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News for the Crop and Soil Science Department
The female squash bee rises from her nest at dawn, earlier than any honeybee or bumblebee buzzes awake. She leaves her young in a nest tunneled about a foot beneath the ground to attend to her daily tasks of sipping nectar and gathering pollen grains. She only has eyes for golden pumpkin and butternut squash blossoms flush with nectar reaching from sprawling, hairy plants.
Effectively managing garden pests, including insects, plant diseases and weeds, can be a challenge for gardeners concerned about the environment and human health.
Integrated Pest Management is a systematic approach to identify pests and use tactics that are cultural, physical, biological or chemical.
The least toxic and effective methods are always considered first, according to Oregon State University researchers Andy Hulting, a weed control specialist, and Gail Langellotto, an entomologist.
When grain seed dealers and growers begin talking varieties, they’ll quickly discover Oregon State University’s Hannah Kammeyer speaks their language.
Kammeyer, 23, started work July 28 as the cereal variety outreach coordinator for OSU’s Crop and Soil Science Department. She’ll interact with seed dealers and farmers to advocate for planting OSU’s wheat and barley varieties, and will do communications and marketing work as well. Mike Flowers, an assistant professor and cereals specialist with OSU’s Extension Service, said he and others had been doing the job off and on and recognized the need to have someone in that position full-time.
The mid-valley grass seed harvest is wrapping up and local farmers have begun harvesting their wheat and clover fields.
Clare Sullivan, the new seed crops specialist in the Linn County office of the OSU Extension Service, said most farmers she has talked to report good — but not stellar — yields.
“I haven’t heard much grumbling about yields, so they must not be too bad,” Sullivan said.
Camelina field trials at an Oregon State University experiment station here have shown the oilseed crop could be a source of income for the region's farmers in drought years when irrigation water is sparse.
Camelina, which is a source of animal protein supplements, cooking oil and biofuel, can be planted in the fall or very early spring.