Targeting fertilizer for hilly areas

A few years ago, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Akron, Colorado began noticing a pattern to their wheat harvests: yields were higher in low-lying areas.

That by itself was no surprise. Soils at low-lying spots in a field capture run-off from higher spots, often have more organic matter and are better at holding water, which is critical in the soils of eastern Colorado, where water is scarce, and crops are strictly rain-fed.

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Jonathan Schuler
The Impact of Tariffs on Washington Agriculture

Trade, to put it lightly, is a pretty big deal in the Evergreen state.

More than 300 crops are grown here, worth $10.6 billion in 2017. The processed foods sector, in 2016, generated more than $20 billion in revenues, and the value of food and ag products that were exported overseas in 2017 was approximately $6.7 billion.

The current trade environment puts all of that on uncertain ground.

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Jonathan Schuler
The Latest On Western Washington's Serious Drought

(Patch.com) DIABLO, WA — If you take a look at U.S. Department of Agriculture drought map of Washington released on Thursday, things look a little backward.

A huge piece of Southeast Washington's high desert from Walla Walla northwest to Ellensburg is whited-out on the map, indicating low drought conditions. But look west to the usually damp forests of Western Washington, things are considerably drier.

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Jonathan Schuler
Unhappy With Findings, Agriculture Department Plans to Move Its Economists Out of Town

(NY Times) Last year, after an economist with the division presented research that contradicted the Trump administration’s views about the president’s signature tax cuts, the Agriculture Department put into effect new rules about submitting work to peer-reviewed journals. Now, Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, is planning to move the roughly 300-person research unit, along with another division, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, out of Washington and closer to America’s farmers.

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Jonathan Schuler
Molson Coors Expands Better Barley, Better Beer Program to Improve Yield

(Environmental Leader) Molson Coors Brewing Company is preparing for the possibility of a decline in barley yields in coming years by helping barley growers adopt more sustainable practices. The company is installing weather stations and soil moisture probes across barley farms in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado as part of its efforts to help farmers future-proof their businesses and ensure its own future supply of the necessary grain.

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Jonathan Schuler
US wheat futures drop on fear of trade fight with Mexico

(Reuters) CHICAGO, May 31 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures fell on Friday on a round of technical selling and worries about trade with Mexico, the top importer of U.S. supplies, traders said. * The benchmark Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soft red winter wheat contract turned lower after failing to take out the 3-1/2-month high of $5.21-1/4 it hit on Wednesday. *  

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Jonathan Schuler
Storms affecting wheat prices

(Sidney Herald) Wheat markets were mixed with spring wheat regaining some lost ground against the winter wheats. Another bomb cyclone hit the northern plains, dropping deep snow across much of spring wheat country and further delaying fieldwork. Winter wheats moved lower on improving crop conditions for both hard red winter and soft red winter.

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Jonathan Schuler
A 5,000-year-old barley grain discovered in Finland changes understanding of livelihoods

(Phys.org) On the basis of prior research, the identity of the Pitted Ware Culture from the Stone Age has been characterized as hard-core sealers, or possibly even related to Inuits of the Baltic Sea. Now, researchers have discovered barley and wheat grains in areas previously inhabited by this culture, leading to the conclusion that the Pitted Ware Culture adopted agriculture on a small scale.

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Jonathan Schuler
Long-awaited Ag Census set for release

Agripulse) The Agriculture Department this week releases the eagerly anticipated 2017 Census of Agriculture, which will provide fresh clues to consolidation trends in farming and measure the growth of small-scale and urban production and beginning farmers.

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Jonathan Schuler