Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Wheat & Small Grains Timely Topics

Training Tools Related to Integrated Pest Management and Fumigation

In early 2017, researchers and industry partners at Kansas State University held a three-day training focused on integrated pest management (IPM) and fumigation safety training for small grain growers. The workshop produced nearly 20 presentations on topics ranging from IPM tactics, insect id, understanding pest life cycles, and the importance of proper sanitation as well… » More ...

2016-17 Washington Grain Commission Wheat & Barley Research Reports Now Available for Review

The Washington Grain Commission held its 2017 Wheat and Barley Research Review on February 13 and 14. This is an annual event that gives growers and other industry members the opportunity to see results from research the Commission funded the previous year and hear about new research ideas that the Commission will consider for funding in the coming year.

Researchers from WSU and from the USDA-ARS came together to give brief presentations on their proposed research or updates on their previously funded research and answer questions from Commissioners and growers. The 2016-2017 Research Progress Report is available for review on the Wheat and Small Grains website.

“Plotting Wheat’s Way Forward” Podcast

WSU Small Grain’s Cereal Variety Testing Program field days are well underway. Recently, Ryan Higginbotham, Regional Extension Specialist for the Cereal Variety Testing program at WSU, and Michael Pumphrey, Endowed Chair and WSU Spring Wheat Breeder, were interviewed by Scott Yates, Director of Communications at the Washington Grain Commission at the Reardan Field Day, which was held June 28.

In episode 29 of the Wheat All About It! podcast, Plotting Wheat’s Way Forward, Higginbotham and Pumphrey discuss field day preparation and this summer’s weather as it relates to the possibility of incurring late maturity alpha amylase activity and falling numbers discounts.

Don’t forget to subscribe to all of the Wheat All About It! podcasts on iTunes. Search for Wheat All About It. A summary of the podcasts, including many highlighting WSU researchers is available at the Washington Grain Commission website.


For questions or comments, contact Ryan Higginbotham by email at rhigginbotham@wsu.edu, Michael Pumphrey at m.pumphrey@wsu.edu or Scott Yates at syates@wagrains.org

New Video Looks at Spring Canola

canola field touching a garbanzo bean field.
WSU’s Washington Oilseed Cropping Systems (WOCS) project collaborated with the CAHNRS Communications video team to produce a new video, “Spring Canola Production in Eastern Washington.” Three growers who hosted the WOCS 2016 large-scale spring canola variety trials were interviewed for the video, and there is also drone footage of the plots at each location. The… » More ...

A New Publication: Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest

A rainy sunset over the Palouse.
The newly published book, Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest, compiles advanced knowledge of dryland farming gained during the six-year Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) project. This book is an excellent guide to sustainable agriculture practices. The aim of this book is to support farmers during their decision-making process and to enhance… » More ...

“Where We Are with Wireworms” Podcast

Paperboy_1400-300x300Recently, Aaron Esser was interviewed by Scott Yates, director of communications at the Washington Grain Commission for an update on wireworms. In episode 26 of the Wheat All About It! podcast, Esser talks about where we were and where we are today thanks to the great strides WSU researchers have made in understanding and controlling wireworms in Eastern Washington.

Listen to episode 26, Where We Are with Wireworms, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Wheat All About It! podcast on iTunes. Search for Wheat All About It. A summary of podcasts, including many highlighting WSU researchers is available at the WGC website: wagrains.org.


For questions or comments, contact Aaron Esser by email at aarons@wsu.edu or Scott Yates at syates@wagrains.org

Proper Sprayer Cleanout Can Prevent Crop Injury

A stripe of peas that have herbicide injury.
The strip of winter peas in the middle of this picture were sprayed with Clethodim 2 EC, but the observed injury was from the previous products in the sprayer: Huskie + Osprey. A water rinse is never adequate when using a tank-cleaning herbicide like clethodim. This injury could have been avoided by carefully cleaning the sprayer before switching from spraying wheat to spraying peas.
The strip of winter peas in the middle of this picture were sprayed with Clethodim 2 EC, but the observed injury was from the previous products in the sprayer: Huskie + Osprey. A water rinse is never adequate when using a tank-cleaning herbicide like clethodim. This injury could have been avoided by carefully cleaning the sprayer before switching from spraying wheat to spraying peas.

We have received a number of phone calls recently concerning crop damage in peas treated with herbicides containing the active ingredient clethodim. Clethodim is an ACCase inhibitor (Group 1) used to control grass weeds in broadleaf crops. There is no clethodim activity on broadleaf crops like peas. So why is there sometimes injury to peas?

Clethodim products containing 26.4% or 2 pounds of clethodim per gallon (for example, Arrow 2 EC, Clethodim 2 EC, and Select 2 EC) contain as much as 70% petroleum distillates. This high level of petroleum distillates, combined with the required crop oil concentrate and liquid fertilizer additives, can act as a sprayer cleaner, dislodging old herbicide residues that are embedded in tank walls or hoses, resulting in unwanted herbicide residue in the sprayer liquid. It is these residues, and not the clethodim, that are injuring the peas.

This type of damage, which is not unique to clethodim products, can be avoided by properly cleaning sprayers between applications, particularly when changing what crop is being treated. While proper sprayer cleanouts are time-consuming, it can save a lot of money and misery. Removing Herbicide Residues from Agricultural Application Equipment is an excellent publication by Purdue Extension that can help you do a good job of sprayer cleanout and possibly save you headaches and dollars down the road.


For questions, contact Drew Lyon (509-335-2961 or drew.lyon@wsu.edu) or Ian Burke (509-335-2858 or icburke@wsu.edu).

New Bulletin Published on the Wheat Head Armyworm Complex

A newly published Extension Bulletin, PNW696, is titled “Integrated Pest Management for the Wheat Head Armyworm Complex in the Pacific Northwest.”

Since 2005, the wheat head armyworm has caused intermittent damage to wheat and barley crops in the PNW.

The two insect species found responsible were initially dubbed the “true” and “false” wheat head armyworms. As these species are closely related, we now refer to them as the wheat head armyworm complex (WHAC).

This publication covers identification, biology, and integrated pest management for WHAC. We emphasize pest monitoring and field scouting methods, and also discuss natural insecticides.


Authors are Diana Roberts, WSU Extension; Silvia I. Rondon, OSU Extension; Peter J. Landolt, USDA-ARS.

Don’t Worry About LMA and FN Yet

In 2016, Washington state wheat farmers experienced widespread problems with low Falling Numbers, for which we created our Grain Quality Resources page. The widespread low Falling Number issue was partly due to Late Maturity Alpha-Amylase (LMA) in response to wildly fluctuating temperatures about one month after pollen shedding. The high temperatures in the 90s on May 30 followed by high temperatures in the 60s has some farmers worried that we’re going to see a repeat of last year’s Falling Number fiasco. Such worries are premature because the wheat hasn’t yet reached the point where it is sensitive to fluctuating temperatures.

It is difficult to pinpoint the window of LMA-sensitivity for this year’s crop because it depends on when the wheat reached pollen-shedding, an event that depends on temperature and varies by variety. Wheat in central Washington reached pollen-shedding during the week following Memorial Day, while wheat further east is just starting to head.

Based on this, we guesstimate that wheat in central Washington may become LMA-sensitive during the last two weeks of June, while wheat further to the east may become LMA-sensitive within the first two weeks of July.


For questions or comments, contact Camille Steber, PhD, USDA-ARS, Molecular Geneticist, by email at csteber@wsu.edu or Ryan Higginbotham at rhigginbotham@wsu.edu.

Washington State University