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Six NW Growers Featured in NW Direct Seed Conference

Growers like to hear about other growers’ experiences with new farming technologies. The 6th Northwest Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference and Trade Show offers an excellent opportunity for grower-to-grower interaction. It will be held on Jan. 8-10, 2003 at the WestCoast Hotel in Pasco, WA. Over 800 NW growers and Ag advisers are expected to attend.

Four NW growers will be sharing their experiences with the transition to direct seed systems in the low, intermediate, and high precipitation zones, and under irrigation. Neal Brown farms in a 12- to 14-inch precipitation zone east of Bickleton Washington. He has been continuous direct seeding for the past 5 years using a Concord air seeder with Anderson openers. Much of the farm has been in 2-pass minimum tillage system for the previous 15 years.

Daniel McKinley is the general manager of Broughton Land Company, in the Dayton, WA area. Most of the cropland is in a 17- to 21-inch precipitation zone, though the large farm ranges from 12 to 25 inches annual precipitation. They have been direct seeding for the past 12 years. They currently use a two-pass direct seed system with direct fertilizer injection and then seeding with John Deere 750 or Krause disc drills.

Kent Rad farms in a 20- to 25-inch precipitation zone near Cottonwood, ID. He has been developing his direct seeding system for the past 10 years and some of his farm has been under continuous direct seeding for 5 years. He seeds all his crops with a John Deere 750 disc drill.

Kurt Melville is a 2nd generation direct seeder, farming on his own and in partnership with his father Tim and brother Kevin near Enterprise, OR. The farmland is in a 13- to 22-inch precipitation zone but is predominantly irrigated. Kurt has been developing his direct seed system for the past 12 years, though some of his cropland has been direct seeded for over 20 years. He uses a Concord air drill with Anderson openers and a Yielder disc drill.

Grower insights and experiences on the topic of building direct seeding partnerships with landlords will be addressed by Steve Riggers and Mark Sheffels. Steve and his brother Nathan farm in an 18- to 24-inch precipitation zone in the Craigmont / Nezperce area of north central Idaho where much of their farm is cash rented. They have been direct seeding since 1982. Mark farms in Washington in a 12- to 15-inch precipitation zone near Wilbur, Davenport and Reardan. He has been direct seeding all of his farmland with for the past 7 years, and leases cropland from three landlords outside of the family.

For more information, visit the Conference Website (http://pnwsteep.wsu.edu/directseed), or contact the Conference Office, 509-547-5538, e-mail (Wendy Peay <wpeay@mcmgt.com>).

 
                         
 

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Hans Kok, WSU/UI Extension Conservation Tillage Specialist, UI Ag Science 231, PO Box 442339, Moscow, ID 83844 USA
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