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New FY05 Steep Projects

STEEP (Solutions 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.

Each year, 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. Eight proposals were received for the 2005 funding cycle totalling $1,100,181. Five proposals were selected for a total of $576,195, plus administrative costs for a total of $597,262.

The following is a listing of the new STEEP project titles (and durations and awards), investigators, and objectives of each project.


Title: Soil persistence of imazamox herbicide in tilled and direct-seeded dryland winter wheat cropping systems (3 years; $149,559)

Team: Donn Thill, weed scientist, UI, Moscow; Dan Ball, weed scientist, OSU, Pendleton; Joe Yenish, extension weed scientist, WSU, Pullman.
    1. Determine the response of yellow mustard to imazamox herbicide persistence under conventional, minimum and direct-seed tillage systems in intermediate and high precipitation zones.
    2. Determine the dissipation rate of imazamox herbicide under conventional, minimum, and direct-seed tillage systems in intermediate and high precipitation zones using a corn root bioassay.


Title: Identifying superior winter canola cultivars that are suitable for direct seeding in the PNW (3 years; $120,000)

Team: Jack Brown, associate professor, UI, Moscow; Don Wysocki, extension soil scientist, OSU, Pendleton.


    1. Determine the potential of increasing adaptability, reliability and repeatability of winter canola cultivars to direct seeding systems.
    2. Identify superior winter canola cultivars that are specifically designed for planting into standing cereal straw in direct seed systems.


Title: Assessing the Impact of Direct Seeding (No-Till) and Conventional-Till on Nitrogen Fertility, Soil, and Insect Responses (3 years; $149,636)

Team: Stephen Guy, crop management specialist, UI, Moscow; Nilsa Bosque-Perez, entomologist, UI; Sanford Eigenbrode, entomologist, UI, Moscow; and Jodi Johnson-Maynard, soil scientist, UI, Moscow.
  1. Compare hard red winter spring wheat nitrogen fertilization responses from rates and timing of N application in a replicated NT and CT comparison.
  2. Determine the impact of CT and NT on soil microclimate and fauna and document chages in key soil hydraulic and chemical properties.
  3. Monitor pea leaf weevil abundance and damage in CT and NT pea.
    1. Conduct controlled experiments in the laboratory and field trials to assess predation by specific ground-dwelling predators on pea leaf weevil.
    2. Compare immigration of pea and leaf weevil into NT and CT pea and test the effects of specific factors on immigration of pea leaf weevil into NT and CT pea.


Title: Site-specific N management for direct seed cropping systems (3 years; $104,989)

Team: Dave Huggins, soil scientist, USDA-ARS, Pullman, WA; Claudio Stockle, Biosystems Engineering, WSU, Pullman; Han Kok, extension conservation tillage specialist, WSU/UI; and R. Rossi, research associate, WSU, Pullman.
  1. Measure and predict site-specific variables required for making N management decisions on research conducted at the WSU Cunningham Agronomy Farm; and,
  2. Test and evaluate site- and time-specific N management decisions as compared to uniform N management at the WSU Cunningham Agronomy Farm.


Title: Examine the effects of cropping systems that include canola, yellow mustard, or oriental mustard on yield of subsequent winter wheat in the PNW (2 years, $52,000)

Team: Jack Brown, associate professor, UI, Moscow; Don Wysocki, extension soil scientist, OSU, Pendleton.
  1. To determine yield potential of Oriental mustard compared to canola and yellow mustard under different rainfall regions under direct seed systems.
  2. Compare water use of Oriental mustard with water use of spring whet, canola and yellow mustard under direct seed systems.




Contact us: Hans Kok, (208)885-5971 | Accessibility | Copyright | Policies | WebStats | STEEP Acknowledgement
Hans Kok, WSU/UI Extension Conservation Tillage Specialist, UI Ag Science 231, PO Box 442339, Moscow, ID 83844 USA
Redesigned by Leila Styer, CAHE Computer Resource Unit; Maintained by Debbie Marsh, Dept. of Crop & Soil Sciences, WSU