to the Columbia Plateau Wind Erosion/Air Quality Project website!
The Columbia Plateau is a 100,000 square mile region in Washington,
Oregon, and Idaho. The region comprises of one of the driest,
but also one of the most productive wheat regions in the world.
Windblown dust is a concern in the dryer regions of the Columbia
Plateau; dust generated from farming and construction sites poses
a hazard to motorists, reduces soil productivity, and pollutes
air in downwind communities.
Since 1993, a multi-disciplinary team of scientists has worked
to provide significant insight and quantification on wind erosion
and dust emissions from farm fields and the potential impacts
to people living downwind. We have tested and verified a number
of potential farm management and cropping system options to control
wind erosion. Our field research has shown that some control practices
are clearly not agronomically and economically viable, whereas
other practices can be put to use to benefit our soil resource
and air quality without hardship to the livelihood of farmers.
The project continues to identify or develop sustainable practices
that will reduce dust emissions from agricultural soils as well
as to develop the capabilities to predict blowing dust events.
As a result, decisions by farmers and agencies are being made
from solid science.
The project is a cooperative effort of Washington
State University, the USDA
Agricultural Research Service, the USDA
Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service,
the Environmental Protection Agency,
the Washington State Department
of Ecology, the USDA
Natural Resource Conservation Service, the University
of Idaho, and Oregon State
University. You are encouraged to contact individual scientists
with your questions and comments.