At Klickitat Canyon Winery and Meadowlark Vineyard, designing a resilient farming system begins with native habitat restoration. Owners Robin Dobson and Kathleen Perillo say they will know they have succeeded when the Meadowlark returns to nest under their vines. Read more »
This weekend marks the 93rd Washington State Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee – one of the true highlight events celebrating agriculture and community in the state. And, after a few weeks of unseasonably cold temperatures, frosts, freezes and high winds, the weekend weather outlook is dazzling – sunny, mid-80s and calm! So, if you don’t have plans this weekend, come on over and enjoy a great community event in the fantastic spring weather!
Perhaps the most important activity undertaken by CSANR each year is the selection of new BIOAg projects to fund. The goal of the BIOAg competitive grant program is to engage a broad, interdisciplinary spectrum of WSU faculty in projects that further the development, understanding, and use of biologically-intensive and/or organic principles, practices, and technologies to improve the sustainability of agriculture and food systems in Washington State. We select projects that meet one of three objectives: to stimulate new research initiatives, to augment critical gaps in existing areas of knowledge, and to move existing, game-changing research out into the real world. Read more »
A couple of weeks ago Dr. Jeff Ullman, formerly of WSU, gave a provocative seminar on the fate of various constituents of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment. He and his co-researchers have discovered that a wide range of chemicals from these products do not degrade when going through our bodies, animal bodies, or wastewater treatment facilities, and can sometimes be detected at very low levels in drinking water. He focused on recent work1 trying to test the hypothesis that antibiotics fed to livestock (often in continual sub-therapeutic doses) can be excreted by the animal, remain biologically active, exert selection pressure on human pathogens that might be present in the environment outside the animal, lead to the development of antibiotic resistance by these pathogens, and then be ingested by another animal. Ultimately, their careful step-by-step study did show it was possible for this to occur. However, they found that not all antibiotics act the same. Cefoxitin and florfenicol, for example, retained their bactericidal activity and thus could select for resistance, while tetracycline and ciprofloxacin were almost completed deactivated within 24 hours of contact with the soil. They conclude that efforts to control antibiotic contamination might best be focused on those compounds that retain their biological activity in soil since these are the ones that could exert a selective pressure for resistance in the environment. Read more »
Agriculture is a seasonal endeavor. And so the weather during each season can profoundly impact farmers and the crops they produce. Now, researchers at University of Idaho and Oregon State University are providing some new insights on how the seasonal climate has changed over the last century in the PNW, and how it might change over the next 50 years. Read more »