2003 Steep Projects
To Environmental and Economic Problems) is a cooperative Pacific
Northwest research and educational program on conservation tillage
systems through the University of Idaho, Oregon State University,
Washington State University, and USDA-Agricultural Research Service.
It has been a national model for multi-state, multidisciplinary
efforts among land grant universities, USDA-agencies, grower commodity
organizations, conservation districts, and other Ag support groups
and agencies to work collectively to solve regional environmental
and economic problems. Funding has been provided by special Congressional
grants through USDA since 1975.
The STEEP program
is managed through three committees. These include: 1) a 10-member
Technical Coordinating Committee of scientists from the three universities
and USDA-ARS; 2) a 7-member Industry Advisory Committee of 2 growers
from each state representing the grain producer and conservation
district associations, and one from the pulse crop industry; and
3) an 8-member Administrative Committee representing research and
extension at the 3 universities, the USDA-ARS and USDA-NRCS.
the STEEP program invites proposals on research and education projects
on cropping systems technologies for direct seeding and other conservation
tillage systems. Projects can be funded for 3 years with the possibility
of continuing funding in the future. This longer-term funding has
been critical for conducting cropping systems research projects.
Sixteen research proposals were received for the 2003 funding cycle,
totaling over $1,536,994. Eight proposals were selected for a total
of $549,551 based on the FY03 estimated Federal budget. An additional
allocation of $72,691 was received for a total of $622,242.
is a listing of the new STEEP project titles (and durations and
awards), investigators, and objectives of each project.
Impact of Alternative Crops on Winter Wheat and Spring Cereal Establishment,
Growth, Yield, and Economics in Direct Seed Systems in the Intermediate
Rainfall Area of Washington (1 year; $24,000)
Tonks, WSU Extension (dryland farming specialist); Aaron Esser,
WSU Extension (on-farm testing associate).
the impact of alternative crops on establishment, growth, yield,
and economics of winter wheat and spring cereals.
the impact of winter and spring cereals no establishment, growth,
yield, and economics of spring seeded alternative crops and development
of direct seed systems.
Optimizing Plant Genetics and Soil Fertility to Achieve
High Grain Protein Content in Hard Red Spring Wheat (3 years; $85,000)
K. Kidwell, WSU (spring wheat breeder); William Pan, WSU (soil
fertility specialist); Robert Gallagher, WSU (weed-crop ecologist).
current varieties and improved isolines of hard red spring wheat
for grain yield and protein response to nitrogen fertilization.
the most promising isolines identified in Objective 1 for agronomic
potential and protein response to native soil fertility (as affected
by crop rotation) coupled with nitrogen fertilization regimes.
Improving Genetic Resistance to Cephalosporium Stripe of Wheat through
Field and Toxin Screening and Molecular Mapping with Novel Genetic
Stocks (3 years; $77025)
Mundt, OSU (botany and pathology); C. James Peterson, OSU (crop
and soil science); Oscar Riera-Lizarazu, OSU (crop and soil science).
response of select winter wheat populations, parents, and progeny
to Cephalosporium gramineum. Utilize both fungal toxin(s) and
field screening methods to identify materials with superior disease
and use molecular markers to determine the inheritance of resistance
to Cephalosporium Stripe.
Evaluating Chemical Fallow Systems for Weed Control Efficacy,
Soil Moisture Conservation, Crop Production, and Cost/Return Analysis
(2 years; $11,786)
P. Yenish, WSU; Aaron Esser, WSU; Dennis Tonks, WSU; Frank Young,
weed control efficacy of chem-fallow treatments.
comparative soil moisture content between chem-fallow treatments.
comparative wheat injury and yield following chem-fallow.
cost/return of the chem-fallow treatments.
