. A report to Washington State Department of Commerce.
Understanding and Communicating Climate Science - Webinar
A Webinar Series for Natural Resource Extension Educators.
Dryland Organic Agriculture Symposium recordings now available
At the Tilth Producers of Washington Conference in November 2011, WSU hosted a Dryland Organic Agriculture Symposium. The presentations and keynote from that symposium were recorded and are now available for online viewing.
Why aren't we talking more about the sustainability of water?
CSANR director Chad Kruger gives his perspective on the sustainability of water in his latest post.
Global Climate Change
Weddell, B., L. Carpenter-Boggs, and S. Higgins. June 2012. FS069E. Washington State University researchers have taken a departure from the regionally focused, applied-science extension publication to write a fact sheet on the science, debate and challenges of global climate change.
2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium 2012
eOrganic conducted live broadcasts from the the 2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium in Leavenworth, Washington on June 19 and 21, 2012. The recorded presentations from this symposium will be of interest to researchers, Extension professionals, growers, consultants, suppliers, and retailers who wish to learn the latest developments in the worldwide organic fruit supply chain. Presentation abstracts are also available.
Climate Change FAQs - 3
Chad Kruger, CSANR Director. The third in a series of website posts addressing frequently asked questions about climate change and agriculture.
Northwest Soil Science: Nitrogen Mineralization
Soil Scientist Doug Collins published an article on Readthedirt.org that explains his research on how and when soil nutrients are available to crops.
Reduced Tillage in on Organic Farms Virtual Field Day
WSU researchers and extension educators are researching different methods for reducing tillage in organic vegetable production. This video demonstrates termination of barley and vetch cover crops with a roller/crimper and flail mower.
Climate Change: what does the science really tell us?
A narrated Extension PowerPoint on climate science and climate change. The presentation was prepared by Craig Cogger at WSU Puyallup and covers the basics of climate science, evidence of climate change, projections of future climate change, and mitigation strategies. The presentation consists of 10 parts, each about five minutes long, so that it can be viewed in short sittings.
Climate Solutions blog highlights REACCH Project
Patrick Mazza of Climate Solutions discusses the REACCH Project (Regional Approaches to Climate Change) on his organization's blog. REACCH is a multi-institutional $20,000,000 research effort aimed at understanding 1) How farming in the region can become more economically and environmentally sustainable under anticipated climate changes, and 2) How farming can help stem climate change by reducing and soaking greenhouse gas emissions.
Know Soils, Know Life
Dig It! The Secrets of Soil Lecture Series coming this spring to the MAC.
Struvite as a Phosphorus Fertilizer Source for Greenhouse Crop Production
This webinar highlights recent research by Rita Hummel of WSU on struvite as a phosphorus source for greenhouse production of bedding plants and vegetable starts. Her research includes struvite derived from municipal wastewater and dairy manure. Craig Cogger opened the webinar with a brief overview of the phosphorus challenge. After Rita’s presentation of greenhouse research results, Keith Bowers discussed struvite production as one phosphorus removal technology for wastewater at livestock, food processing, and public sewage treatment sites. The webinar closed with a brief summary by Craig and an open question period.
Irrigated Ag Information Service
A new WSU Extension website for agricultural industry professionals is designed to provide users witha customizable source of timely information on all aspects of irrigated agriculture. The service is completely free and was developed by a team of WSU Extension irrigation and agronomy experts.
Organic Farming Research Foundation highlights newly funded CSANR field research aimed at helping organic growers increase their yields while decreasing nitrogen impacts on surrounding waterways
This year, with funding from OFRF, researchers from WSU will conduct field tests to help match the requirements of a variety of crops with the amount of natural fertilizer needed for maximum productivity. The overall goal of the project is for farmers to reduce the use of fertilizers, saving money and prevent unused nutrients from washing into nearby streams or rivers.
WSU scientist Kevin Murphy is featured by Capital Press
Kevin Murphy's research on quinoa is highlighted by Capital Press in a Dec. 1st article. Murphy's quinoa work is funded in part by CSANR BIOAg project grant funds.
Colleen Donovan of the Small Farms Program is honored as "Advocate of the Year" by Tilth Producers of WA!
