Research & Extension

Pacific Northwest Vegetable Extension Group (PNW VEG)

The PNW VEG was established in 2001 and has grown to include 25 vegetable specialists from Washington, Idaho, and Oregon who contribute expertise in plant pathology, horticulture, entomology, and weed science through team meetings, the PNW VEG website, vegetable workshops, and other activities to coordinate vegetable Extension and research, and provide access by stakeholders to vegetable information and events throughout the tri-state region.

Vegetable Seed Pathology Program

Seed farmers in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the USA produce anywhere from 20 to 70% of the USA and world’s supply of seed for more than 35 small-seeded vegetable crops. Seeds produced in this region are distributed all over the USA and to about 90 countries because so few regions of the world have the specific climatic conditions necessary for production of high quality seed. The Vegetable Seed Pathology program investigates the biology, epidemiology, and management of diseases affecting these vegetable seed crops, including seedborne plant pathogens that can have major impacts on seed trade.

Christmas Tree Research

Nationally, about one-third of all of the Christmas trees produced each year come from the Pacific Northwest. The primary goal of the WSU Puyallup Christmas tree program is to provide growers and retailers with research-based information that creates a high-quality Christmas tree product for consumers. To this end, the program covers two principal areas: disease and pest management and the post-harvest quality of cut Christmas trees.

Ornamental Plant Pathology Program

Ornamental bulbs represent an important high-value specialty crop in the PNW. Over 90% of the field-grown daffodils, tulips, bulbous iris and Asiatic/Oriental lilies produced in the United States are grown along the coastal areas of Washington, Oregon and northwestern California. An estimated value of saleable bulbs and field-grown cut flowers is from $20 to $30 million.

WSU Sudden Oak Death Program

Sudden Oak Death is the common name for a disease caused by Phytophthora ramorum, a previously unknown and exotic plant pathogen. Western Washington is a “high risk” area for diseases caused by P. ramorumbecause of favorable environmental conditions and the abundance of susceptible host plants.

Clean Plant Center Northwest

The Clean Plant Center Northwest (CPCNW) is a collaborative effort of scientists, researchers, nurseries and growers. We work together to increase the economic sustainability of specialty crop production in the United States.

Little Cherry Disease

Little cherry disease (LCD) is a serious viral disease of sweet cherry. Trees with LCD produce cherries of small size and poor flavor making the fruit unmarketable. This disease has been present at low levels in Washington State since the 1940s, but became increasingly evident during 2011-2013 resulting in unpicked limbs/trees, tree removal, or even orchard removal.

Berry and Potato Pathology

Blueberry production in Washington has more than doubled in the past decade generating a revenue of 228 million USD. Northwest Washington boasts of producing premium fresh market potatoes and superior quality certified seed potatoes. Berry and Potato Pathology program at WSU Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center focuses on better understanding the biology and epidemiology of diseases affecting blueberry and potato crops with the goal of developing research-based management strategies.

Grape Virology Program

The Washington State Grape and Wine Industry has identified management of virus diseases impacting fruit quality and vine health as a key research priority for achieving the central goal of tripling the economic value of the industry by 2020. The Grape Virology program at WSU-Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser is responding by establishing an integrated program of research, extension, and education.
Please contact Dr. Doug Walsh for more information.

Wheat and Small Grains Extension

Washington State is known worldwide as a large producer of high quality soft white and club wheat. In 2013 there were nearly 2.2 million acres of wheat harvested in Washington, with total production of more than 144 million bushels and a farm gate value of $978 million; 185,000 acres of barley were also harvested with a total production of 13.3 million bushels valued at $55.9 million. The WSU Dryland Cropping Systems Team was established in 2012 with a mission to provide a one-stop source of information relating to all aspects of wheat and barley production.