Orchard Soil Seminars WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center is organizing a series of seminars on topics related to soils and orchards. These are being captured electronically and made available on line at the WSU Tree Fruit YouTube page.
The Potential for Precision Soil Management in Orchards. Dr. David Brown, WSU Crops & Soils, Pullman, WA. Presented 8/13/2014.
The Hows and Whys of Soil Testing. Dr. Joan Davenport, WSU Crops & Soils, Prosser, WA. Presented 10/29/2014.
Organic Fertilizer Calculator. An excel based tool to help you determine how much nutrient value various organic amendments have, how quickly they release N, and how much they cost. Check the on-line guide for details or look at the presentation from the WA Hort 2007 meeting.
Roots: The Foundation of Your Orchard's Success. A session at the 2014 Wash. St. Hort. Assoc. annual meeting, Kennewick, WA, Dec. 3, 2014. Presentations were captured electronically and can be viewed on line.
Root physiology and function in the orchard (Lee Kalcsits, WSU, Wenatchee, WA)
Optimal tree nutrition and fruit production begins underground - the apple rootstock story (Gennaro Fazio, USDA-ARS, Geneva, NY)
Characteristics of tree root systems (David Eissenstat, Penn State Univ., College Park, PA)
Roots and soil biology: managing the 'microherd' for maximum tree performance (Mark Mazzola, USDA-ARS, Wenatchee, WA)
Question and Answer period
Soil Health: Its Role in Today's Orchard Systems. A session at the 2013 Wash. St. Hort. Assoc. annual meeting, Wenatchee, WA, Dec. 4, 2013. The session asked three questions, and had two speakers address each question:
Does Organic Matter Matter (G. Neilsen, G. Bird)
How Do We Measure Soil Health? (G. Johnson, T. Forge)
How does management influence soil health and tree performance? (I. Merwin, M. Omeg).
Proceedings manuscripts (and several Powerpoint presentations) are available for some speakers (see links below).
Introduction and Synopsis. D. Granatstein Presentation
Does Organic Matter Matter? G. Neilsen Presentation
Organic Matter and the Impact of Management on Orchard Soil Health. G. Bird
Assessing Soil Health for Tree Fruit and Vine Crops. T. Forge
Soil Management Affects Orchard Soil Health and Tree Productivity. I. Merwin Presentation
Soil Health in Orchards. A session at the Intl. Fruit Tree Assoc. winter conference, Pasco, WA, March 2, 2011. The session featured a series of speakers addressing the various aspects of soil health and how they relate to tree growth and fruit quality. Articles based on these presentations are published in Compact Fruit Tree magazine.
- Soil Health in Orchards: An Introduction. David Granatstein, Washington State Univ., Wenatchee, WA
- Managing Resident Soil Biology for Tree Health. Mark Mazzola, USDA-ARS, Wenatchee, WA
- Improving Soil Physical and Chemical Properties for Better Tree Performance. Gerry Neilsen, Agriculture Canada, Summerland, BC, Canada
- Linking Fruit and Soil Quality (Health). Preston Andrews, Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA
- Orchard Soil Health: An International Perspective. Keith Fuller, Agriculture Canada, Kentville, NS, Canada
- Soil Nutrition. Mark LaPierre, Wilbur-Ellis Co., Yakima, WA
- Fertility and Soil Health. Mike Robinson, Wenatchee, WA
Information on irrigation, soil fertilization, fumigation and other amendments, and other topics of practical interest.
- Soil and Nutrient Management.
- Irrigation Management.
- The Compost Connection Home Page. Information on composting in agricultural, commercial, and industrial environments.
- Managing Organic Sources of Nutrients. Find research-based information on manure, yard debris, compost, biosolids and more.
Soil Biology Workshop. Kirkland, WA. February 2002. This day-long event featured a series of presentations on soil biology, principles and practices. It was followed by an extended discussion period between the audience and speakers.
Why does soil biology matter? How do we influence it.
D. Bezdicek, WSU, Pullman.
The soil food web: Who they are and what they do?
Microbiology. T. Forge, Agriculture Canada, Agassiz, BC
Macrobiology. A. Moldenke, OSU, Corvallis, OR
The role of amendments in soil biology: composts, manures, cover crops, ag chemicals, innoculants.
L. Carpenter-Boggs, WSU, Pullman.
NutriSmart™ fertilizer evaluation
NutriSmart™ biological fertilizer is reportedly a mix of several selected yeast strains in a leonardite and rock phosphate carrier. The different yeasts are intended to release P and K from the solid matrix and fix N from the air at rates that match plant need and avoid excess nutrient buildup in the soil that could lead to leaching. In field and greenhouse trials (2003-2004), the product showed no nitrogen benefit and some benefit for phosphorus and potassium nutrition. Heat-treated product (to kill the yeasts) performed as well or better than the live product, suggesting that any nutrient benefits were from the abiotic components of the fertilizer rather than the yeasts. Contact David Granatstein for more information.
Soil Health, Plant Health, and Fruit Quality
Does soil management impact the health of the plants and the quality of the food produced? Existing and emerging research does support this concept and more work is being done to understand the mechanisms and the economic and human health values. A panel discussed this issue at the 2004 Washington State Horticulture Association Annual Meeting. Presentations from that panel are accessible below.
- Understanding the Soil-Tree-Fruit Nutrient System. Preston Andrews, Washington State University Dept. of Horticulture.
- Organic Amendments and Biological Control of Diseases. Alex Stone, Oregon State University Dept. of Horticulture.
- Comparative Effects of Organic Mulches/Amendments on Indicators of Soil Health("low carb" vs."high carb" diets for the soil food web). Tom Forge, Pacific Agricultural Research Centre, Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Agassiz, BC Canada.
David Granatstein, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee
Office Ph: 509-663-8181 x222
Office Hours: by appointment
Sponsored by the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Wenatchee, WA.