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OSU field days spotlight soil health

Oregon State University offers research field days June 10 in Pendleton, Ore., and June 11 in Moro, Ore. Some research presentations spotlight the importance of soil matter and soil health, says OSU Extension soil scientist Don Wysocki.
Matthew Weaver

Capital Press

Published on June 4, 2014 9:10AM

Oregon State University Extension researchers will highlight soil organic matter when they present updates to area farmers.

OSU Extension hosts its annual Pendleton Field Day beginning at 8 a.m. June 10 at the university’s research station in Pendleton, Ore., and at 8 a.m. June 11 at the Sherman Research Station in Moro, Ore.

Included on the agenda are several presentations devoted to various aspects of soil organic matter - soil health, agricultural practices, crop residues and impacts on yield.

“Soil organic matter is the reserve for plant nutrients, it’s the component that adds water-holding capacity,” OSU Extension soil scientist Don Wysocki said. “That’s kind of the central factor in controlling soil health.”

Other items on the field day agenda include biennial canola, nematode control and unmanned aerial vehicles and remote sensing, which Wysocki expects will “explode” in the next five years, led by the industry.

The presentation will include how to use the data from the unmanned aircraft.

“There’s just a wealth of information,” Wysocki said. “You could have hundreds of thousands of data points. How do you integrate all of that information to be meaningful and not in such a complicated way, so it’s easy for an ordinary person to use that technology to make decisions.”

The event also includes updates from OSU’s wheat breeding program variety trials and from university administrators about the search for a new Pendleton station director.

Growers can learn a lot from attending the field days, Wysocki said, from research updates but also by networking at the events.

“That kind of stuff is invaluable these days because you’re bombarded with lots of information from all directions,” Wysocki said. “Being at field days helps you sift through the information that’s out there and see how this stuff is applied, how it works.”




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