Department of Crop and Soil Science News

Pest management advice from OSU experts: Spray with water, shake to avoid using chemicals

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.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Oregon State hires an outreach coordinator for cereal grain varieties

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.

Read more in the Capital Press »

Grass seed harvest winding up

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.

Read more in the Gazette Times »

Drought-tolerant oilseed crop gets Oregon field trials, shows promise for dry years

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.

Read more in the Oregonian »

In Search of the Great American Beer

"Historically, new hop varieties were bred as replacements for those already on the market," says Shaun Townsend, assistant professor of Hop Breeding and Genetics at Oregon State University. "When a brewery identified a cultivar that worked well for their beer recipes, they were reluctant to change out that cultivar for fear of introducing undesirable flavors in the final product."

Read more in the Smithsonian »