Christmas Tree Planting Trial

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

Oregon not only holds first place in the nation for grass seed production, we are also number one in Christmas tree production.  According to the National Christams Tree Association 2007 reports, Oregon growers raise Christmas trees on nearly 67,000 acres and harvested 6.85 million trees for the Christmas season that year.  In 2007 Oregon had nearly 40% more Christmas tree acreage than the second place Michigan and harvested nearly double the number of trees than second place North Carolina.  We are a big player in Christmas tree market.  Here is a 2008 report of Christmas tree production in Oregon compiled by USDA.

Most Christmas trees in the Willamette Valley are planted without starter fertilizer.  The red mountain soils we have around the edges of the Valley are very low in phosphorous.  The mycorrhizae that colonize the trees roots and mine the soil for phosphorous and other nutrients is abundant but it takes time for it to become established with a new planted tree. Christmas trees are usually transplanted from the nursery to the field in the spring which can result in a stressful summer if we don't get a few rain showers or we have a dry fall.

So, I wanted to see if we could learn anything in a planting fertilizer trial.  Joe Cacka, our division agronomist, and Paolo Sanguankeo, Joe's research assistant, are overseeing the trials.  I'm just the helper.  The trial consists of nine treatments replicated four times on a newly planted field.  We took diameter measurements of each tree in each replication so we will have a quantitative baseline to observe tree growth.  Next spring we will be able to observe how much new foliar growth we get from the trees under different applications in comparison to the untreated check.  Planting fertilizer is not a new concept but it is something we have not played with much.  We use a starter fertilizer in all of our other crops so it makes sense to see a response in the trees.  A big thanks to Joe and Paolo for overseeing this trial and ensuring that we get some measurable results.

Christmas trees are harvested and sold based purely on how they look; color, shape, fullness, height, etc.  This can be fairly subjective and thus difficult to quantify in a trial.  The last couple years of a tree's life in the field are very important.  The last two to three years of growth are what we as consumers see in the tree lot.  Diseases, chemical damage, insect damage, or drought stress are some of factors that can cause a tree to be unfit for market.  The whole purpose of this trial is to see if we can affect the last couple years of growth by giving the seedling Christmas trees a good head start.

We'll be watching these trials for the next couple years so I will write an update once in a while when we start to see something interesting.

Insect Pop Quiz Answer: Cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus)

Joe Moade
CPS Tangent

First detected in Michigan in 1962 the Cereal Leaf Beetle (Oulema melanopus) can cause significant yield and quality reduction in small grains. The larva (brown-yellow with a slimy mass of fecal material on their backs, think slugs) is the most damaging stage. It is important to note that spring grains are favored over winter grains as a food source due too lush new growth at time of egg laying. It is extremely important to monitor for adults, eggs and early larval populations to determine treatment. Most treatments can be piggy backed with flag leaf fungicide applications.

Here are a few pictures of an economically damaging insect.
Please post your best guess as what the common name is for this insect.

Here in a few days I will post the name of the insect and some of the info regarding this bug.
This is the adult life stage of the insect note the red pronotum (neck), black body and head.
Yes you do have to have your glasses on to see this insect.

Close up of the Larva form.

Here is the egg life stage.

Hyslop Field Day Reminder

Jason Bennett
CPS Tangent

This is a reminder about the Hyslop Field Day.  Andrew Hulting has written more detail about the tour, it is posted below.  
Also remember CPS is having a wheat tour the following day May 27th @ 4PM.  We will meet at the branch.  Hope to see you there.

Andrew Hulting 
OSU-Extension Weed Management Specialist 

Oregon State University Extension specialists and researchers from OSU's Department of Crop and Soil Science will host the annual Hyslop Farm Field Day on Wednesday, May 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Coffee and snacks will be available around 8:00 with a welcome and introductions to follow at 8:30.  

The format of the tours will be similar to the last two years.  Each tour will be repeated in the afternoon (see Hyslop Farm Field Day Agenda), so if you would like to see both tours you will need to plan on spending the day at Hyslop.  The OSU undergraduate Crop Science Club will provide a BBQ lunch free of charge at noon and we want to thank the Oregon Seed Council and the Oregon Wheat Growers League for helping to defray those costs.  Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, will be on hand during lunch and will address the group on how the upcoming changes and restructuring of the College and Extension may affect Willamette Valley wheat and grass seed growers.  The Crop Science Club members will also talk at lunch about the progress they have made over the last year in establishing a weed identification garden at the farm.

The tours this year will focus on cereal crops and grass seed/oil seed crops.  These tours are a showcase of the applied work that is conducted at the research farm that directly benefits growers and the agricultural industry in the Valley and across the state.  There are several variety, fertility, and insect, disease and weed management stops in each tour.  Work with alternative crops such as winter barley types (forage, feed, food and malting) and oil seeds along with native grasses grown for seed will be highlighted.  We will also have discussions on the use and conservation of native pollinators, such as bumble bees, in our cropping systems.

