Today’s agricultural practices can impact the environment. They emit greenhouse gases, can pollute waterways, and use vast quantities of resources. WSU scientists collaborate with farmers, regulators, and other stakeholders to seek ways to minimize agriculture’s environmental footprint. Together, WSU researchers are devising methods, including the creative use of technology, to improve the efficiency of crop planting and harvesting, reduce use of chemicals for managing weeds and pests, and mitigate soil erosion, waterway pollution, and resource consumption.
Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources
Imagine if agricultural operations could act as a “sink,” sequestering carbon dioxide in the soil and reducing the global greenhouse effect. Scholars at WSU aim to make this concept a reality. They are investigating “climate-friendly” farming practices that reduce methane emissions, restore soil carbon, and replace fossil fuels with fuels made from biomass. By encouraging and educating farmers about these methods—which are as economically viable as they are environmentally sound—WSU scholars hope to dramatically reduce agriculture’s contributions to global climate change, environmental pollution, and resource consumption.
Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems
Researchers are investigating the use of three-dimensional visioning systems to automate labor-intensive pruning operations, robotic systems to harvest and move fruit from orchards, and a sensor-based system for precise water management.