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Science in action to improve the sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and food systems
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Investigator: Burke, I.

Tracking the Tango Between Tillage, Soil Health, and Weeds

Tillage is a crucial stage in annual agricultural systems that terminates overwintering vegetation, incorporates plant residues, and prepares the soil for crops. These activities degrade…

Using alternative host plants to improve accuracy of forecasting models for pest aphids

Aphids are abundant, outbreaking insect herbivores that can deal considerable economic damage to cereals and legumes due to pathogens they transmit. While aphid-virus outbreaks can…

Rotating out of weeds and into soil health: Optimizing cover crops in three Columbia Basin organic production systems

Weeds cause extensive loss in agricultural production and are particularly damaging in organic systems. Control generally relies on mechanical cultivation which reduces soil carbon, decimates…

Quantifying the Weed Seedbank Using Quantitative PCR and Soil Community Analysis

Quantification of  weed seedbanks is essential for the evaluation and improvement of integrated weed management systems by farmers and integral in the Sustaining Resources Grand…

Breaking bindweed: Can plant growth regulators disrupt apical dominance, deplete a persistent bud bank, and improve the control of perennial weed species in specialty crops?

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is notoriously difficult to manage in specialty crop systems, particularly those under organic production. Perennial species possess the abundant nutrient reserves…

Sustainable Crop-Livestock Integration for System Health in the Dryland Inland Pacific Northwest

Dryland wheat-fallow producers have begun switching to a direct seed tillage system for soil health benefits such as reduced runoff, increased water infiltration, increased consistency…

Interrow cultivation and intercropping for organic transition in dryland crop production systems

Protecting wheat during the transition to organic production and managing soil nitrogen during the organic production phase represent major impediments to increasing organic acreage. We…

Intercropping, Precision Weed Management, and Pea Breeding for Organic and Conventional Cropping Systems

Research conducted in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 growing seasons had three main components: a winter wheat-winter pea intercropping study, developing an inter-row cultivator with precision…

Low Disturbance Weed Control in Organic Dryland Cropping Systems

Strategies to Achieve Ecological and Economic Goals in the Transition Phase of Eastern Washington Organic Dryland Grain Production