We are hoping for good weather and look forward to seeing many of you at the farm on Wednesday morning.  Questions or comments can be directed to Bill, Andy or Mike at the contact information listed on the agenda.

Hyslop Field Day

Jason Bennett
CPS Tangent

Coming up on May 26th from 8AM-4PM OSU will be having its Hyslop Farm Field Day.  At the field day you will get to see first hand different plots dealing with Grass Seed, Cereals, Oil Seed, and the insects that infect them.
In Cereals they will cover Breeding, Disease Management, Fertility, and Weed Management.
In Grass Seed they will talk about the different management practices in Tall Fescue and Perennial Ryegrass and also Choke management in Orchardgrass.
You will also get to a chance to learn about Canola and Meadowfoam Breeding, along with Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus and Bee Pollination.

Cost is $0 and the lunch is provided by the OSU Crops Club. 
Hyslop Farm Field Day

New Page Link Added: Stock Market Reports

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

I've been working on this one for a while and have a good start on it so I put it up.

I posted a new page tab at the top of this website with charts and graphs summarizing various stock market reports.  Feel free to let me know if you'd like to see different market reports added, there are many other options but I wanted to keep it fairly simple to start with.  Enjoy.

CPS Tangent Plot Tour

Tanner Sheahan
 CPS Tangent

We will be hosting a tour of the wheat plots out on Hwy 34 next Thursday for anyone who is interested in seeing multiple varieties side by side.  We have five varieties of winter wheat; Goetze, Tubbs06, Badger, Westbred 528, and Sounder, a feed wheat.  Across all the varieties we also have high nitrogen treatments with and without growth regulators.  With the wind and rain this week the various treatments are really starting to show up.

We also have three varieties of Camelina planted at this location.  Camelina belongs to the mustard family and is grown for the oil which is used primarily in biofuels.  OSU has done quite a bit of work with Camelina in recent years so this would be a good opportunity to see the crop first hand.

Here is a link to a flyer for the tour.

What:   CPS Tangent Plot Tour
When:  Thursday, May 27, 2010
Where: Meet at the CPS branch in Tangent
Who:    CPS Tangent fieldstaff

We have a couple other wheat trials at two other locations.  Talk with you CPS Fieldman if you are interested in seeing the other trials.

See ya there!

USDA urges Ag Producers to apply for Conservation Stewardship Program

Jason Bennett
CPS Tangent

I received an email from the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) late last week with information regarding a Conservation Stewardship Program.  I am no expert on this program, nor do I agree/disagree with it, but a lot of the qualifications for this program are things that you as growers are doing already.  I thought I would pass on the information and you could look over it and do what you please with it. 

Here is the email I received follow the links for more information:

Contact Information: Jon Samson
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that agriculture producers are invited to apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). CSP offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and who agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial forestland. The deadline to be considered for the next ranking and funding period is June 11, 2010.
Under the interim final rule published July 29, 2009, eligible producers may submit an application to enroll eligible land in CSP on a continuous basis. Producers are encouraged to apply for CSP now to ensure their applications will be considered during the next funding and ranking period. However, they can make their final decision to participate in the program once the CSP final rule is issued. The final rule will establish the policies and procedures for the program.
CSP offers payments for adding conservation practices and maintaining and managing existing conservation practices, such as:
·         Use of drift reducing nozzles, low pressures, lower boom height, and adjuvants to reduce pesticide drift
·         GPS, targeted spray application (SmartSprayer), or other chemical application electronic control technology
·         Precision application technology to apply nutrients
·         High level Integrated Pest Management to reduce pesticide environmental risk
 Opportunities are available through the USDA’s CSP and to contact the local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office to apply. To access the complete CSP Conservation Activity List click here. For additional information about CSP click here or contact ARA at (202) 457-0825 or email

Safety Equipment and Training Sources

Curt Dannen
CPS Tangent


In the last couple months we have had many inquiries and requests for various types of safety-related equipment, supplies, consultants and trainers. We do not normally keep an inventory of safety supplies for sale. We do have many sources that can provide these types of supplies and consulting services. Below is a list of these suppliers and consultants.



· Safety supplies and equipment

Conney Safety---1-800-356-9100—

· Safety supplies and equipment

· Safety label, signs, etc.

Northern Safety &

· Safety supplies and equipment

· Safety clothing and supplies

· On-site first-aid kit monitoring and uniform services

· Spill Kits, disposable drums, etc.

