“Wheat All About It” is a compilation of material that appears in the Washington Grain Commission section of Wheat Life and is intended for busy farmers, landlords, and industry cooperators who don’t always have the time to sit down and read the magazine. Download “Wheat All About It!!” and listen to it on your smartphone in your tractor, combine, car, or that easy chair in your living room.
Episode 9: Wheat Academy
Summary: “Going to the Wheat Academy”, interviews participants and the organizer of the WSU event along with Camille Steber, ARS scientist, who taught the Wheat Academy class on falling numbers.
Summary: “Falling Numbers 101” is a Part 1 of a recording of a panel discussion on falling numbers sponsored by the WGC during Spokane Ag Expo. It features Ty Jessup, WGC commissioner and a grain merchandiser, and Don Potts, regional manager of the Washington Grain Inspection program.
Episode 13: Falling Numbers 102
Summary: “Falling Numbers 102” is Part 2 of the Ag Expo panel discussion. This one features Arron Carter, WSU winter wheat breeder, discussing the science behind low falling numbers.
Episode 21: There’s Nothing Basic About It!
Summary: In “There’s Nothing Basic About It!”, Michael Neff, Washington State University professor of crop biotechnology, and Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations with the Washington Grain Commission, discuss the need to make basic research a priority. Neff shows how Crispr Cas 9, the gene editing technique he says is a game changer with the potential to revolutionize plant breeding, grew out of simple scientific curiosity.
Episode 26: Where We Are with Wireworms
Summary: Following the loss of the chemical Lindane in 2006, wireworms quickly became a destructive pest of Eastern Washington wheat farmers. Fast forward to 2017 and the larval form of the click beetle now appears to be more manageable. What happened? Thanks to Washington Grain Commission funding, research to investigate wireworms was launched and much more is now known about their control. Join the conversation Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations at the Washington Grain Commission, enjoyed with Aaron Esser, WSU Extension regional agronomist for wheat production, as he explains the current status of wireworm research and control in Episode 26 of Wheat All About It! Go to wagrains.org, scroll to the bottom of the page, or search for Wheat All About It in iTunes and subscribe.
Episode 29: Plotting Wheat’s Way Forward
Summary: In “Plotting Wheat’s Way Forward”, Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission, attends Washington State University’s Rearden Field Day where he talks to Ryan Higginbotham, director of the Cereal Variety Testing Program. But Yates leads off the episode with WSU spring wheat breeder Mike Pumphrey talking about his concerns that late June weather conditions set this year’s crop up for low falling numbers due to temperature fluctuations caused by Late Maturity Alpha Amylase activity.
Episode 33: The Skin of the Earth
Summary: In Episode 33 of the Wheat All About It! podcast entitled, “The Skin of the Earth”, Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission, attends Washington State University’s Wilke Farm Research and Extension Field Day held June 28. Devoted to “Everything Soil”, Dave Huggins, soil scientist with the ARS in Pullman talks about the challenges of low soil pH and soil structure while Stewart Wuest, soil scientist at the ARS in Pendleton, discusses direct seeding in very dry environments.
Episode 43: The Vagaries of Varieties
Summary: Ryan Higginbotham, director of Washington State University’s Variety Selection & Testing Program, looks back over the 2016/2017 wheat growing season from the perspective of someone who farms throughout Eastern Washington’s diverse precipitation zones in the first of a two-part interview. Join Scott Yates, Director of Communications and Producer Relations for the Washington Grain Commission, as he talks with Higginbotham about the weather, private companies, the increasing number of program entries and other challenges in episode 43 of Wheat All About It! titled, The Vagaries of Varieties.
Episode 44: Location, Location, Location
Summary: In the second part of a podcast featuring the director of Washington State University’s Variety Testing Program entitled, “Location, Location, Location,” Ryan Higginbotham provides an overview of 2016/2017 winter wheat nursery trial data based on production zones. Higginbotham also discusses “facultative planting” or planting hard red spring wheat varieties in the late fall and winter. Join Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission, for episode 44 of Wheat All About It!—a fascinating look at the program the WGC supports to the tune of $175,000 annually.
Episode 46: The Challenge That Will Not Wait
Summary: Join the conversation about herbicide weed resistance in episode 46 entitled, “The Challenge That Will Not Wait”. Drew Lyon, extension weed specialist at Washington State University and Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission discuss the evolving challenge, including how natural selection—a concept first raised by Charles Darwin about evolution—can be applied to weeds. Lyon believes farmers must use all the tools in their toolbox, including targeted tillage, to successfully overcome herbicides that are no longer effective.
