"Covering New Ground"

"Covering New Ground"

"Covering New Ground"

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

The Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association and Washington State University have partnered up to host the Direct Seed and Oilseed Cropping Systems 2014 Conference entitled "Covering New Ground" at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick January 20th through the 22nd. Topics to be covered at the conference include canola's role in conservation farming, direct seeding in low precipitation areas, soil health, and cover cropping, which has been gaining popularity in the Pacific Northwest. Interest in growing oilseed crops has been on the rise - canola acreage in Washington has doubled since 2012. Ted Durfey, with Natural Selection Farms in Sunnyside, talks about how they got into growing canola.

DURFEY: We do land application biosolids and how we got into growing was through a research project of growing canola, and we found that it matched the nutrients needs of the biosolids. So, one thing led to another and we realized how canola could really be a sustainable crop.

Durfey explains what he means by sustainable.

DURFEY: I'm in the Yakima Valley where there's a tremendous amount of cows, and they produce a lot more than milk, and that becomes an issue for groundwater and canola is a great nutrient extraction of nutrients. And the canola meal is great for livestock feed. So, we put together a crushing facility and we based our crushing facility upon what was reasonable for the economics of a small crushing facility that we could run our product through as well as neighbors or anybody else. It's all about giving back, we're creating an industry of sustainability. If we can grow the fuel and if we can use it within our state it's helping our own economy.

To register for the Direct Seed and Oilseed Cropping Systems Conference visit directseed.org.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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