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Soil Health in Orchards – Yakima

November 5 @ 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

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This full day intensive workshop will take place at two locations in North-Central WA (Wenatchee) and South-Central WA (Yakima). This workshop is a follow up to a project funded by the Tree Fruit Research Commission Each session will have up to 48 participants such that groups of 12 are able to work together for activities.

Registration available in August, 2020.

 Agenda: How do We Measure and Manage Soil Health for Productive Orchards?

8:30 to 8:45 am             Introduction to Soil Health Tianna DuPont, WSU Extension

Soil Health Functions and their Measurement

(Instructors: Andy McGuire, Tianna DuPont, Bernardita Sallato, David Granatstein) 

8:45 to 9:00 am             Function: Water Infiltration and Availability

We will discuss indicators of water availability including: aggregate stability; bulk density; water infiltration; available water capacity; surface compaction; and subsurface compaction.

9:00 to 9:15 am             Demonstration water infiltration and water holding

In four groups we will use NRCS run off boxes to demonstrate water infiltration and holding in soils removed from three orchards.

9:15 to 9:30 am             Demonstration aggregate stability

Using mini-aggregate stability measurement kits each table will measure aggregate stability of soils from four orchards with different management.

9:30 to 9:45 am             Function: Root Health

We will discuss indicators related to root health: respiration; active carbon; nematode Structure Index; root health bioassays.

9:45 to 10:00 am           Nematode and micro-arthropod microscopic demonstration

At each table we will have microscopes with pre-made nematode slides and micro-arthropod cultures for observation.

10:00 to 10:15 am         Root health bioassay demonstration

In four groups we will have participants rate seedlings for root health using both apple and bean bioassays.

10:15 to 10:30 am         Active carbon demonstration

We will use the active carbon field kit to measure the permanganate oxidizable carbon from orchard soils with different management in four groups.

10:30 to 10:45 am         Function: Nutrient Storage and Cycling

We will discuss indicators including: major and micro nutrients; potentially available N; soil protein; microarthropods; organic matter; nematode Enrichment Index

10:45 to 11:00 am         Break

11:00 to 11:30 am         Soil Health in Orchards – What Matters. Results from a Four-Year Study of Soil Health Indicators in Washington Orchards – Tianna DuPont, WSU Extension

11:30 to Noon               Q&A Results from Your Orchard

Noon to 1:00 pm           Lunch

Moving the Dial – Soil Health Management Practices for Productive Orchards

1:00 to 1:30 pm             Mulches: Mow and Blow, Wood Chips and Living Covers – David Granatstein, WSU Professor Emeritus 

 1:30 to 2:00 pm             Bio-renovation Using Anaerobic Disinfestation and Brassica Seedmeal – Tianna DuPont, WSU Extension

2:00 to 2:20 pm             Break

2:20 to 3:00 pm             How soil health management practices affect plant-parasitic nematodes and root health – Tom Forge, Agri-Food Canada 

3:00 to 4:00 pm             Techniques to Maintain Adequate Plant Nutrition – Lee Kalcsits, WSU Horticulture 


November 5
8:00 am - 4:00 pm


WSU Extension – Tianna DuPont
(509) 293-8758


Yakima Extension Office
2403 S 18th St #100
Union Gap, WA
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Washington State University