During the 2011 Tilth Producers of Washington conference in Yakima, WA, Colleen Donovan was honored for her work developing and supporting Washington’s sustainable agriculture community.
Can we grow more nutritious fruits and vegetables using organic farming methods?
Organic farmers have claimed for years that better quality soils produce more nutritious foods, but until recently scientific evidence for such claims has been wanting. Recent research of organic farming systems provides some evidence that this claim may be true under certain circumstances. Detractors of organic farming claim that the only reason why organic crops may at times have more phytonutrients than conventional crops is that organic crops are exposed to more stresses. This may be because of the lower nutrient availability of organically approved fertilizers or injury caused by pests and pathogens because of limitations on the pesticides that can be used. To evaluate the claims both for and against, research comparing organic and conventional farming systems are presented, along with a discussion of ways in which more nutritious fruits and vegetables can be grown.
Climate Change webinars (parts 1 & 2)
We hear about climate change from the media, but the information can be confusing and politically charged. WSU soil scientist Craig Cogger presented two-part a webinar series to cut through the confusion and understand the science of climate change. View Part 1, What does the science really tell us about past and current climate trends? HERE. View Part 2, Climate models, skepticism, and our response to climate disruption HERE.
Waste recycling solution creates energy, jobs
SPOKANE, Wash. - WSU News highlights a project combining the city of Spokane’s garbage, a little expertise from WSU’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering, and some engineering support from Ch2MHill. The result: 40,000 tons of recycled waste and 15 new jobs.
New fact sheets and narrated presentations on vegetable grafting now available
WSU scientist Carol Miles and her program have been studying vegetable grafting as a means to increase tomato, watermelon and eggplant productivity in the field and greenhouse. Grafting of vegetables is about 1500 years old and today is used in over 90% of production of some of these crops in Asia. Grafting is relatively new to the U.S. but is quickly gaining use especially in greenhouse tomato production. To access fact sheets and presentations, visit the vegetable grafting website here.
Find Extracting valuable energy, carbon and nutrient resources from organic waste
WSU scientists have conducted extensive research on Anaerobic Digestion (AD) as a technology for recovery of methane (energy), stable carbon, and nutrients from organic wastes such as manure, food processing wastes and the organic fraction of municipal solid wastes (OFMSW). Our research has evaluated the technical and economic performance of commercially available systems, developed improved AD reactors, and commercialized WSU patented nutrient recovery technology. This webinar, presented by CSANR director Chad Kruger and CSANR scientist Craig Frear, will provide an update on the latest results from the WSU Climate Friendly Farming Project’s AD research.
Helping Sustain Agriculture in Africa
WSU scientist Lynne Carpenter-Boggs is working with an international group of scientists to help find bean varieties and microbial inoculates that will improve yields on the ancient soils that farms in many parts of Africa must contend with. Dr. Carpenter-Boggs took a Flip camera to Africa and shot some wonderful footage of farms, people and animals.
How family forest landowners in the Pacific Northwest perceive climate change
Private forest landowners in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere face the same challenges as public land managers with regard to changing forest conditions. However, little is known regarding the understanding family forest landowners have about climate change and the potential impacts on how they manage their forests. Consequently, the degree to which private landowners are prepared to respond effectively is unknown. To make sure new research and extension programming related to climate change and western forests is as useful as possible for family forest owners, researchers at three universities conducted a needs assessment in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to determine family forest owners’ perceptions, understanding, and educational needs regarding the impact of climate change on their forests. The Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Idaho reports are linked here, as well as an executive summary of the Idaho report.
The Northwest Biocarbon Initiative launches video featuring eastern Washington farmer John Aeschliman
The Northwest Biocarbon Initiative aims to galvanize farmers, foresters, community leaders, and thinkers to demonstrate the essential role that natural systems can play in ensuring long-term climate stability. The Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources is part of this collaboration with several of the Northwest’s leading conservation organizations who see this effort as a logical extension of our region’s rich natural resource heritage and our history of groundbreaking innovation and stewardship. This week’s launch includes a video and story featuring eastern Washington no-till farmer, John Aeschliman.
Those Nasty Weeds - Why Not Control Naturally with Livestock
Managed grazing update provided by Extension Educator Steve Van Vleet. Sept 2011.
