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Conserving soil, water in world’s driest wheat region

In the world’s driest rainfed wheat region, Washington State University researchers have identified summer fallow management practices that can make all the difference for farmers, water and soil conservation, and air quality.

Wheat growers in the Horse Heaven Hills of south-central Washington farm with an average of 6-8 inches of rain a year. Wind erosion has caused blowing dust that exceeded federal air quality standards 20 times in the past 10 years.

“Some of these events caused complete brown outs, zero visibility, closed freeways,” said WSU research agronomist Bill Schillinger.

Science to anchor farmer incentives

He and WSU agricultural economist Doug Young compared three fallow management systems in the western part of the Horse Heaven Hills with six inches of annual rainfall and the same practices in the eastern part with eight inches of rain.

The study was published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal in September: Schillinger, W. F. and D. L. Young. (2014). Best Management Practices for Summer Fallow in the World’s Driest Rainfed Wheat Region. Soil Science Society of America Journal.

The five-year study provides the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service with science-based information needed to develop incentives for wheat farmers to change from traditional-tillage fallow practices to undercutter-tillage or no-till fallow systems.

Timing to trap moisture

Farmers in the Horse Heaven Hills practice a winter wheat-summer fallow rotation where only one crop is grown every other year on a given piece of land.

Average yields can be as low as 18 bushels per acre — compared to upwards of 120 bushels per acre in the higher rainfall area of the Palouse in eastern Washington. Though the margins are tight, with careful management wheat farming in the Horse Heaven Hills can be profitable.

To get the highest yield, farmers need to plant winter wheat in late August or early September after a year of fallow. The fallow period allows enough moisture from winter and spring rains to accumulate in the soil for seeds to get established.

“In east-central Washington, if you can’t plant in late summer into deep seed-zone moisture in fallow, then you have to wait for fall rains in mid-October or later,” Schillinger said.

The longer it takes to get winter wheat seedlings established, the lower the potential for good yields.

To help ensure precious soil moisture remains in the seeding zone, farmers till the soil in the spring. Tillage breaks up the capillary action of the soil; this helps slow soil moisture evaporation in the seed zone during the hot, dry summer months.

But too much tillage can cause soil loss through wind erosion that feeds hazardous dust storms.

Undercutting in the east

Compared to traditional tillage, Schillinger and Young found that undercutter tillage was the best option for fallow in the slightly moister eastern region of the Horse Heaven Hills, where late-August planting is possible and spring tillage helps retain summer soil moisture.

With wide, narrow-pitched, V-shaped blades, the undercutter slices beneath the soil surface to interrupt capillary action in the seed zone without causing much disturbance of the soil surface.

Schillinger said scientists and farmers have conclusively shown that spring tillage with the undercutter effectively retains seed-zone moisture. It also retains significantly greater surface residue and surface soil clods — which are less likely to be disturbed by wind and become airborne — compared to traditional tillage implements such as a tandem disk or field cultivator.

No till in the west

In the western region of the Horse Heaven Hills, the best option for controlling wind erosion was to practice no-till fallow; that is, to avoid tillage altogether. Most of the time, rainfall in this area simply isn’t sufficient to establish an early stand of winter wheat with any fallow management system.

“There’s no reason to till the soil when you already know in the spring that it will be too dry to plant wheat in late August,” Schillinger said.

Economist Young found that, despite the modest grain yield potential, wheat farming in this environment can be profitable — with enough acreage and judicious use of inputs to manage costs. In fact, late-planted winter wheat on no-till fallow was just as profitable as traditional-tillage and undercutter-tillage fallow treatments at the western site.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington State University. The original article was written by Sylvia Kantor. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Conserving soil, water in world’s driest wheat region

In the world’s driest rainfed wheat region, Washington State University researchers have identified summer fallow management practices that can make all the difference for farmers, water and soil conservation, and air quality.

Wheat growers in the Horse Heaven Hills of south-central Washington farm with an average of 6-8 inches of rain a year. Wind erosion has caused blowing dust that exceeded federal air quality standards 20 times in the past 10 years.

“Some of these events caused complete brown outs, zero visibility, closed freeways,” said WSU research agronomist Bill Schillinger.

Science to anchor farmer incentives

He and WSU agricultural economist Doug Young compared three fallow management systems in the western part of the Horse Heaven Hills with six inches of annual rainfall and the same practices in the eastern part with eight inches of rain.

The study was published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal in September: Schillinger, W. F. and D. L. Young. (2014). Best Management Practices for Summer Fallow in the World’s Driest Rainfed Wheat Region. Soil Science Society of America Journal.

