Buckwheat is a common summer cover crop in western Washington (WWA) that provides exceptional weed suppression and pollinator support to crop rotations. However, buckwheat is rarely grown to seed in WWA due to lack of access to high performing and characterized varieties. Release of high-yielding public varieties could transform the value of buckwheat in rotation, allowing producers to gain the ecological benefits of a cover crop and recoup production costs through seed sales. This project aims to i) evaluate the agroecological (weed suppression, pollinator support) and agronomic performance of newly-developed Washington State University buckwheat lines bred for seed production in multisite variety trials and a small-scale producer field day and ii) assess the relative importance of buckwheat agroecological and agronomic functions for WWA producers in a written survey. We hypothesize i) that locally adapted breeding lines will exhibit substantial tradeoffs between agroecological and agronomic performance and that ii) both agroecological and agronomic performance will be important to producers interested in growing buckwheat for seed. Results will inform the best use (i.e., cover crop, seed production, multifunctional) for existing advanced breeding lines and guide future buckwheat breeding efforts to meet producer needs.
- Principal Investigator(s): Breslauer, R., Goldberger, J., Griffin LaHue, D., Jones, S., Murphy, K.
- Grant Amount: $39,979