IGERT N Course Announcement
“Nitrogen Cycling in Earth’s Systems” is a new interdisciplinary 500-level course addressing nitrogen dynamics in terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric systems. The course will provide a fundamental understanding of important nitrogen transformations and processes in natural and managed systems and their responses to human activities.
CSANR soils and climate change research featured in Washington State Magazine
The Fall 2011 edition of Washington State Magazine highlights soils research in the feature article: "A Fine Thin Skin - wind, water, volcanoes and ice" and climate change research in the feature article: "Above and Beyond."
Anaerobic Co-Digestion on Dairies in Washington State - The solid waste handling permit exemption
WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS040E. Yorgey, G., C. Kruger, K. Steward, C. Frear, & N. Mena. August 2011.
WSU Extension will host Beef, Lamb, and Pork courses in Sumner, WA this summer. The short courses are designed for beginning farmers but are also an excellent energizer for experienced food animal producers to expand opportunities and sustainability of their current livestock operation.
For additional information contact: Jan Busboom, WSU Meat Specialist, (509)335-2880 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Sarah M. Smith, Area Animal Science Educator, (509)754-2011, Ext 413 or email@example.com; More information and registration forms are available on the WSU Animal Agriculture web page at http://animalag.wsu.edu under “Upcoming Events”.
WSU Online Organic Agriculture Certificate
AgCareers newsletter article showcases the WSU Organic Agriculture Online Certificate.
Conventionalization, civic engagement, and the sustainability of organic agriculture
Goldberger, J. 2011. Journal of Rural Studies 27(3):288-296.
Overview of Biomass Pyrolysis Technologies - Historical developments and potential for the production of bio-char, advances fuels and high value chemicals
Recorded webinar (online presentation) from June 1st, 2011 by Manuel Garcia-Perez, PhD; Assistant Professor, Biological Systems Engineering. The reactors used for biomass pyrolysis can be classified into slow and fast pyrolysis. While slow pyrolysis reactors are mainly used to produce charcoal, fast pyrolysis is the technology of choice to maximize bio-oil yields. Yields as high as 80 wt can be obtained with this technology. During the webinar historical developments and potential of pyrolysis technologies for the production of bio-char, advanced fuels and high value chemicals are discussed.
Methyl bromide alternatives: researchers investigate antifungus soil agents
PULLMAN, Wash. — Safe, cheap and effective alternatives for methyl bromide, long sought by nursery seedling growers and other farmers, may be on the horizon. Ongoing research at Washington State University into antifungal plant species and a diagnostic test could help growers phase out their use of methyl bromide, a soil fumigant that kills fungal pathogens.
Graduate Students 'NSPIRED' by Nitrogen Policy Research
WSU graduate student Christopher Gambino is measuring emissions of ammonia, a form of nitrogen released through cow excrement that causes an all-too-familiar smell when driving past a feedlot. Measuring ammonia emissions is a task mandated by the EPA, as too much ammonia in the atmosphere not only makes noses cringe but may also threaten biodiversity and the ecosystem. Gambino is using new technologies to help him pinpoint the amount of ammonia released from feedlots in Washington state and the correlation with the animals’ diets, weather conditions, and manure management.
WRDC Rural Connections Newsletter: Climate Change issue now available
Western Rural Development Center's Rural Connections Newsletter Climate Change issue contains three articles written by CSANR faculty and staff members. View the entire issue here (6 MB), or view the individual articles by clicking the titles here: Anaerobic Digestion in the Pacific Northwest; Climate Change and Family Forest Landowners in the Pacific Northwest: Attitudes & Understanding; Climate Change and Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest.
Entomologists Open New Frontiers to Aid Sustainable Future for Fruit Growers
In response to a study that found seven years to be the average period from the finish of research to its implementation, WSU entomologist and behavioral ecologist Vince Jones shook his head. “We just don’t have that kind of time.”
Authors seek sustainable farm policies, practices
PULLMAN, Wash. - A group of leading scientists, economists and farmers is calling for a broad shift in federal policies to speed the development of farm practices that are more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.
2011 Early Season Farm Walks
Registration is now open for WSU/Tilth Producers 2011 Early Season Farm Walks.
Climate Change FAQs - 2
Chad Kruger, CSANR Director. The second in a series of website posts addressing frequently asked questions about climate change and agriculture.
