CORVALLIS - Two universities and two public agencies will sponsor a workshop Feb. 15 in The Dalles to explore factors in the soil of the Mid-Columbia region of Oregon and Washington that influence small grain yields, plant disease and insect resistance.

The free session, which runs from 12:45 to 5 p.m., is called the Mid-Columbia Soil Quality and Health Workshop. It will be in The Dalles' Columbia Gorge Discovery Center Theater.

Sponsors of the workshop are Oregon State University's Extension Service offices in the Mid-Columbia region, the Washington State University Extension Service, the Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District and the federal Natural Resource and Conservation Service.

The workshop schedule:

  • 12:45 p.m.: Introductions


  • 1 to 1:15 p.m.: Soil Quality: Why Do We Care," Steve Petrie, superintendent, Columbia Basin Research Center


  • 1:15 to 1:45 p.m.: "Soil Nutrition," Don Wysocki, OSU Extension Service soils specialist


  • 1:45 to 2:15 p.m.: "Soil Organic Matter," Steve Albrecht, USDA crop and soil scientist


  • 2:15 to 2:45 p.m.: "Soil Micro Flora (Bacteria/Fungi)," Steve Albrecht


  • 3 to 3:30 p.m.: "Soil Macro Flora (Soil Insects)," Andy Moldenke, OSU entomologist


  • 3:30 to 3:45 p.m.: "Soil Organisms (Worms)," Stewart Wuest, USDA agronomist


  • 3:45 to 4:15 p.m.: "Small Grains Soil Pathogens," Richard Smiley, OSU plant pathologist


  • 4:15 to 5 p.m.: "Putting It All Together," speaker panel

The sponsors request that people who plan to attend the workshop pre-register by contacting OSU's Wasco County Extension Office at 541-296-5494.

The Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District's annual meeting will follow the workshop, with a social hour starting at 5:30 p.m. and a dinner at 6:30 p.m.

To register for the organization's annual meeting, contact the Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District at 541-296-6178 by Feb. 12. Cost for the dinner will be $15 per person.

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Brian Tuck, 541-296-5494