Dale is an active member of the WSU Extension Dryland Cropping Systems Team
, providing leadership for the Insect Resources page
on the Wheat and Small Grains Website. He also provides leadership for planning, conducting, and evaluating research-based educational programs in areas including integrated weed management, insect and disease management, agronomy, alternative cropping systems, and pesticide education.
Dale recognized the need for crop diversity to manage weed and insect pests in the dryland wheat production systems of Douglas County. He established early and productive collaborations with Dr. Frank Young, USDA-ARS cropping systems agronomist, and Karen Sowers, WSU Extension and Outreach Specialist for the Washington Oilseed Crop Extension Project. Working together, they were able to increase canola acreage in Douglas County from about 700 acres in 2008 to almost 8,000 acres in 2019. Only Spokane County produced more canola in 2019 than Douglas County. In 2008, just one Douglas County farmer grew canola. In 2019, more than 30 Douglas County farmers have incorporated canola into their wheat production systems.
Dale has also collaborated with Howard Nelson of HighLine Grain Growers to educate growers on autumn-sown pea production. His educational programming and pest surveys across eastern Washington have also greatly impacted pea yields. Yields in 2019 set an all-time company record of 6,876 lb/ac. This was at least partially the result of growers treating for pea weevil based on his weekly pest monitoring efforts.
Wade Troutman, a Douglas County farmer, stated that “Dale has the ability to access resources and knowledge needed by the community. He works well with the Conservation Districts, FSA, NRCS, ARS, and a host of other groups to sustain the economic, agronomic, and environmental quality of this vast rural area. Dale ‘gets it’ and has become an invaluable asset to the community by his direct and indirect way of teaching.”
Like Kenneth Morrison, Dale Whaley has acted as a highly effective liaison among producers, crop consultants, the agricultural supply industry, researchers, and county extension faculty. He has facilitated productive interactions amongst these groups and helped them work together to help diversify the wheat production systems of Douglas County and thereby better manage insect and weed pests in the region. Rich Koenig, says, “Dale joins the ranks of previous Morrison Award recipients, recently including Aaron Esser, Paul Carter, Dennis Johnson, Andy McGuire, and the late Diana Roberts. This is truly an elite group.”