Science in Action to Improve the Sustainability of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Food Systems
Welcome to the website of Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR)! We are a university center that develops innovative solutions to some of the most important problems we face in society today, by leading research and educational efforts in agriculture, food and natural resources systems that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible.
BIOAg funds new research and education projects
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...
New CSANR Publications now available!
Profile of Small Farms in Washington State Agriculture - Extension Fact Sheet published by Marcy Ostrom and Colleen Donovan.
New Organic Statistics available for 2012 data - David Granatstein and Elizabeth Kirby.
Anaerobic Digestion of Algal Biomass Residues with Nutrient Recycle - April 2013. Zhao, B., J. Ma, Q. Zhao, and C. Frear. WSU subcontract work on Department of Energy Project 22902.
Family Forest Owners and Climate Change: Understanding, Attitudes, and Educational Needs - Grotta, A.T., J.H. Creighton, C. Schnepf, and S. Kantor. 2013. J. For. 111(2): 87–93.
Soil Carbon Dynamics webinar recording now available
On January 10, 2013, Georgine Yorgey presented, "Soil Carbon Dynamics and Climate Change Mitigation in the Inland Pacific Northwest." Increasing soil carbon sequestration through changes in agricultural management has been highlighted as one of the most significant ways that agriculture can contribute to global mitigation of climate change. This webinar examines the potential for soil carbon sequestration in the Inland Pacific Northwest. This webinar looks at some of the experimental and modeling data available in this region, and discusses the implications for mitigation through agricultural soil carbon sequestration. View the recording and see other webinars in the series here.
Celebrating 20 Years of Science for Sustainability
CSANR has been focused on sustainable agricultural research for the past 20 years. This video highlights how far the Center has come and what the needs are into the future.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions webinar recording now available
On Nov 29th, 2012 CSANR research associate Georgine Yorgey presented, "Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Pacific Northwest" Understanding the greenhouse gas impacts of agriculture depends on how emissions are inventoried. This webinar covered different types of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions inventories, globally and in the Pacific Northwest. It also provided a brief overview of the mitigation potential from agriculture. View the recording and see other webinars in the series here.
Climate Impacts Webinar recording now available
On Nov 1st, 2012 CSANR Director Chad Kruger presented, "What do we currently know about the impacts of climate change on Pacific Northwest cropland agriculture?" A changing climate will likely affect each of the highly diverse agricultural systems found in the Pacific Northwest, from extensive rain-fed cereal grain farming systems to intensive horticultural production systems dependent on irrigation. Kruger explores how early research findings indicate that climate change may affect crop production in the Pacific Northwest. This webinar also highlights some of the ongoing research in the region that will provide additional scientific insight into this question during the next several years. View the recording and see other webinars in the series here.
2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium recordings now available
eOrganic conducted live broadcasts from the the 2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium in Leavenworth, Washington on June 19 and 21, 2012. The recorded presentations from this symposium will be of interest to researchers, Extension professionals, growers, consultants, suppliers, and retailers who wish to learn the latest developments in the worldwide organic fruit supply chain. View the recordings here.
Two key studies from the Climate Friendly Farming Project have now been released
A special issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation on agriculture and climate change was just released. It contains two key studies from the Climate Friendly Farming Project. The first is the cropping systems simulation study that integrated all of the CFF project results for Washington’s cropping systems and the second is an evaluation of historical soil carbon data-sets. These publications help provide the baseline for understanding soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics of Pacific Northwest Cropping Systems.
New study shows pesticide use rises as herbicide-resistant weeds undermine performance of major GE crops
A study published this week by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops — cotton, soybeans and corn — has actually increased. This counterintuitive finding is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. Benbrook’s analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HT) crops on pesticide use. Find the study, related links, and Benbrook's blog post on the topic here.
Anaerobic digestion case study now available
CSANR has been conducting research and education on anaerobic digestion for nearly a decade. The following study evaluates the “commercial state of the art” of the application of anaerobic digestion systems in addressing environmental and energy goals. Renewable Natural Gas and Nutrient Recovery Feasibility for DeRuyter Dairy.
Global Climate Change fact sheet published
Washington State University researchers have taken a departure from the regionally focused, applied-science extension publication to write a fact sheet on the science, debate and challenges of global climate change. The fact sheet is available here.
Why aren't we talking more about the sustainability of water?
CSANR director Chad Kruger gives his perspective on the sustainability of water in his latest post here.
Dryland Organic Agriculture Symposium recordings now available
At the Tilth Producers of Washington Conference in November 2011, WSU hosted a Dryland Organic Agriculture Symposium. The presentations and keynote from that symposium were recorded and are now available for online viewing. The list of presenters and recordings are available here.
Reduced Tillage in on Organic Farms Virtual Field Day
WSU researchers and extension educators are researching different methods for reducing tillage in organic vegetable production. This video demonstrates termination of barley and vetch cover crops with a roller/crimper and flail mower.
Northwest Soil Science: Nitrogen Mineralization
Soil Scientist Doug Collins published an article on Readthedirt.org that explains his research on how and when soil nutrients are available to crops. The article is available here.
Climate Change and Agriculture FAQs Part 3
The third in a series of web posts addressing frequently asked questions about climate change and agriculture is now posted. CSANR Director Chad Kruger answers the question: Is organic farming "climate-friendly"? See FAQs Part 1 and Part 2, and read the latest part here.
CSANR News Archive
View stories previously posted on the home page here.