The five-year study provides the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service with science-based information needed to develop incentives for wheat farmers to change from traditional-tillage fallow practices to undercutter-tillage or no-till fallow systems.

Timing to trap moisture

Farmers in the Horse Heaven Hills practice a winter wheat-summer fallow rotation where only one crop is grown every other year on a given piece of land.

Average yields can be as low as 18 bushels per acre — compared to upwards of 120 bushels per acre in the higher rainfall area of the Palouse in eastern Washington. Though the margins are tight, with careful management wheat farming in the Horse Heaven Hills can be profitable.

To get the highest yield, farmers need to plant winter wheat in late August or early September after a year of fallow. The fallow period allows enough moisture from winter and spring rains to accumulate in the soil for seeds to get established.

“In east-central Washington, if you can’t plant in late summer into deep seed-zone moisture in fallow, then you have to wait for fall rains in mid-October or later,” Schillinger said.

The longer it takes to get winter wheat seedlings established, the lower the potential for good yields.

To help ensure precious soil moisture remains in the seeding zone, farmers till the soil in the spring. Tillage breaks up the capillary action of the soil; this helps slow soil moisture evaporation in the seed zone during the hot, dry summer months.

But too much tillage can cause soil loss through wind erosion that feeds hazardous dust storms.

Undercutting in the east

Compared to traditional tillage, Schillinger and Young found that undercutter tillage was the best option for fallow in the slightly moister eastern region of the Horse Heaven Hills, where late-August planting is possible and spring tillage helps retain summer soil moisture.

With wide, narrow-pitched, V-shaped blades, the undercutter slices beneath the soil surface to interrupt capillary action in the seed zone without causing much disturbance of the soil surface.

Schillinger said scientists and farmers have conclusively shown that spring tillage with the undercutter effectively retains seed-zone moisture. It also retains significantly greater surface residue and surface soil clods — which are less likely to be disturbed by wind and become airborne — compared to traditional tillage implements such as a tandem disk or field cultivator.

No till in the west

In the western region of the Horse Heaven Hills, the best option for controlling wind erosion was to practice no-till fallow; that is, to avoid tillage altogether. Most of the time, rainfall in this area simply isn’t sufficient to establish an early stand of winter wheat with any fallow management system.

“There’s no reason to till the soil when you already know in the spring that it will be too dry to plant wheat in late August,” Schillinger said.

Economist Young found that, despite the modest grain yield potential, wheat farming in this environment can be profitable — with enough acreage and judicious use of inputs to manage costs. In fact, late-planted winter wheat on no-till fallow was just as profitable as traditional-tillage and undercutter-tillage fallow treatments at the western site.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington State University. The original article was written by Sylvia Kantor. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Conserving soil, water in world’s driest wheat region

In the world’s driest rainfed wheat region, Washington State University researchers have identified summer fallow management practices that can make all the difference for farmers, water and soil conservation, and air quality.

Wheat growers in the Horse Heaven Hills of south-central Washington farm with an average of 6-8 inches of rain a year. Wind erosion has caused blowing dust that exceeded federal air quality standards 20 times in the past 10 years.

“Some of these events caused complete brown outs, zero visibility, closed freeways,” said WSU research agronomist Bill Schillinger.

Science to anchor farmer incentives

He and WSU agricultural economist Doug Young compared three fallow management systems in the western part of the Horse Heaven Hills with six inches of annual rainfall and the same practices in the eastern part with eight inches of rain.

The study was published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal in September: Schillinger, W. F. and D. L. Young. (2014). Best Management Practices for Summer Fallow in the World’s Driest Rainfed Wheat Region. Soil Science Society of America Journal.

The five-year study provides the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service with science-based information needed to develop incentives for wheat farmers to change from traditional-tillage fallow practices to undercutter-tillage or no-till fallow systems.

Timing to trap moisture

Farmers in the Horse Heaven Hills practice a winter wheat-summer fallow rotation where only one crop is grown every other year on a given piece of land.

Average yields can be as low as 18 bushels per acre — compared to upwards of 120 bushels per acre in the higher rainfall area of the Palouse in eastern Washington. Though the margins are tight, with careful management wheat farming in the Horse Heaven Hills can be profitable.

To get the highest yield, farmers need to plant winter wheat in late August or early September after a year of fallow. The fallow period allows enough moisture from winter and spring rains to accumulate in the soil for seeds to get established.

“In east-central Washington, if you can’t plant in late summer into deep seed-zone moisture in fallow, then you have to wait for fall rains in mid-October or later,” Schillinger said.

The longer it takes to get winter wheat seedlings established, the lower the potential for good yields.

To help ensure precious soil moisture remains in the seeding zone, farmers till the soil in the spring. Tillage breaks up the capillary action of the soil; this helps slow soil moisture evaporation in the seed zone during the hot, dry summer months.

