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Soil Fertility Webinars

December 14, 2020

Examining Causes of Low Falling Numbers in Wheat

Monday, December 14 9:00am - 9:50am PST

The Hagberg-Perten falling number (FN) test, is used to measure damage to wheat starch caused by the enzyme alpha-amylase.  Higher alpha-amylase causes lower FN. Buyers require an FN of 300 or higher because an FN below 300 is associated with risk of poor end-product quality like cakes that fall, sticky bread, and mushy noodles.  FN testing has characterized the WSU Cereal Variety Trials for risk of low FN.  Research is examining the genetics of two causes of low FN to improve resistance: 1) Preharvest sprouting, the germination of grain on the mother plant when rain occurs before harvest, and 2) LMA, the induction of alpha-amylase during late grain filling in response to cool weather.

Camille Steber Camille Steber obtained her PhD from the University of Chicago in Molecular Genetics.  She did her postdoctoral research at the University of Toronto studying how plant hormones control seed germination.  She joined the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at Washington State University in 1998.  Her research focused on preharvest sprouting until the discovery that LMA also impacts FN in northwest wheat.
Ashley Cannon Ashley Cannon obtained her PhD in Plant Biology from The University of Texas in Austin.  She did her postdoctoral work at the University of North Texas examining the control of seed dormancy and germination.  She joined USDA in 2020 with a focus on LMA research. 






Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers: Some Live Up to the Claim, Others Don't

Monday, December 14 10:00am - 10:50am PST 

A review of Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers with an emphasis on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Modes-of-action will be reviewed, along with efficacy and benefits to crops and the environment based on ours and others research.     

Bryan G. Hopkins Bryan G. Hopkins has a Ph.D. in Agronomy and is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist. He is a Professor at Brigham Young University where his teaching and research are focused on nutrient efficiency and pollution and resource conservation. He and his wife Carrie are the parents of six children with six grandchildren.


December 15, 2020

Fertilizer Strategies for Avoiding Root Burn          

Tuesday, December 15 9:00am - 9:50am PST      

Fertilizers have been instrumental in increasing crop yields over the last 100 years. However, management strategies can lead to crop damage. In this session we will use the 4Rs (right rate, right source, right time, right place), as a framework for assessing fertilizer management strategies in order to avoid crop damage. Specifically, we will be looking at banding fertilizers below the seed and what we should consider when banding N fertilizers.     

Isaac Madsen, PhD Isaac Madsen is the Extension Agronomist for Oilseeds at Washington State University. He works on using root imaging to develop safe application guidelines for N fertilizers. In addition to working on soil fertility, Isaac works on intercropping, alternative crops, and companion cropping.


December 16, 2020

Nutritional Management and other Basics in the Production of Camelina and Sunflower.

Wednesday, December 16 9:00am - 9:50am PST

Nutritional and some key production practices for the oil-seed crops of camelina and sunflower will be presented and discussed.   If the audience can be interactive, questions and discussion is welcomed.       

Don Wysocki Don Wysocki is Extension Soil Scientist with the Crop and Soil Science Department at Pendleton, Oregon.   He received his BS in natural resources science from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, MS in soil science from Washington State University, and PhD in soil science from Iowa State University.  He conducts extension work and applied research on dryland cropping systems in eastern Oregon. His cropping system work focuses on nutrient and residue management of cereal crops, agronomy of oil seed crops and direct seed farming practices. 

Fertility Management for Wheat

Wednesday, December 16 10:00-10:50 PST

Right rate, timing, place, and source (4Rs) are important when managing essential nutrients for wheat yield, quality, and economical return to fertilizer applications. This topic will discuss the 4Rs of nitrogen and chloride management for different wheat classes.

Dr. Haiying Tao Haiying Tao is an assistant professor of Soil Fertility and Residue Management in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at WSU. She received her PhD in Soil Science from the University of Connecticut, MS in Agronomy from China Agricultural University, and BS in Agronomy and BS minor in Agricultural Economics from China Agricultural University. Her current research and extension focuses on soil fertility and crop residue management, soil health, digital agriculture, land application of manure, nutrient management planning. She is the director of WSU Farmers Network Her information can also be found by clicking here.

December 17, 2020

Baling or Burning Straw: Impacts on Soil Health and Fertility

Thursday at 9:00 – 9:50am

Harvesting straw has become more prevalent as a residue management practice. Impacts of straw removal on soil health and fertility will be discussed.

David Huggins Dr. Huggins is celebrating his 40th year since first arriving on the Palouse. Initially working for the Soil Conservation Service and area farmers he then went to WSU and completed a PhD in Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition. His research has explored crop, fertility and residue management effects on soil organic matter, nitrogen use efficiency and soil health.

Soil fertility Trends in Eastern Washington

Thursday, December 17 10:00 – 10:50am

We will address the soil fertility status and trends of various soil nutrient concentrations and properties in Eastern Washington from the perspective of a Lab analyst that has tested soil and plant tissue nutrient levels for nearly four decades. We will cover topics such as soil chloride and soil micro (zinc, boron, manganese, iron and molybdenum) levels, as well as macro nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, sulfur and phosphorus. Soil pH will also be discussed.

Stephen Jones, Best Test Labs Stephen Jones has been the Manager of Best-Test Analytical Services, LLC for 27 years. He has been testing soil fertility, plant nutrients, water, composts and manures for over 36 years. He has a MS in Chemical Engineering from WSU and a BS in Chemistry from BYU (a Cougar either way). Since his teenage years Stephen has been involved with farming and the agricultural industry from changing handlines and siphon tubes to starting his own soil testing Laboratory in 1993.

“The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.”

-John F. Kennedy


WSU Farmers Network

Washington State University
Johnson Hall RM. 171
Pullman, Wa. 99163

Keith Curran   
 (509) 288-2324

Dr. Haiying Tao
(509) 335-4389

“You know, farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.”

-Dwight D. Eisenhower