Against the gray, late-autumn sky, it’s hard to miss the green plume spraying into the dormant orchard.
It’s a very colorful solution to a nearly invisible problem.
Underlying every pesticide label regulation lie complex calculations of risk to protect workers, bystanders and the environment from drift. But the methods federal regulators use to determine drift allowances from airblast sprayers date back decades — and likely overestimate the risk in modern orchards.
“All the restrictions and statements on labels are based on a set of assumptions of a worst-case scenario,” said Washington State University extension specialist Gwen Hoheisel. “If we could have a better estimate and the worst-case scenario is not actually as bad as it’s currently estimated, it could lead to less restrictive labels.”
That’s why Hoheisel, WSU agricultural engineer Lav Khot and a team of research associates were eager to watch the path of that fluorescent green cloud from the airblast sprayer. To the naked eye, little drift beyond the orchard block could be seen. However, dozens of drift samplers transecting up to 600 feet across the adjacent field were poised to catch and measure any particles that reached them.
BSE graduate students in the Agricultural Automation Engineering research area Haitham Bahlol and Rajeev Sinha presented their work on “Horticultural oil thermotherapy for pear psyllid management”. During the event, Rajeev Sinha spoke to CAHNRS Dean Wright at the 2019 BioAg Symposium
Their poster was awarded the ‘Best Graduate Poster Award’ with $500 scholarship.
Citation: Bahlol, H.Y., R. Sinha*, L.R. Khot, G.-A. Hoheisel and R. Ehsani. 2019. Efficacy evaluation of horticultural oil based thermotherapy for pear psylla management. 2019 BIOAg Symposium, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, Pullman, WA. February 7, 2018. (Received ‘Best Graduate Poster Award’).
The online magazine “Connected World” recognized a WSU associate professor as one of the 2019 artificial intelligence pioneers.
Manoj Karkee, a biological systems engineering associate professor, said the magazine chooses its pioneers based on their use of artificial intelligence, data analytics and technology around the world.
“Other scientists are recognized from different prestigious universities,” Karkee said. “It gives me a lot of pleasure to be selected in that elite group of people.”
PROSSER – WSU’s Lav Khot will look to reduce reliance on broad spectrum pesticides that result in residues on food with an award from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).
Khot and his collaborators received one of FFAR’s New Investigator awards for 2018, which includes a 3-year, $300,000 grant. Part of the grant will be used to study the usefulness of ozonated water, or water that has the O3 molecule, also known as ozone, dissolved into it.
Bin Yang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering at Washington State University Tri‑Cities, has been selected for the Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award — the most prestigious appointment in the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Fulbright currently awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Of those, 40 are selected for the Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award. Yang marks the first professor in WSU history to be selected for the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Energy and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources Award.
Three Biological Systems Engineering Students in the Bioenergy & Bioproducts Engineering specialty area have been selected for the 2018 PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program. The students are listed below and are advised by BSE professor Bin Yang.
1. Zhangyang Xu, 2018 PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program (Co-advisor: Dr. John Cort)
2. Xiaolu Li, 2018 PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program (Co-advisor: Dr. Weijun Qian)
3. Fnu Fitria, 2018 PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program (Co-advisor: Dr. Jian Liu)
Pavitra Krishna Kumar, a PhD student in the Food Engineering emphasis area of Biological Systems Engineering won second place at the 2018 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Graduate Student Poster Competition. Her presentation was entered in the Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Division.
Pavitra is advised by BSE faculty member Dr. Shyam Sablani.
Pavitra was also featured in the Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Division newsletter and gave an interview highlighting her work.
Moneim Mohamed, a PhD student in the Land, Air, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering (LAWREE) emphasis area of Biological Systems Engineering has won the 2018 Graduate Student Award in the Soil and Water Management and Conservation (SAWMAC) Division. Moneim is advised by BSE faculty member Dr. R. Troy Peters.