But too much tillage can cause soil loss through wind erosion that feeds hazardous dust storms.

Undercutting in the east

Compared to traditional tillage, Schillinger and Young found that undercutter tillage was the best option for fallow in the slightly moister eastern region of the Horse Heaven Hills, where late-August planting is possible and spring tillage helps retain summer soil moisture.

With wide, narrow-pitched, V-shaped blades, the undercutter slices beneath the soil surface to interrupt capillary action in the seed zone without causing much disturbance of the soil surface.

Schillinger said scientists and farmers have conclusively shown that spring tillage with the undercutter effectively retains seed-zone moisture. It also retains significantly greater surface residue and surface soil clods — which are less likely to be disturbed by wind and become airborne — compared to traditional tillage implements such as a tandem disk or field cultivator.

No till in the west

In the western region of the Horse Heaven Hills, the best option for controlling wind erosion was to practice no-till fallow; that is, to avoid tillage altogether. Most of the time, rainfall in this area simply isn’t sufficient to establish an early stand of winter wheat with any fallow management system.

“There’s no reason to till the soil when you already know in the spring that it will be too dry to plant wheat in late August,” Schillinger said.

Economist Young found that, despite the modest grain yield potential, wheat farming in this environment can be profitable — with enough acreage and judicious use of inputs to manage costs. In fact, late-planted winter wheat on no-till fallow was just as profitable as traditional-tillage and undercutter-tillage fallow treatments at the western site.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington State University. The original article was written by Sylvia Kantor. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Whole Foods names Bill Jordan its Rocky Mountain region president

Whole Foods Market has named Bill Jordan its president of the Rocky Mountain region, effective immediately.

“Bill has been an incredible asset to Whole Foods Market for many years, and we’re so glad that he is now leading our Rocky Mountain region,” David Lannon, executive vice president of operations at Whole Foods Market, said in a press release. “He’s the embodiment of everything a Whole Foods Market team member should be, and we know he’ll do a great job growing our business in the region.”wfodoBill Jordan

Previously, Jordan served as regional vice president of Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific region for the past 16 years. Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region includes stores in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Utah, and the company announced its first store in El Paso, TX, last week on its fourth quarter earnings call.

“I’m honored and excited to join Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region as regional president,” said Jordan. “My career at Whole Foods Market began in 1985 as a courtesy clerk in Sherman Oaks, California, and it’s been an incredible 29-year ride. I love our company and our mission as America’s Healthiest Grocery Store. I am grateful for the team members I served and supported in our Southern Pacific region and am looking forward to building the same bonds in the Rocky Mountain region.

“My role and commitment — day in and day out — is focused on empowering our teams and stores to innovate, create and serve our customers and supplier partners with passion and excellence. The Rocky Mountain region has a rich history of shining a spotlight on our missions and everything that’s best about Whole Foods Market. The region led the company in Local Producer Loans given to small producers, our cashiers and customers consistently raise incredible amounts of money to support the Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation, and we have an inspiring number of team member volunteers who apply to serve in communities around the world on Whole Planet Foundation service trips. It’s an exciting time to be joining the region and I’m thrilled to be helping it grow and prosper.”

Jordan is passionate about his family and most enjoys time spent with loved ones. Some of his best and earliest memories center around his grandparents’ table, where large, Italian dinners of homemade meals brought people together in celebration of food and family. He is an avid boater, camper and music enthusiast, and is based at Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain regional office in Boulder, CO.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Whole Foods names Bill Jordan its Rocky Mountain region president

Whole Foods Market has named Bill Jordan its president of the Rocky Mountain region, effective immediately.

“Bill has been an incredible asset to Whole Foods Market for many years, and we’re so glad that he is now leading our Rocky Mountain region,” David Lannon, executive vice president of operations at Whole Foods Market, said in a press release. “He’s the embodiment of everything a Whole Foods Market team member should be, and we know he’ll do a great job growing our business in the region.”wfodoBill Jordan

Previously, Jordan served as regional vice president of Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific region for the past 16 years. Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region includes stores in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Utah, and the company announced its first store in El Paso, TX, last week on its fourth quarter earnings call.

“I’m honored and excited to join Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region as regional president,” said Jordan. “My career at Whole Foods Market began in 1985 as a courtesy clerk in Sherman Oaks, California, and it’s been an incredible 29-year ride. I love our company and our mission as America’s Healthiest Grocery Store. I am grateful for the team members I served and supported in our Southern Pacific region and am looking forward to building the same bonds in the Rocky Mountain region.

