Friday, May 17, 2019

Understanding Factors Controlling Ammonia Volatilization from Fertilizer Nitrogen Applications.

Biswanath Dari, Christopher W. Rogers, and Olga S. Walsh

Best Management Practices to Minimize Ammonia Volatilization Losses from Fertilizer Nitrogen Applications.

Christopher W. Rogers, Biswanath Dari, and Olga S. Walsh

Sugar Beets Research Update

Nitrogen and Water Management for Optimized Sugar Beet Yield and Sugar Content

Principal Researchers: Olga Walsh and Sanaz Shafian
Affiliation: Olga Walsh, University of Idaho
Address: 29603 U of I Lane, Parma ID 83660; (208) 291-6218
Principal Contact Email:

We are grateful to the Snake River Sugarbeet Research and Seed Alliance LLC and the Amalgamated Sugar Company for funding and supporting this project.

Sugar beet (SB) production profitability is based on maximizing three parameters: beet yield, sucrose content, and sucrose recovery efficiency. Efficient nitrogen (N) and water management are key for successful SB production. Nitrogen deficits in the soil can reduce root and sugar yield. Overapplication of N can reduce sucrose content and increase nitrate impurities which lowers sucrose recovery. Application of N in excess of SB crop need leads to vigorous canopy growth, while compromising root development and sugar production. Changes in SB varieties and management practices warrant re-evaluation of N management. TASCO and the USDA-ARS found that in 60% of evaluated SB fields, application of N did not increase sucrose yield. This suggests that residual soil N from past applications and in-season N mineralization was adequate and indicates that growers could maximize sugar yield and save money by applying less N. Due to recommendation to have all N applied and plant-available by 4-6 leaves, it is imperative to determine the appropriate N application rates for N responsive fields early in the season. Appropriate irrigation amount and timing can optimize SB yields while minimizing disease pressure, water costs and N leaching. Excessive irrigation can increase SB root weight, but lower sugar content. Defining the optimum water and N fertilizer levels should be done on a regional basis, utilizing locally grown varieties and taking into account local management practices. Remote sensing is a promising tool for in-season N and water management and in-season prediction of SB yield and quality, which in turn can improve the economic returns to SB growers and processors. Crop sensors can accurately measure SB biomass production and top N content.  Spectral indices are correlated with N rates applied to SB can be used for in-season prediction of SB yield and quality and to make N management decisions.

List of Objectives
The goal is to improve water and N use efficiency for agronomically, economically, and environmentally sustainable SB production by combining traditional and novel, state-of-the-art methodologies.
1. To analyze the effects of water and N fertilizer rates on SB yield and quality,
2. To explore the potential of using ground- and aerial-based (UAVs) data for SB N and water content monitoring,
3. To access the feasibility of predicting SB root yield and recoverable sugar using hand-held and UAV-based sensors, and
4. To conduct extension outreach focused on water and nutrient management in SB, remote sensing, and UAV use for crop monitoring.

Sugar beet planting, April 18, 2019


Irrigating the research plots using the subsurface drip irrigation system, April 25, 2019

Sugar beets emergence, April 26, 2019

Water treatment differences, May 16, 2019:
100% water applied; 12 h set

50 % water applied; 6 h set


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Western Society of Crop Science 2019 Annual Meeting - June 25-26, 2019 Tri-Cities, WA

CSSA Header
Columbia Basin College | 2600 N 20th Ave. | Pasco, WA 99301
June 25-26, 2019
Tri-Cities, WA
Abstract Submission and Registration now open! 
The Western Society of Crop Science (WSCS) is pleased to announce the next annual meeting in Tri-Cities, WA on June 25-26. The meeting will be held at Columbia Basin College (2600 N 20th Ave, Pasco, WA 99301). The meeting is an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues and students from around the West and exchange scientific information.
The meeting will begin with a tour on Tuesday morning (June 25) to highlight sites of agricultural significance in southeast Washington. One of the tour highlights includes a tour of the state of the art WSU Wine Science Center.
Abstract Submissions Now Open!

The theme of the 2019 WSCS Meeting will be the same as that of the 2019 ASA, CSSA & SSSA Annual Meeting, "Embracing the Digital Environment." Attendees are encouraged to present a paper or poster around this theme. The deadline for submitting and editing titles/abstracts is June 3, 2019.

Student Competitions

The WSCS presents the A.K. Dobrenz Student Paper Awards with a cash award for the three best student oral presentations at its Society meetings. The student winners receive $200 (1st place), $175 (2nd place), and $150 (3rd place) awards. The 1st place winner will also receive a $500 travel stipend to attend the ASA, CSSA & SSSA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX!
New this year! WSCS will hold a student poster contest with cash prizes! Student winners receive $200 (1st place), $175 (2nd place), and $150 (3rd place) awards. There is no travel stipend awarded for the poster contest.
Emerging Scientist Award Once again WSCS will offer this award to an outstanding WSCS member who is 7 years or less into their degree and has made significant contributions to their profession. Nominate yourself or a colleague here.
Pre-registration is now open! Pre-registration rates are $125 for professionals and $50 for students. Onsite registration rates will be $150 for professionals and $75 for students. 

Please contact Dr. Mark Marsalis, the current WSCS President at, 505-865-7340 or Dr. Olga Walsh, the WSCS President-Elect at, 208-722-6701 with questions. For additional information on the local accommodations, contact Dr. Steve Norberg at
We look forward to seeing you in the Tri-Cities!
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