April 2006

April 28th

Paul Berger received B.S. degree (1950) and M.S. degrees (1951) in dairy science from OSU, and worked in the Department of Animal Sciences at OSU and at Eli Lilly. He has been an active supporter of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences, serving on the board of E.R. Jackman, establishing the Paul C. Berger Endowed Professorship in the Crop and Soil Science Department at OSU, and taking an active part in supporting the endowed Animal Sciences Department Head Scholarship program.

April 27th

Feral pigs cause more than $800 million in damages to agriculture crops annually, and are capable of rapidly expanding their populations across new areas. Nine Oregon counties have reported feral pig populations and OSU researchers believe this might be only the beginning.
Oregon State University researchers in collaboration with scientists from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will study the impact of irrigation diversions on fish and other wildlife in the Umatilla and Walla Walla river basins in northeastern Oregon. In the past, diversions have been blamed for fish deaths, but few studies have actually been conducted that look at the entire river system and at what level water removal impacts wildlife. The study is funded by a USDA National Research Initiative Competitive Grant.

April 21st

Three Oregon State University scientists and an ecologist from The Nature Conservancy will spend the next four years testing different cattle stocking rates across about 1,600 acres of land in The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve. The group will look at how cattle affect the availability of resources for other organisms, how habitat for wildlife communities change as stocking rates change and the effect grazing has on vulnerability and predation of ground-nesting birds in the area. The project is funded by a USDA National Research Initiative grant for $450,000.

April 7th

Oregon State University's Agricultural Experiment Station has been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant to explore methods to produce higher yielding, higher quality and more disease-resistant barley. OSU's barley breeding program, led by OSU professor Pat Hayes, in the Department of Crop and Soil Science, will receive $554,556 of the total $5 million being awarded by the USDA for the project. Research will focus on relating genetic information to important economic and agronomic traits in existing barley breeding lines.
After five years of trials using drip irrigation to grow carrot seed, yields and quality were high and disease incidence was low, when compared with carrot seed crops irrigated by traditional overhead sprinkler systems. Plus, with drip irrigation growers can use only half as much water as traditional sprinkler irrigation on carrot seed. In addition, carrots can be planted in areas where sprinkler irrigation cannot be used—in steeper country. Drip irrigation is a relatively new method to central Oregon. Marvin Butler, crop scientist and superintendent of OSU's Central Oregon Agricultural Research Center (COARC) in Madras led the research.

April 5th

White sturgeon in portions of the Columbia River have been found to have high amounts of toxic contaminants, including DDT and PCBs in their livers, sex organs and muscle tissue. OSU researchers believe the chemicals may play a role in the fish’s declining reproduction rate leading to a drop in population.

April 4th

Oregon farmers and ranchers enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2005, generating over $4 billion in product sales; the highest annual agricultural earnings estimate for Oregon ever recorded.