Lab Safety

· Safety supplies of all kinds


· Safety signs, decals, labels



· Haz Mat, CPR, Haz. Commuication Training

· Emergency Spill Response

· Spill Kits, supplies


· Spill Response

· Spill Kits

· OSHA/DOT, First Aid/CPR Training


· Safety Training—Defensive Driving, Forklift, Tractor certifications, respirator fit-testing, WPS(worker protection standards), etc.

Oregon OSHA---1-503-373-7819

· Occupational Safety Consultant/ Consultative Services Section (this is not the enforcement department of OSHA)

Linn County Youth Wage Grant

Curt Dannen
CPS Tangent

Linn County is continuing the program that offers partial reimbursement for small businesses who hire first-time youth.  The story below from Lebanon Express Newspaper has some more details.  Here is a link to the Linn County Website, follow the links under Youth Wage Grant for the application form and further details.  This program could be very valuable for growers in Linn County.

Summer youth wage program seeks businesses

The Linn County Board of Commissioners has renewed its summer Small Business First-Time Employment Youth Wage Grant Program which assists small businesses (35 employees or less) in hiring first-time employment youth; a youth who has not previously worked for the employer.
This will be the fourth year this program has been offered. The county will reimburse Linn County small businesses (who employ first-time employment youth) $2 per hour for hours worked from May 3 through Oct. 1, 2010. Maximum reimbursement per employer is $3,000.
An employer can only hire three qualifying youth at any given time. Each youth has to be legal to work in the U.S., a Linn County resident and at least 14 years of age but not older than 19. Youth 14 through 17 must be hired with a Bureau of Labor & Industries permit. The employer has to certify they are in compliance with all federal and state youth labor laws.
In 2009, 30 companies participated employing 45 youth for a total reimbursement of $21,186. Businesses can start applying today. For further information, contact the Linn County Board of Commissioners’ office at (541) 967-3825 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (541) 967-3825      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Mark Melbye to Speak on Oregon's Ag History

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

I pulled the following announcement out of the Albany Chamber of Commerce Weekly Bulletin:

Albany Chamber of Commerce Membership Forum Luncheon
Guest Speaker: Mark Mellbye
Extension Agent, OSU Extension Service, Linn County
Topic: "Fifty Years of History in Oregon Agriculture"
Journey back in time for the Membership Forum Luncheon, on Wednesday, May 26th, 11:30 AM, at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. Mark Mellbye will be speaking about the history of Oregon agriculture. 

Click HERE for a Forum Registration Form

Sponsored By:


Community Outreach

Jason Bennett
CPS Tangent

On Tuesday Tanner Sheahan and myself went to South Shore Elementary School in Albany and helped Joni Kerr's 2nd grade class plant corn and pumpkins.  The whole object for our trip was to have the kids get there hands dirty and plant the corn and pumpkins, which they can take home and watch the plants grow.  Also talked to the kids about how plants need chemical and fertilizer to grow.
We enjoy being involved in the community and reaching out to others that might not have an understanding of agriculture.  It puts us in front of them to explain how agriculture in the Willamette Valley really works.  And most of all the kids really enjoy getting there hands dirty and being able to take a plant home and watch it grow thru the summer.

Stripe Rust Update: May

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

It has been about 6 weeks since our first observation of stripe rust in winter wheat this spring.  A couple weeks ago I posted some pictures of early infection sites in wheat fields and how untreated rust was penetrating into the leaf sheath.  Here are a couple more pictures I thought you might find interesting.

Fungicide buffer, Goetze wheat. 5 May 2010.

This field was treated by air about three weeks ago.  The applicator left a narrow buffer strip along the edge of the adjoining clover field that now shows up clearly with rather severe rust.

Fungicide buffer, Goetze wheat. 5 May 2010.

Here is a view of the same field looking the other direction.

Goetze stripe rust infection point. 5 May 2010.
This is another look at an initial infection site in an untreated field nearby.  The rust is not necessarily showing up where we would expect it to.  In this case it is the lower ground where the rust is progressing while the high ground behind it is pretty clean.

The disease is definitely progressing.  Spray skips and buffers are quite obvious in earlier infected/treated fields.  Initial infection points are now showing up in nearly every untreated field.  We have not had consistent temperatures necessary for the HTAP to kick in Goetze or Tubbs.  Fortunately we're getting pretty close, across the board, for the normal flag leaf fungicide application.  Talk with your CPS fieldman about fungicide options and timings.

Barley Field Day

Jason Bennett
CPS Tangent

Pat Hayes's barley program is having a field day/tours this week May 6th at Hyslop and on campus.  The morning session will be at Hyslop and will cover varieties, breeding disease, production, growth habit, and processing.  The afternoon session will be on OSU Campus and will cover the malting and brewing research, and food research.  Here is a link to the barley field day agenda.

Also check out the Calendar page at the top, we try and keep this updated with important upcoming dates.