Biology and Management of Rattail Fescue in Direct Seed
Cropping Systems (3 years; $54,449)
A. Ball, OSU; Carol Mallory-Smith, OSU; Donn C. Till, UI; Joseph
P. Yenish, WSU.
basic biological characteristics for seed of rattail fescue. Seed
characteristics to be studied include optimum seed germination
temperatures, occurrence and characteristics of seed dormancy,
seed longevity under field conditions, and whole plant vernalization
and conduct multi-state herbicide trials to determine optimum
treatment rates and timings for control of rattail fescue in chemical
and conduct multi-state herbicide trials to determine optimum
treatment rates and timings for control of rattail fescue in direct-seed
winter and spring wheat. Consideration will be given to carryover
potential in pulse/brassica rotations. Cooperation with the agrichemical
industry will be solicited to obtain appropriate herbicide registrations
for rattail fescue control in PNW cereal crops.
will be disseminated to growers via field representatives, extension
educators, field tours, and practical publications and to scientific
audiences via publications and presentations.
Investigating Dryland Production with Increased Cropping
Intensity Under Reduced Tillage and Direct Seed Cropping Systems
(3 years; $126,189)
Stephen Machado, OSU/CBARC (assistant professor); Dr. Steve Petrie,
OSU/CBARC (soil scientist); Dr. Richard Smiley, OSU/CBARC (plant
pathologist); Dr. Dan Ball, OSU/CBARC (weed scientist); Dr. Don
Wysocki, OSU/CBARC (extension soil scientist). University Cooperators:
Dr. William Schillinger, WSU (dryland systems agronomist); Dr.
Roger Veseth, WSU/UI (extension conservation tillage specialist).
USDA-RS Cooperators: Dr. Dale Wilkins, USDA-ARS, CBARC (supervisory
agricultural engineer and research leader); Dr. Stephan Albrecht,
USDA-ARS, CBARC (soil microbiologist); Dr. Hero Gollany, USDA-ARS,
CBARC (soil scientist); Dr. Stewart Wuest, USDA-ARS, CBARC (soil
scientist). Grower Advisory Group and Cooperators: Ernie Moore,
Sherman Co.; Chris Kaseberg, Sherman Co.; Tom McCoy, Sherman Co.;
Walter Powell, Gilliam Co.; John Hilderbrand, Sherman Co.; David
Brewer, Wasco Co.
The aim of
this project is to develop acceptable and sustainable cropping systems
for north-central Oregon and south-central Washington. Specific
objectives include determining systems that increase residue cover,
increase soil OM, increase available soil moisture, reduce wind
and water erosion, reduce soil water evaporation, and sustain soil
productivity. Information to address these objectives will, however,
be obtained only after long-term experimentation. This proposal
intends to initiate these experiments.
of this proposal is, therefore, to establish a series of long-term
experiments that will compare the effects of a conventional wheat/fallow
system with potential alternative and intensive crop systems and
crop management practices such as direct seeding.
Developing Optimal Agronomic Management Systems for Direct Seeding
Brassica Oilseed and Mustard Crops in the Pacific Northwest (3 years;
Brown, UI; Don Wysocki, OSU-CBARC.
more optimal agronomic practices for direct seeding winter canola
by examining the effects of straw management, opener type, row
spacing, seeder opener type, and starter fertilizer rate.
more optimal agronomic practices for direct seeding spring canola,
oriental mustard and yellow mustard by examining the effects of
straw management, row spacing, and seeding rates.
Outreach Activities for PNW Direct Seed and Conservation Tillage
Systems Technology (2 years; $57,891)
Veseth, WSU/UI (extension conservation tillage specialist); Don
Wysocki, OSU (extension soil scientist).
awareness and adaptation of STEEP and related research technologies
for direct seed / conservation tillage systems by presenting new
technologies as integrated components of direct seed / conservation
tillage systems in specific agronomic regions, and making the information
- PNW STEEP
Conservation Tillage Update (newsletter)
- PNW Extension
Conservation Tillage Handbook Series (distributed through the
Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conferences
Field Days and Tours