Demonstrating, Evaluating, and Extending Diversified Direct-Seeded Cropping Systems for Grower Risk-Management in the Inland Northwest

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2000: $53,687.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $5,369.00
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Diana Roberts, PhD
WSU Extension
Dennis Roe

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, canola, corn, flax, millet, oats, safflower, sunflower, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Vegetables: peas (culinary)


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: fallow, no-till, conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: risk management
  • Natural Resources/Environment: wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, competition, cultural control, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, genetic resistance, integrated pest management, precision herbicide use, prevention, sanitation, weather monitoring, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis, soil quality/health


    USDA-SARE supported the Northwest Crops Project, the Spokane County Direct Seeding Project, and the Wilke Project. These eastern Washington projects involved direct seeding (no-till), were grower-driven, and included field scale, on-farm experiments.

    In the Northwest Crops Project, a 3-year direct seed crop rotation did not provide statistical yield or economic benefit over a 4-year crop rotation that included alternative crops like corn and mustard, but it was less risky from the farmer perspective. In the Wilke Project the 3-year rotation tended to perform better. Spokane County growers found ways to save money on residue management treatments in direct seeded fields.

    Project objectives:

    1. Demonstrate the Agronomic Feasibility of Direct Seeded, Annual-Cropping Systems in the Intermediate and a High Precipitation Region of the Inland Northwest by completing the current 3- and 4-year direct seed crop rotations, initiating a second cycle for each rotation for the Wilke and Northwest Crops Projects, and by initiating on-farm testing projects within direct seed crop rotations for the Spokane County group.

      Document the Economic and Agronomic Parameters that Farmers Need for Decision-Making in Transition to the New Systems by collecting and collating essential economic and agronomic data from the demonstration sites. The combined projects will continue to identify the risks that growers must take, and will focus on parameters that farmers prioritize in deciding whether and how to adopt direct seeding.

      Extend the Concepts and Principles of Direct Seeding Systems Through Farmer-to-Farmer Learning by disseminating farm demonstration project results. There will also be back-up and scientific explanations from researchers, Extension, Conservation Districts, and private industry. Tours will be the mainstay, supported with winter meetings and written materials.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.