“My role and commitment — day in and day out — is focused on empowering our teams and stores to innovate, create and serve our customers and supplier partners with passion and excellence. The Rocky Mountain region has a rich history of shining a spotlight on our missions and everything that’s best about Whole Foods Market. The region led the company in Local Producer Loans given to small producers, our cashiers and customers consistently raise incredible amounts of money to support the Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation, and we have an inspiring number of team member volunteers who apply to serve in communities around the world on Whole Planet Foundation service trips. It’s an exciting time to be joining the region and I’m thrilled to be helping it grow and prosper.”

Jordan is passionate about his family and most enjoys time spent with loved ones. Some of his best and earliest memories center around his grandparents’ table, where large, Italian dinners of homemade meals brought people together in celebration of food and family. He is an avid boater, camper and music enthusiast, and is based at Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain regional office in Boulder, CO.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Whole Foods names Bill Jordan its Rocky Mountain region president

Whole Foods Market has named Bill Jordan its president of the Rocky Mountain region, effective immediately.

“Bill has been an incredible asset to Whole Foods Market for many years, and we’re so glad that he is now leading our Rocky Mountain region,” David Lannon, executive vice president of operations at Whole Foods Market, said in a press release. “He’s the embodiment of everything a Whole Foods Market team member should be, and we know he’ll do a great job growing our business in the region.”wfodoBill Jordan

Previously, Jordan served as regional vice president of Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific region for the past 16 years. Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region includes stores in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Utah, and the company announced its first store in El Paso, TX, last week on its fourth quarter earnings call.

“I’m honored and excited to join Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region as regional president,” said Jordan. “My career at Whole Foods Market began in 1985 as a courtesy clerk in Sherman Oaks, California, and it’s been an incredible 29-year ride. I love our company and our mission as America’s Healthiest Grocery Store. I am grateful for the team members I served and supported in our Southern Pacific region and am looking forward to building the same bonds in the Rocky Mountain region.

“My role and commitment — day in and day out — is focused on empowering our teams and stores to innovate, create and serve our customers and supplier partners with passion and excellence. The Rocky Mountain region has a rich history of shining a spotlight on our missions and everything that’s best about Whole Foods Market. The region led the company in Local Producer Loans given to small producers, our cashiers and customers consistently raise incredible amounts of money to support the Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation, and we have an inspiring number of team member volunteers who apply to serve in communities around the world on Whole Planet Foundation service trips. It’s an exciting time to be joining the region and I’m thrilled to be helping it grow and prosper.”

Jordan is passionate about his family and most enjoys time spent with loved ones. Some of his best and earliest memories center around his grandparents’ table, where large, Italian dinners of homemade meals brought people together in celebration of food and family. He is an avid boater, camper and music enthusiast, and is based at Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain regional office in Boulder, CO.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Whole Foods names Bill Jordan its Rocky Mountain region president

Whole Foods Market has named Bill Jordan its president of the Rocky Mountain region, effective immediately.

“Bill has been an incredible asset to Whole Foods Market for many years, and we’re so glad that he is now leading our Rocky Mountain region,” David Lannon, executive vice president of operations at Whole Foods Market, said in a press release. “He’s the embodiment of everything a Whole Foods Market team member should be, and we know he’ll do a great job growing our business in the region.”wfodoBill Jordan

Previously, Jordan served as regional vice president of Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific region for the past 16 years. Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region includes stores in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Utah, and the company announced its first store in El Paso, TX, last week on its fourth quarter earnings call.

“I’m honored and excited to join Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region as regional president,” said Jordan. “My career at Whole Foods Market began in 1985 as a courtesy clerk in Sherman Oaks, California, and it’s been an incredible 29-year ride. I love our company and our mission as America’s Healthiest Grocery Store. I am grateful for the team members I served and supported in our Southern Pacific region and am looking forward to building the same bonds in the Rocky Mountain region.

“My role and commitment — day in and day out — is focused on empowering our teams and stores to innovate, create and serve our customers and supplier partners with passion and excellence. The Rocky Mountain region has a rich history of shining a spotlight on our missions and everything that’s best about Whole Foods Market. The region led the company in Local Producer Loans given to small producers, our cashiers and customers consistently raise incredible amounts of money to support the Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation, and we have an inspiring number of team member volunteers who apply to serve in communities around the world on Whole Planet Foundation service trips. It’s an exciting time to be joining the region and I’m thrilled to be helping it grow and prosper.”

Jordan is passionate about his family and most enjoys time spent with loved ones. Some of his best and earliest memories center around his grandparents’ table, where large, Italian dinners of homemade meals brought people together in celebration of food and family. He is an avid boater, camper and music enthusiast, and is based at Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain regional office in Boulder, CO.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.