Episode 49: Let’s Talk About AgWeatherNet
Summary: AgWeatherNet is Washington State University’s system of weather stations located throughout Eastern Washington. Nic Loyd is the meteorologist in charge of the network. Join Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission as he talks with Loyd in Episode 49 of Wheat All About It! entitled: Let’s talk about AgWeatherNet. The two discuss the network’s footprint in irrigated areas, the possibility of it expanding further into dryland wheat country and other weather-related topics sure to expand listeners’ meteorological education.
Episode 58: A Conversation with Arron Carter, WSU Winter Wheat Breeder
Summary: Want to learn what makes a wheat breeder tick? Then listen to Episode 58 entitled: “A Conversation With Arron Carter, WSU winter wheat breeder”. In an interview with Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission, Carter reveals the importance of a 1969 Corvette Stingray to his career trajectory, the value of technicians, his big-picture thinking and the organizational skills required to juggle a modern wheat breeding program. This is the first of two parts.
Episode 59: A Conversation with Arron Carter, WSU Winter Wheat Breeder Part 2
Summary: Listen in as Carter talks about what it means to be a co-chair of the O.A. Vogel Endowed Chair in Wheat Breeding and Genetics, discusses how modern wheat breeding techniques are opening doors previously thought closed to researchers, touts the advantages his competition with private companies brings to farmers and explains how the advent of hybrid varieties could change his program.
Episode 65: The Call of the Road, River, and Rail: Casavant Talks Transportation
Summary: Ken Casavant, an agricultural economist at Washington State University, speaks with Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission, in episode 65 of Wheat All About It! entitled: “The Call of the Road, River and Rail: Casavant Talks Transportation” Casavant, who has taught and researched the economics of the state’s transportation infrastructure for 50 years, explains why Eastern Washington wheat farmers are blessed to be farming in a region with a complete transportation system and the “water compelled” freight rates that are the result. First of two episodes.
Episode 66: Return of the Road, River & Rail: Casavant Talks Transportation
Summary: In episode 66 of Wheat All About It!, Ken Casavant, transportation economist at Washington State University, concludes his conversation with Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations with the Washington Grain Commission. Casavant addresses the cost of loading ships in Portland, the consolidation of upcountry cooperatives from a transportation perspective, salmon numbers in the river and the best and worst things that have happened to transportation in Washington during his 50-year career.
Episode 74: Meet Mr. Northwest Wheat Quality, Doug Engle!
Summary: In episode 74 of Wheat All About It!, which is also the title of the podcast. Engle has worked at the Western Wheat Quality Lab of the Agricultural Research Service for 35 years, with much of that time devoted to analyzing the quality of varieties released in the Northwest. Listen in as Engle describes how the Washington Grain Commission funded Genotype & Environment Study evaluates new varieties, what dough tells him about end use and the serendipity that went into him getting his job in the first place.
Episode 77: The Dryland Doctor, Bill Schillinger
Summary: In the first of a two-part conversation, with the research station professor and principal scientist at the Lind Dryland Research Station. Listen in as Schillinger talks about a major decision he made at 18, his experiences working overseas, summer fallow practices used by farmers in Eastern Washington’s eight to 12-inch precipitation zone, as well as the latest research investigating the wheat coleoptile.
Episode 78: The Dryland Doctor, Bill Schillinger, Part Two
Summary: Part two of “The Dryland Doctor, Bill Schillinger”, continues with the Washington State University agronomist further educating Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission, about the vagaries of growing wheat in one of the driest areas of the United States. Schillinger talks more about direct seeding, the status of the new deep furrow drill, his skeptical optimism about the future of cover crops in the region, winter peas as a summer fallow rotation, climate change and more!
Episode 79: Giddy Up! A Ride with Randy Fortenbery, Ag Economist
Summary: In the first of two parts, Fortenbery’s rapid-fire answers to questions posed by Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission, provides farmers, landlords, and agribusiness associates the inside scoop on economic issues which affect them all. Receive a semester full of knowledge in a little more than 20 minutes as the Washington State University economist addresses the accuracy of USDA reports, his forecast for the year ahead, how the absence of GMO wheat impacts acreage and more!
Episode 80: Giddy Up! A Ride with Randy Fortenbery, Ag Economist, Part Two
Summary: In the changing fortunes of the global wheat market, in part two, Fortenbery addresses PNW farmers advantages —and disadvantages—in growing soft white wheat, the importance of “basis” in the Northwest, why the PNW needs to diversify its customer base and how he uses the weekly National Agriculture Statistic Service’s Crop Progress Report to anticipate production. Fortenbery also wades into the China question and what it means for one country to hold almost half the world’s wheat stocks.
Episode 83: WSU’s Spring Wheat Breeding Philosopher, Mike Pumphrey
Summary: The first of a two-part podcast that presents the breeder as more than just another data-driven scientist; find out what Pumphrey means by “breeding brain”, why he’s not interested in offers from private companies and whether he believes the climate is changing and what he’s doing about it, among other things.
