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Research & Extension Topics

A outline of the states Washington, Idaho and Oregon with a drawing of a bunch of vegetable over the outline.

Pacific Northwest Vegetable Extension

Pacific Northwest Vegetable Extension Group includes 23 specialists from Washington, Idaho, and Oregon who contribute expertise in plant pathology, horticulture, weed science, and entomology via website and other activities, to coordinate vegetable extension information and events throughout the region.

A clump of seeds still on a plant.

Vegetable Seed Pathology Program

Did you know that farmers in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the USA produce a significant percentage of the USA and world supply of seed for more than 35 small-seeded vegetable crops? About 90 countries import vegetable seed from the PNW because so few regions of the world have the specific climatic conditions necessary for production of high quality seed.

Rows of plants with an arched hoop frame in a field

Crop Tunnels and Plastic Mulch

Tunnels or hoop houses, are temporary agricultural structures with arched or hoop frames, and are covered with clear plastic. They can be easily covered and uncovered, and assembled and disassembled in order to move to a different field site. Most tunnels are passively, solar-heated, using no electricity. High Tunnels are usually high enough to drive a tractor through. Crops are grown in the ground, usually with drip irrigation.

A Christmas tree farm with several grown Christmas trees.

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.

A row of pink tulips with a row of red tulips behind the front row

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.

A couple of potted trees in an outdoor plant nursery setting

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.

Some leaves from the Madrone tree.

Pacific Madrone Research

information on propagating Madrone, its ecology, Champion trees, diseases and insect pests photos and distribution maps of Pacific madrone and environments where it can be found locations where seed has been collected, seed available for experiments and plantings data from research projects on genetic variation, disease resistance

Small tree growths in test tubes with white labels on them

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.

A grape plant in a black planter

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.

A bunch of cherries growing on a tree

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.

A plant stem with white mildew powder on it

Potato, Mint, and Asparagus Diseases

Find out more about the plant diseases your affecting your crop.

A close up of a wheat stalk with a wheat field in the background

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.

A row of elm trees turning yellow in the distance across a dirt field.

National Elm Trial

The National Elm Trial is a volunteer effort to evaluate and promote the use of Dutch elm disease-resistant American and hybrid elms. This effort grew out of the NCR-193 Agricultural Experiment Station coordinating committee on insects and diseases of woody ornamentals. This group consists of researchers and extension specialists located at land grant universities around the United States.

A blueberry on a blueberry bush

Berry Pathology

The Berry Pathology Program is based at Washington State University’s Mount Vernon Research Center and the Pullman campus. Our research goal is to better understand the biology and epidemiology of diseases affecting berries in the Pacific Northwest. This knowledge will be used as a foundation to develop improved disease management strategies for Pacific Northwest berry growers.