Issues in Sustainable Agriculture: Plastics in Agriculture

CSS/HORT 199: Issues in Sustainable Agriculture: Winter Term 2012

Plastics in Agriculture

Wednesdays 4:00-4:50
Instructor: Dr. David Olszyk
Location: Kidder 278
TA: Bruce Moffatt
One Credit Pass/No Pass

The theme of the series during winter quarter 2013 is “Plastics in Agriculture”. It will provide class participants with an overview of what plastics are, their importance in both organic and conventional farming, marketing of agricultural products, and some of environmental problems associated with use of plastics in agriculture. Speakers include OSU scientists, growers and others who are dealing with plastics “on the ground.”  

Requirements for Credit

Accumulate at least 70 out of 100 points for Passing Grade Determined as Follows:

1. Attend Seminars (Total of  10 points, 1 point per each of 10 weeks).  Attendance taken each week)

NOTE: No more than one seminar can be missed without special permission or you will get a NO PASS for the course.  If a student is not able to attend a seminar, they may view it online after a few days.

2. Take Quizzes online on  Blackboard  (Total of 50 points, 5 points per quiz on each of 10 seminars). Quizzes taken on-line between Friday and Wednesday after seminar

3. Submit Web or Print Article Short Reviews (Total of 40 points, spread over 3 reviews).  These area short, 300 word reviews, of web or print articles submitted electronically by class time on the 3rd, 6th, and 9th weeks of class.  The articles will be supplied online.


David Olszyk
Expertise Area: Agroecology
Office: US EPA
200 SW 35th St.
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Phone: 541-754-4397
Fax: 541-754-4799
EPA web page:

Russ Karow
Department Head, Crop and Soil Science, Expertise Area: Cereal grain agronomy
Office: Crop Science Building 131A
Phone: 541-737-5857
Fax: 541-737-1589

Bruce Moffatt
Senior-Natural Resources
Phone: 541-908-2371



Week Date Speaker Topic
1 January 9 Dr. Skip Rochefort, Dept. of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University What is Plastic?
2 January 16 Phil Hamm, Director of Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Oregon State University Plastics in Agricultural Pest Control
3 January 23 Rich Regan, Dept. of Horticulture, Oregon State University Plastics in Horticultural Cropping Systems
4 January 30 Craig Nelson, Nelson, V.P. for Engineering Nelson Irrigation

Plastics in Agricultural Irrigation and Water Management Systems

5 February 6

Dr. J. Antonio Torres, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State University

Plastics in Food Packaging
6 February 13 Allen Jongsma, Agri Plas Inc. Recycling Efforts for Agricultural Plastics
7 February 20 Mark Ingman, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Plasticulture, People, and the Planet
8 February 27 Richard Wilen, Grower Plastics in Organic Production
9 March 6 Dr. Skip Rochefort, Dept. of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University Are there Plastics in our Future?
10 March 13 Corvallis City Councilor Biff Traber and Kris De Jong, Public Works Administrative Division Manager The Politics of Plastics