HWSC in the Pacific Northwest: Greene Ridge Farms Tackles Tough Weeds with Seed Impact Mill

Mark Greene’s fields only see 10 to 12 inches of rain on his farm in Asotin County, a flat, semiarid section of the Palouse region in southeastern Washington. But that hasn’t stopped the weeds! That’s why Greene Ridge Farms recently added a seed impact mill, the Redekop SCU, to help manage cheatgrass (downy brome) and sterile brome. 

Greene Ridge Farms is in a flat, low-rainfall region of the Palouse in Washington. (Photo credit: Claudio Rubione, GROW)

Mark Greene was keen to be interviewed by Claudio Rubione, Outreach and Extension representative for GROW (Getting Rid of Weeds) on GROW’s tour of the Pacific Northwest in July. Greene’s farm marks the fourth and final installment of GROW’s video series, “HWSC in the Pacific Northwest: Farmers Lead the Way,” on farmers who are integrating seed impact mills onto their farms to manage weeds. Unlike previous farms in the Palouse featured by GROW, Greene Ridge Farms is located in the rain shadow of the Blue Mountains and receives only half the rainfall of the rest of the Palouse region, which averages 20 inches or more annually. That means Mark, and his son Jesse, are very cautious when planning their crop rotation on the 3,800 acres they manage. 

The Greenes face a wide spectrum of weeds, including kochia, Russian thistle, and prickly lettuce, but they are most concerned about managing cheatgrass (downy brome), which often shatters its seed before wheat harvest time, and sterile brome, which is resistant to all Group 2 herbicides. Motivated by information garnered from a Washington Grain Commission trip to Australia several years back, and after doing his own research, Mark purchased the Redekop SCU through a local Redekop representative, Chuck Schmidt, owner of North Pine Ag Equipment. In addition to the Redekop SCU, the Greenes carefully choose the best herbicides and crops from their crop rotation plan to manage weeds. 

Sterile brome. (Photo credit: Claudio Rubione, GROW)

Interested in seeing what could only be seen from the combine’s cabin, and learning more about this weed management plan, GROW joined Jesse as he drove a Case IH 8230 II with the Redekop SCU and harvested canola, while his sister Hannah drove the grain truck, on a break from school. Watch this video for an inside look at how the Greene family is using an integrated weed management strategy of herbicides, crop rotation, variety selection and the Redekop unit to manage weeds and optimize production.  

Catch up on the previous installments of this GROW video series here: 

See more GROW news stories on harvest weed seed control here.

Text and video by Claudio Rubione, GROW

Banner image by Fernando Oreja, Oregon State University