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Agriculture

If you have a hunch that this has been a very dry spring, then we may have some data to back you up. According to Bob Barry, a technician for CAF, "we are having the driest March + April + May since 1930, and, possibly since 1893." The total precipitation for all of March through May was only 1.2 inches; a far bit less than our average 5.3 inches (Figure 1). Figure 1: March, ...

At the Palouse Conservation Field Station, located near Pullman, WA, plot studies with treatments that include multiple tillage operations and no residue exhibited large losses of soil and water in surface runoff, whereas direct-seed treatments have shown negligible runoff and erosion. Direct seeding reduces energy costs, loss of precipitation to runoff, and provides off-site ...

(Part 1 of 2) The greater Palouse Region is unique in many ways. The landscapes and average rainfall vary greatly across the area. There are many a day out in the field where one of us will say, “well if it was flat, we could do this…”. Farming in this region does not benefit from any flat fields worth mentioning, and the CAF LTAR site is no exception. Historically, this has p ...

With harvest season comes interesting work at the Cook Agronomy Farm. To illustrate, here's a fun image by Larry McGrew of one of our combines after the changing of the concave grate and upper sieve from 16 mm wheat concave and sieve to a 6 mm concave grate and sieve for millet and canola. ...

David Huggins, our research leader, was asked to give a presentation about CAF during a recent Long-Term Agroecological Research network meeting. You can view a recording below: (click here if the below video does not play) ...

I've found that, sometimes, the work that we do here at the Cook Agronomy Farm, well it may take a very long time to see the power of it, if at all. Sometimes, it can be a little discouraging in fact. The Palouse Conservation Field Station has been collecting Acid Rain data since August 20, 1985. Our own Bob Barry has been doing it since 1995. For those of you that ran out of f ...

During the previous DataCAFe, PhD candidate Milica Radanovic lead a discussion on her thesis work while fending off rabid committee members and lively collaborators. A summary of her thesis, in her words, is below. Environmental impacts on the nitrogen cycle as a physical process creating or depleting pools of reactive nitrogen in soil has been greatly explored. A general unde ...

During CAF LTAR's DataCAFe, Qiuping (Ellen) Peng led a discussion on different methods of calculating mean residence time (MRT) of soil organic matter. After much discussion and merriment, Ellen then tried to steer the crowd towards a discussion on how to relate MRT to flux data from EC towers. Her write up is below. Understanding the turnover rate of soil organic carbon (SOC) ...

Deciding whether or not to plant a spring crop is a difficult decision.  A spring crop could bring in some much needed revenue and help reduce soil erosion, but could also deplete soil moisture. A critical reduction in soil moisture could ultimately impact winter wheat yields.  To add more tools to your decision making tool-belt, we've generated a few maps to help you make that ...