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.
Twelve research proposals were received for the 2004 funding cycle,
totaling over $1,017,792. Eight proposals were selected for a total
is a listing of the new STEEP project titles (and durations and
awards), investigators, and objectives of each project.
Expanding Access to PNW Direct Seed and Conservation Tillage Systems
Technologies (2 years; $72,046)
Hans Kok, WSU/UI Conservation Tillage Specialist, Pullman/Moscow;
Don Wysocki, OSU Extension Soil Scientist, Pendleton
PNW grower awareness and adaptation of STEEP and related research
technologies for direct seed and conservation farming systems by presenting
new technologies as integrated components of direct seed and conservation
systems in specific agronomic regions, and making the information
- PNW STEEP
Conservation Tillage Update (newsletter)
- PNW Extension
Conservation Tillage Handbook Series (distributed through the
- Web Site
- PNW STEEP Conservation Tillage Systems Technology Source (http://pnwsteep.wsu.edu)
which includes publications 1 and 2 above, and many other information
- PNW Direct
Seed List Server (Email/Internet-based)
Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conferences
Field Days and Tours
The Role of Alternate Hosts in the Epidemiology of Ascochyta Blight
of Chickpea in Reduced Tillage Cropping Systems in the Pacific Northwest
(1 year; $55,234)
Tobin Peever1, Lori M. Carris1, and Fred J.
1Department of Plant Pathology, 2USDA-ARS,
Washington State University, Pullman, WA
develop a specific PCR primer to deter and quantify Ascochyta
rabiei infection of wheat and other hosts.
ED-STEEP: Education Solutions to Environmental and Economic Problems
(1 year; $46,001)
Mark A. Quinn, and Catherine A. Perillo, Dept. of Crop and Soil
of relevant environmental, health, and agricultural concerns being
addressed through the STEEP Program. Identification of specific
research outcomes from the STEEP Program. Development of specific
lessons and activities for secondary school classrooms that relate
to the STEEP Program.
of specific activities for post-secondary school classrooms that
relate to the STEEP Program. Website development.
Fertilization of Late-Seeded Winter Wheat in Chemical Fallow (3
L.K. Lutcher (OSU, Heppner, OR)
P and S fertilizer recommendations for the winter wheat/chemical fallow
system. Field experiments will be conducted in farmers' fields in
Morrow County and Umatilla County, OR, and at the WSU Dryland Research
Station at Lind, WA.
if P and/or S should be applied with N. Will the addition of P
and/or S increase grain yield, test weights, or grain protein?
yield components and straw production
early-season tissue nutrient concentrations and plant uptake
early-season soil nutrient bioavailability and effects of seed-zone
water content and temperature. Sampling and analysis procedures
will provide information about nutrient flux to the roots and
mechanisms responsible for observed differences. Nutrient flux
data will be used in conjunction with plant uptake data to explain
treatment effects among sites.
- Site characterization:
Characterization data will be used to delineate regions where
future recommendations can be utilized. The data also will be
used to develop an understanding of differences in the bioavailability
of P and S among sites.
Impact of Crop Rotation and Alternative Crops on Weed Populations,
Yield, and Economics in Direct Seed Systems in the Intermediate
Rainfall Area of Washington (3 years, $70,841)
Dennis Tonks, WSU Extension Dryland Farming Specialist, Davenport;
Aaron Esser, WSU Extension On-Farm Testing Associate, Ritzville;
For the Agricultural Horizons Team
the impact of various crop rotations on yield, weed populations,
disease, soil quality, and profitability
the impact of alternative crops on establishment, growth, yield,
and economics of winter wheat and spring cereals.
The Strategic Use of Broadcast and Controlled Release Fertilizer
to Facilitate N Applications and Improve Nitrogen Use Efficiency
in Direct Seed Systems (3 years, $77,855)
Richard T. Koenig, Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, WSU; David R.
Huggins, USDA-ARS, Pullman, WA
whether early- or late-fall broadcast of conventional or controlled
release N fertilizers can replace deep banding and/or spring broadcast
- Assess the
feasibility of replacing deep banded conventional N fertilizer
with seed banded controlled release fertilizer.
select N timing and placement strategies in the context of a typical
Palouse toposequence (assess the N treatment by landscape position
Assessing the Impact of Direct Seeding (No-Till) and Conventional-Till
on Crop, Variety, Soil, and Insect Responses in Year 4 (1 year,
Stephen O. Guy, Professor and Crop Management Specialist, UI; Nilsa
A. Bosque-Perez, Associate Professor of Entomology, UI; Sanford
D. Eigenbrode, Associate Professor of Entomology, UI; Jodi Johnson-Maynard,
Assistant Professor of Soil Science, UI
crop and variety performance differences between NT and CT production
systems in a replicated tillage trial for winter wheat, spring
barley, spring wheat, and dry pea and lentil during year four
of the 'transition period'.
the impact of CT and NT on soil microclimate and fauna and document
changes in key soil hydraulic and chemical properties.
pea leaf weevil abundance, activity and damage in CT and NT pea.
controlled experiments in the laboratory and field trials to assess
predation by specific ground-dwelling predators on pea leaf weevil.
Improving Tillage Systems for Minimizing Erosion (1 year, $62,560)
Jan Boll, Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering,
UI; Shulin Chen, Professor of Biological Systems Engineering, WSU;
Donald McCool, Agricultural Engineer and Research Scientist, USDA-ARS,
the difference in infiltration and runoff generation mechanisms
under different tillage systems (minimum tillage and conventional
the impact of major field factors on rill/gully formation under
different tillage systems (WSU).
a GIS database and recommending management practices that can
be implemented to reduce rill/gully formation and erosion (UI