News for the Crop and Soil Science Department

Digging deep within the soil

Raised in the rugged state of Nevada, Gabriella Coughlin, a senior graduating this spring with a degree in soil resource management in the department of crop and soil science at Oregon State University, witnessed early on that there were many land use issues in and around her home.

She knew something needed to be done about how to remediate certain problems such as mine use tailings, which are the spoiled soils that are refused after mining.

Read more in the Barometer »

Oregon grass, legume seed production bounced back in 2012-13

Oregon’s grass and legume seed industry continued its recovery in 2012-13, reaching a value of nearly $462 million, according to a report from Oregon State University.

The 13.6 percent increase in production value over the previous year came despite only a 2 percent increase in grass seed acreage, which accounts for 90 percent of the combined crop value. That indicates strong seed prices, said William C. Young III, professor emeritus at OSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Science.

Read more at Capital Press »

Fungus-free hops for better beer: Gardening basics

If you're growing hops to brew your own beer, you may notice silvery or pale green, brittle spikes rising from the crown of the plant or brown spots on the leaves this spring.

"Hop plants have problems with downy mildew, a fungus that attacks plants primarily in April and May," said Shaun Townsend, the hops breeder for Oregon State University.

But don't worry, he added, just cut back the bines (some erroneously call them vines) to the soil with a knife. The plants will start new bines, which will grow quite rapidly. Though wet, foggy weather encourages downy mildew, pruning helps keep the fungus at bay.

Read more in the Oregonian »

OSU ranked in top 10 for ag, forestry

Oregon State University’s agriculture and forestry programs are ranked seventh best in the world in a new survey of institutions.

Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings each year lists the top universities in 30 subject areas, choosing from among 3,000 universities worldwide. The rankings are based on such things as surveys that measure an institution’s reputation among academics and employers. Also considered are the number of articles that university professors and researchers publish in academic journals and the amount of citations generated by the publications. The ag and forestry programs ranked eighth best in 2013.

Dan Arp, dean of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, said the rise in ranking was a “testament to the continued great work of our faculty and researchers,” according to an OSU news release.

Read more at Capital Press »

New pest discovered in Oregon clover fields

A pest new to the Pacific Northwest may be causing yield losses in clover grown for seed.

Casebearer moths, native to Europe, were first found in North America in the 1960s, when the moth was found in the New York state and Eastern Canada, according to Oregon State University Extension agent Nicole Anderson.

In 2001 was it reported in Western Canada, when researchers in Alberta identified it as being responsible for seed yield losses of between 25 and 45 percent in first-year stands of red clover.

Read more in the Capital Press »