Climate Change, Grain Production is Focus of $20 Million Grant for U of I, WSU, OSU
PULLMAN, Wash. – Helping one of the largest wheat producing regions in the world mitigate and successfully adapt to climate change is the focus of research that scientists from the University of Idaho, Washington State University and Oregon State University will conduct with a five-year, $20 million grant from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture. NIFA officials announced the grant this morning along with two other $20 million awards to the University of Florida and Iowa State University. UI is the lead institution for the Pacific Northwest grant and will receive $8 million. WSU and USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists, also adjunct faculty at WSU, at Pullman will receive $8 million. OSU will receive $4 million.
Closing the recycling loop through organic amendments in agriculture and gardens
Recorded webinar (online presentation) from Jan 2011 by Craig Cogger, Crop and Soils Scientist and Extension Educator. This seminar discusses research and guidelines on soil amendment choices based on use, nitrogen availability, carbon sequestration potential, handling nutrient imbalances in organic amendments, and an update on herbicide issues in some composts.
Climate Change FAQs - 1
Chad Kruger, CSANR Director. The first in a series of website posts addressing frequently asked questions about climate change and agriculture.
WSU Extension Specialist's Article Captures Global Growth in Organic Horticulture
WENATCHEE, Wash. – Organic horticulture is growing in countries around the world, according to an article co-authored by Washington State University Extension educator David Granatstein.
World gets more organic: WSU article details global horticultural growth
WENATCHEE - Organic horticulture is growing in countries around the world, according to an article co-authored by WSU Extension educator David Granatstein and Elizabeth Kirby. Granatstein is a sustainable agriculture specialist in WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences; Kirby is a CSANR research associate.
Sociology of Agriculture and Food Systems
CRS 590; announcement for a WSU graduate course for Spring semester.
Greenhouse Gases and Agriculture: Where Does Organic Farming Fit?
Agriculture can be both a source and a sink for greenhouse gases. In this webinar, the presenters discuss these roles of agriculture, how management affects them, and ways in which organic farming systems in particular may influence greenhouse gases.
Green from the Ground Up - The Innovators Lecture
Featured lectures by CSANR Director Chad Kruger and researcher Lynne Carpenter-Boggs. PowerPoint presentation and video of event are available.
Diversity award to Ostrom, Small Farms Program
Marcy Ostrom, Small Farms Program Leader, was the recipient of the WSU Faculty Diversity Award in February 2010.
WSU and Organic Agriculture: Pioneering Farms of the Future
For over 30 years, Washington State University has been a pioneer in organic agricultural sciences. WSU was the first university in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree in organic agricultural production. WSU faculty are worldwide leaders in basic and applied scientific discoveries involving organic systems. Working with farmers throughout Washington, WSU teaching, research, and extension has helped to make the state one of the largest producers of organic/sustainable agricultural products in the country. However, WSU has not compiled the stories behind that work into a single document — until now. Learn more about the exciting and innovative research currently going on at WSU in the field of organic agriculture.
Climate Friendly Farming Final Report: Improving the Carbon Footprint of Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest
The WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources established the Climate Friendly Farming Project in 2003 with an initial grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.This report represents the culmination of research and assessment of the potential for improved management and technology deployment to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in the Pacific Northwest.
Surprising New Uses for Former CRP Land
2010. By Kathy Barnard in Connections Magazine (CAHNRS and WSU Extension Alumni and Friends publication).
WSU Climate Friendly Farming Team Wins National Innovation Award
The Washington State University Climate Friendly Farming Team has won a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Partnership Award for Innovative Program Models.
Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report: Use of Biochar from the Pyrolysis of Waste Organic Material as a Soil Amendment
David Granatstein, Chad Kruger, Hal Collins, Manuel Garcia-Perez, and Jonathan Yoder, September 2009. Biochars from different feedstocks were tested on five soils. Biochars on all soil types increased soil C. Biochar C was stable in soil with mean residence times estimated in the hundreds of years. Soil nitrate levels were reduced with increasing biochar rate perhaps due to ammonium adsorption. Biochar did not accelerate loss of indigenous organic matter through the ‘priming effect.′ Biochars raised soil pH, but did not lead to consistent plant growth improvements.