Episode 84: WSU’s Spring Wheat Breeder, Plant Scientist, Geneticist, Plant Pathologist, and Professor, Mike Pumphrey Part-two
Summary: In episode 84, the second half of his Wheat All About It! interview, Mike Pumphrey discusses research addressing the Late Maturity Alpha Amylase/Falling Number phenomenon, the future of facultative wheat, speed breeding, low soil pH and how long it will take to bring an adapted variety of a new herbicide-tolerant wheat to market.
Episode 88: Fascinating Things: A Conversation With Craig Morris, Director of the Western Wheat Quality Lab
Summary: In episode 88, Scott and Craig Morris discuss how wheat varieties differ in taste, if soft durum will change the pasta industry, how goatgrass is important to wheat development, and more.
Episode 89: Fascinating Things II: A Conversation With Craig Morris, Director of the Western Wheat Quality Lab
Summary: In this episode, discover how breeders and cereal chemists have used club wheat to insert all manner of quality attributes. Morris also talks about the history of the WWQL—which is celebrating an anniversary this year—and what a million dollars in funding for new equipment has meant for the facility.
Episode 104: Dead of Winter, Alive With Life: Wheat Plants in the Cold Part 1
Summary: In the first of a two-part episode entitled, “Dead of Winter, Alive With Life: Wheat Plants in the Cold,” ARS scientist Kim Campbell, and WSU scientist Karen Sanguinet describe what’s happening in the wheat plant during the coldest time of the year. Words like hibernation and dormancy aren’t accurate when it comes to wheat plants in the winter which are alive with unseen activity. Campbell, a plant geneticist, and club wheat breeder and Sanguinet, a plant physiologist, explain how wheat plants survive the winter, what it means for plants to harden off, how roots are impacted by the cold and the important cues that come from temperature and day length.
Episode 105: Dead of Winter, Alive With Life: Wheat Plants in the Cold Part 2
Summary: ARS scientist Kim Campbell and WSU scientist Karen Sanguinet continue to talk about wheat during the winter in episode 105 of Wheat All About It!, the second part of an episode entitled “Dead of Winter, Alive With Life: Wheat Plants in the Cold 2”. Learn more about meristems, which drive growth both above and below ground, why Darwin considered roots to be the brain of plants, how cold kills wheat, what is electrolyte leakage and more—including why the variety Eltan, released in 1992, is still considered the gold standard for cold tolerance.
Episode 117: It Could Be Worse. It’s Not the 1980s
Summary: In this episode, Randy doesn’t sugarcoat the current economic malaise either, noting that farm income is significantly lower than it was just four years ago. Not to mention the cost of production rose in 2018 for almost all crop inputs. In this context, Fortenbery evaluates on-going trade discussions and how they might affect the market.
Episode 131: If Glyphosate’s Glory Days Are Gone, What Comes Next?
Summary: A conversation with two WSU weed scientists about the on-going controversy over the most used agricultural chemical in America yields fascinating insights. Weed scientists Drew Lyon and Ian Burke, discuss the debate which includes emotional accusations from one side that the chemical is a carcinogen and scientific pronouncements from the other that it’s perfectly safe. Not to mention glyphosate resistance has been found in a number of Northwest weed species. Forty-five years after glyphosate was released, the scientists suggest it is now on a downhill slide.
Episode 132: The Wicked Problem of Herbicide Weed Resistance
Summary: Herbicide weed resistance has more than one cause. In addition to the chemistry of the product, there is how it is marketed as well as the human impulse to continue using what’s working—until it doesn’t work anymore. That complexity is why weed scientists call resistance, “the wicked problem.” Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission, continues his conversation with WSU weed scientists Ian Burke and Drew Lyon, focusing more broadly on the issue of weed resistance, what farmers can do to combat it in the present and what they may be looking at in the future.
Episode 144: WSU’s Aaron Esser Has the Second Best Job in Agriculture
Summary: The Wilke farm is WSU’s only research facility in Eastern Washington’s intermediate production zone—12 to 16 inches of precipitation. It’s other claim to fame is a budget that depends entirely on crop sales to operate, a circumstance that causes Esser to do everything possible to earn a positive return on investment as he uses large strips to evaluate three and four year rotations on productivity, and weed and disease pressure.
Episode 147: The Profession That Found WSU’s Tim Murray
Summary: Department of Plant Pathology at Washington State University, Tim Murray, describes his career arc in the scientific specialty that researches diseases in plants. Murray cautions farmers that new diseases and pathogens are emerging as the climate changes and there is much more to learn. Among recent discoveries is a fungus-like organism, called a protist, that transmits the wheat mosaic virus—which has been found in Eastern Washington.