The Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association and Washington State University will join forces to present a duel oilseed/direct seeding systems conference Jan. 20-22, 2014.
Joining with oilseed interests represents the first time PNDSA has affiliated with specific crops in its popular annual meeting, set next year for the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, Wash.
PNDSA and WSU Extension officials believe that oilseeds and direct seeding systems have many similar issues, which association executive director Kay Meyer says will result in "one of the best yet (conferences), offering an expanded format."
"In the Northwest, the oilseed focus is on brassica crops, which includes canola, rapeseed and mustard," explains Meyer. "These oilseeds have been used in limited applications as rotation crops with wheat and barley.
"The benefit of rotating oilseed crops with cereal grains is that they allow a wider choice of herbicide use, improving weed control, help loosen hardpan and can be direct seeded or no-till farmed, reducing soil erosion impacts and breaking disease cycles."
The barriers of low yields, NW crop varieties and underdeveloped markets are being overcome, long a deterrent to wider planting of the oilseed crops, are being overcome with new research and varieties, she notes.
The Oilseed and Direct Seed Cropping Systems conference is the only session of its kind in the northwest, and is considered to be an opportunity for those attending to expand sales and enhance a growing industry through sponsorship and exhibitor participation, says Meyer.
About 350 persons are expected to attend the January meeting which is expected to draw farmers and support industries such as those in irrigation, consulting and research.
The conference will focus its exhibits on oilseed and direct seed equipment, industry suppliers and services, and general sessions will include a dozen covering DS and a dozen on oilseeds, Meyer says.
For more, go to the PNDSA website at www.directseed.org, or call Meyer at (509) 995-6335.