Letter from the Director
Welcome to the 2004-05 Annual Report of the Washington State University Agricultural Research Center! The research featured in these web pages reflects the hard work and scholarly endeavors of the faculty, staff and students funded through ARC as well as USDA-CSREES Formula Funds and numerous other external grants.
The WSU Agricultural Research Center was again the largest recipient of grant funding within the university this past year. Faculty and staff won new awards totaling more than $27 million. This kind of success affirms the quality and relevance of the work our researchers are conducting in labs on the Pullman campus, at Research and Extension Centers at nine locations from Long Beach to Lind and in the field throughout the state.
Our slate of projects continues to grow in size and diversity. Currently, ARC funds nearly 400 projects aimed at addressing the needs of Washingtonians and the nation. Researchers are developing and leveraging basic science to build applications for solving real-world problems. Specifically, we work to:
- ensure that our farms and industries are able to compete in the global economy,
- protect the security of our food and fiber systems,
- ensure a healthy and well-nourished population,
- protect natural resources and the environment,
- and enhance economic opportunity for individuals, businesses and communities.
It has been another year of fine scientific achievement in the ARC. For example, Professor Larry Schrader was awarded a patent for his development of clay and lipid formulations to protect horticultural crops – primarily apples – from sunburn and insect damage. Sunburn or sunscald causes multi-million dollar losses annually to apple growers, so this breakthrough has dramatic economic benefits for Washington.
Professor John Browse’s research focuses on using an understanding of the fundamental science of plant growth to double the yield of derivative fats in plant oils. Eventually, his work could help the nation reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and provide environment-friendly ways to produce plastics, resins, and other chemical products. He has been awarded several patents in this area.
Every entry in this report tells a compelling story. I urge you to take a moment from your busy schedule to look over the report. I welcome your questions or comments. You can contact me at AgResearch@wsu.edu or at 509.335.4563.