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View Full Version : What Killed 40,000 Acres of Oregon Wheat Last November?



Ed Jewett
01-19-2011, 08:29 PM
What Killed 40,000 Acres of Oregon Wheat Last November? (http://cryptogon.com/?p=20016)
January 19th, 2011 This is from, Capital Press, December 02, 2010: Investigators Baffled as Wheat Fields Wither (http://www.capitalpress.com/orewash/mw-Umatilla-County-wheat-mystery-120310-w-AK-map):


The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are investigating the yellowing of upward of 40,000 acres of wheat in Umatilla and Morrow counties.

So far, the cause is a mystery, and researchers do not know if the problems in the two counties are related.

In early November, Umatilla County growers noticed wheat fields turning yellow and dying, OSU Extension soil scientist Don Wysocki said.

Sixteen fields from three to 10 miles northwest of Pendleton were affected, Wysocki said. They are “more or less but not completely contiguous,” he said. Not every field in the area was affected.

The area was predominately planted to soft white Clearfield variety ORCF-102, but other varieties were also affected, Wysocki said.

“There’s probably more than one thing going on in these particular fields, like in any field,” he said.

OSU Morrow County Extension associate professor Larry Lutcher said 30,000 to 40,000 acres of wheat in his county have plants with yellow or purple tips. The discoloration spreads inward and downward on the leaf. In some cases, plants are completely desiccated and will not recover.

The symptoms have been observed in many fields in the county, Lutcher said, but do not appear tied to any particular location.

“Most of the symptoms in Morrow County are unlike anything I have ever seen,” Lutcher said.

Lutcher said he doesn’t believe the problem will spread to other fields, but he can’t be certain.

“This does appear to be a new problem — a problem that no one seems to have experience with,” he said.

The last mention that I was able to find about this situation was from Capital Press, January 6, 2011: Growers Seek Update on Withered Wheat (http://www.capitalpress.com/content/mw-Lutcher-preview-010711-Don-Wysocki-mug):

Wysocki said there is still debate about the cause, although samples tested positive for some herbicides. Based on some of the patterns in the fields, he said there was probably some chemical trespass issues.

Wysocki declined to comment on which chemicals may have drifted. That depends on the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s investigation, he said.

In a letter to growers Dec. 28, Oregon Agriculture Director Katy Coba said the department has initiated 19 pesticide use follow-up investigations to determine compliance with the Oregon Pesticide Control Law. The department collected about 70 plant tissue samples for testing in its regulatory lab, specifically for glyphosate residues.

Because the department routinely uses a minimum detectable level of 0.01 parts per million, testing wheat foliage for glyphosate residue is challenging. The department is consulting with glyphosate manufacturer Monsanto and other state regulatory laboratories, Coba said in the letter. She expects to have analytical results by Jan. 21.

The department is also reviewing application records from 51 commercial pesticide operators that worked in the area between Oct. 1 and 30.

The department is planning a follow-up status conference call and meeting the week of Jan. 24.

Other items on the Morrow County meeting agenda include ammonia volatilization in the field, manure applications on dryland wheat and the possible combination of Oregon Wheat Growers League and Oregon Wheat Commission administrative positions.

Lutcher said his discussion will be limited to what he knows at the time.

“This spring, we will need to keep a close eye on the crop,” he said.

http://cryptogon.com/?p=20016


[Does this belong in the Black Ops section?]

Keith Millea
01-19-2011, 09:06 PM
This is what is in Umatilla County.


Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

0 Comments (http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2011/01/11/1322272/state-allows-depot-to-up-processing.html#disqus_thread) State allows depot to up processing rate

By the Herald staff


HERMISTON -- The state of Oregon has agreed to allow the incineration facility at the Umatilla Chemical Depot to increase its processing rate from 75 percent to 100 percent.
At the increased rate, the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility should be able to destroy the remaining 1,200 tons of chemical warfare agent within a year, said Gary Anderson, Army site project manager for the plant, in a statement. Nerve agent stored at the depot already has been destroyed and all that remains is chemical mustard agent.
Work began in June 2009 to destroy the mustard agent. The United States is required by treaty to have the chemical agent destroyed by April 29, 2012.

Similar stories:


DEPOT: Ore. chemical weapons depot disposal to increase
(http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2011/01/13/1325424/depot-ore-chemical-weapons-depot.html#storylink=mirelated)DEPOT: Ore. chemical weapons depot disposal to increase



Oregon regulators have approved an increase in the rate of disposal for the aging stockpile of chemical weapons at the Umatilla Chemical Depot.
The East Oregonian reports the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality authorized an increase in the destruction of chemical mustard agent from a 75 percent processing rate to 100 percent.
Officials said the faster rate should allow the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility to destroy the remaining 1,200 tons of chemical agent within a year.


Umatilla disposal facility increases processing

(http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2010/09/30/1190023/umatilla-disposal-facility-increases.html#storylink=mirelated)Umatilla disposal facility increases processing




HERMISTON -- The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility increased to a 75 percent processing rate Wednesday, up from 50 percent.
The plant at the Umatilla Chemical Depot is incinerating chemical mustard agent produced for weapons use. The U.S. is required by treaty to have all chemical agents destroyed by April 29, 2012.
The Army expects mustard agent, the last chemical weapon remaining at the Umatilla Chemical Depot, to be incinerated by that date.


5 million pounds of chemical weapons gone
(http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2010/10/29/1228896/only-mustard-agent-left-to-be.html#storylink=mirelated)5 million pounds of chemical weapons gone



HERMISTON -- The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility has reached a milestone with 5 million pounds of chemical weapons agent destroyed at the Umatilla Chemical Depot.
Since operations began in September 2004, the plant has destroyed all of the depot's stockpile of nerve agents GB and VX and now is destroying mustard blister agent, the last chemical weapon left at the depot. A little more than a quarter of the 4.7 million pounds of mustard agent has been destroyed, with all of it scheduled to be incinerated in spring 2012.


Depot destroys oldest mustard agent container

(http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2010/08/04/1118038/depot-destroys-oldest-mustard.html#storylink=mirelated)Depot destroys oldest mustard agent container




HERMISTON -- The oldest container of mustard weapon agent stored at the Umatilla Chemical Depot was destroyed Tuesday.
Depot employees had nicknamed it "Grandpa" and depot maps showed its storage structure as "Grandpa's House."
The 70-year-old container was manufactured in 1940 and filled with 1,768 pounds of mustard agent at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver in 1946.


Depot processing passes halfway point

(http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2010/08/13/1129304/depot-processing-passes-halfway.html#storylink=mirelated)Depot processing passes halfway point





HERMISTON -- The Umatilla Chemical Depot has passed the halfway mark for destroying its stockpile of chemical warfare agents.
This includes all of the nerve agent and part of the mustard agent destroyed since the start of chemical operations in 2004, officials said.


Read more: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2011/01/11/1322272/state-allows-depot-to-up-processing.html#ixzz1BW82IqKQ

Ed Jewett
01-19-2011, 10:17 PM
Yes, I would guess the wholesale destruction of mustard gas would make local things turn yellow.