Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains how Washington State University's Extension Office has made years of agricultural data easier to access and interpret.
If you want information on wheat and small grain yields, nitrogen levels, and disease ratings, you'll find it here at Washington State University.
"One of the problems we've always faced with all this data that's generated, roughly 50,000 data points that we produce every year, is synthesizing that into information and ways to utilize that information," said WSU Extension Agronomist Stephen Guy.
"It was difficult for growers to find that information because it was scattered all over the place," said WSU Extension Crop & Soil Sciences Specialist Drew Lyon.
Now, growers can access all that info online... anytime, for free.
"This website is a new tool that the WSU Extension has created to improve outreach and education to wheat and barley growers in Eastern Washington," said WSU Extension Crop & Soil Communications Consultant Emily Smudde.
"This is basically a map of eastern Washington and the rainfall zones," said Lyon.
The site is Smallgrains.WSU.edu. It includes "variety selection tool" that predicts which strains of wheat will do best based on location and rainfall.
"Yield is of primary importance to everyone, but we have a lot of good yielding varieties," said Guy.
Growers can select which factors are most important to them. Whether it's stripe rust….
"Now it's sorted by yield, but with the best stripe rust rating in each yield," said Lyon.
Or a long list of other statistics like protein percentage, height and weight.
"I can click on this, and now my varieties are not rated by yield, they're rated by winter survival," said Lyon. "And then if I want to learn more about the variety, I just click on the name and I get a summary of the variety and all it's characteristics."
This site just went live a couple months ago, and the WSU Extension office plans to update it regularly, so it's ready for every planting season.
"We're strong believers that information makes for good decisions," said Lyon.
The project was funded by the Washington Grain Commission and the information is free to access.