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Grower Experiences with Alternative Crops in Eastern Washington

Interest in growing alternative crops is increasing in the dryland cropping region of the Inland Northwest for a number of reasons. One important driver is low market prices for many of the grain crops commonly grown in the region. Another is the dramatic increase in direct seed cropping systems, which benefit from more diverse crop rotations to manage weed, disease and insect problems previously managed (in-part) by tillage. A third driver for more crop diversity is an increasing grower need to reduce production and marketing risks (not having all your eggs in one basket) … assuming they can successfully grow and market the new crops.

A series of 10 WSU Cooperative Extension publications are now available on alternate crops for dryland agriculture in the Inland Northwest. They are titled -- Grower Experiences with Alternative Crops in Eastern Washington, with each publication focusing on specific alternative crops. Those crop and publication numbers are as follows: Safflower - EB1890; Field Corn - EB1911; Alternate Cereal Crops - EB1912; Buckwheat - EB 1913; Flax and Linola - EB1915; Sunflowers - EB1916; Millet - EB 1918; Mustard and Canola - EB 1919; and Alternate Wheat Crops - EB1920. Since direct seeding / no-till planting is commonly a part of successful alternate crops, an additional series topic was included: Selecting and Using No-till Drills - EB1917.

The publication series was developed from a series of ten winter seminars on alternative crops in eastern Washington during 1999 and 2000. Each seminar included several presentations and panel discussions by growers, researchers and Ag industry representatives. The publications were developed from the seminar presentations and additional background information by Norm Herdrich, a contract agricultural writer. The publication series editor was Ed Adams, currently the Ag and Natural Resources Leader for WSU Cooperative Extension. The seminars and development of the publications were supported by a grant from the Western Region Sustainable Agricultural and Extension (SARE) program to the Ag Horizons Extension group with WSU Cooperative Extension in N.E. Washington.

You can order print copies of any or all of these 9 publications for $1:00 each, plus shipping and handling (contact for details), from:

Bulletin Office
Washington State University
Box 645912
Pullman, WA 99164-5912
509-335-2857 or

The publications can also be viewed and printed from the WSU Cooperative Publications and Extensional Materials Web site in PDF format (as you see it in print). The following are some easy steps to locate individual publications in this series on the Web site:

1) Go to the Web site (http://pubs.wsu.edu)
2) Type in the publication number of the specific publication you want (for example: EB1890 for safflower) in the search box on the lower left corner of the site index page and click the submit button.
3) Click on item number one (title - abstract) to view the abstract.
4) To view the publication as it is in print, click on item three (titled PDF document) on the page listing. You can also click on the colored text (PDF) in the abstract above.

Enjoy exploring the world of alternative crops based on the experiences of growers, researchers and Ag industry representatives in the PNW and beyond through this new Extension publication series.


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