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WSU researchers create gel to keep fields healthy during drought

WSU researchers create gel to keep fields healthy during drought

Washington State University researchers have created a product that could help farmers keep their fields moist during a drought.

Led by Associate Professor Jinwen Zhang, the group created hydrogel pellets similar to the super absorbent material used in diapers. The main difference is what they're made of. While diapers rely on petrolium based gel, WSU researchers have created one out of soy protein.

The pellets swell to hold 250 times their weight in water, and because they are made of biodegradable agricultural material instead of chemicals they leave no residue behind when they disintegrate in the ground. In fact, the soy protein can actually act as a source of nitrogen to help plants grow.

A soy-based product would also lessen dependence on foreign oil imports, and boos the local economy since the U.S. Produces half of the world supply of soy beans.

WSU rolling out the crimson turf for Martin Stadium

WSU rolling out the crimson turf for Martin Stadium

Washington State University is putting the frosting on the cake that is Martin Stadium.

The field is getting new turf this week, something the university does every five or six years when the turf gets worn out.

Creating the perfect field is like baking a layer-cake; you have to have a solid foundation, something to build on. Martin Stadium's old turf was getting stale.

"This one gets a lot of use because we have intermurals and PE classes on it," said Bill Moos, WSU Athletic Director.

The last surface was about six years old and starting to see some wear. Moos said with the completion of the new football complex it was the perfect recipe for a remix.

"Actually the evolution of artificial turf has really improved through the years having played on the early ones and feeling it every day," said Moos.

The new surface will be the same kind as the last one, the same they use on the practice field and baseball field. The biggest difference will be the color at the ends.

"Well the fans were inquiring about the end zones and hoping we'd put crimson in the both end zones and that's what we've done," said Moos.

Apple Cup Crisp faces off against university made ice creams

Apple Cup Crisp faces off against university made ice creams

It’s National Dairy Month and Washington State University needs your help to win the grand championship of university made ice cream. Apple Cup Crisp, made by the WSU Creamery, is in the running to win the Progressive Dairyman 2014 Flavor Faceoff, but the Washington favorite needs your vote.

New round of Washington charter proposals begins

Organizations that want to open a charter school in Washington state have until the end of the day on Friday to turn in a form that says they plan to apply to the statewide charter commission.

As of Thursday afternoon, five letters of intent had been posted on the state's charter school website, including some from organizations that had applied during the last round but weren't approved.

The next deadline in the process will be July 15, when formal applications to open a charter school are due. After public forums, interviews and other evaluations, The Charter School Commission plans to vote in October on which schools will be given tentative approval to open.

New York chef praises WSU wheat breeding

New York chef praises WSU wheat breeding

From WSU News:

If Dan Barber had his way, there would be a wheat breeder like Stephen Jones in every corner of every state. Jones features prominently in the new New York Times bestseller, “The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food,” written by Barber, chef and owner of Blue Hill in Manhattan and Blue Hill at Stone Barns Food and Agriculture Center in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.


WSU unveils new Cougar football complex

WSU unveils new Cougar football complex

The start of the WSU Cougar football season is almost three months away but the newest addition to Martin Stadium, the new football complex, opens this month.

The new football operations facility is more than 84,000 square feet and it's WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos said puts Washington State second to no one when it comes to facilities. The finishing touches are still being put on the new Cougar football complex but staff and players will be able to move in by the end of this month.

One of the most impressive aspects of the new building is the locker room. At 11,610 feet it's twice as large as the old one. The lockers even come with ventilation to dry equipment and plugs electronics and smart phones for victory tweets and Facebook posts.

" Just come back and two minutes later after the game, you know, hey 'Good victory. You know, Cougs 65, so and so 0,'" said Cougar football player Darryl Monroe.

From the locker room players will be able to access the field through a brand new tunnel located near the new Crimzone for super fans.

UI president: More students, safer campus

New University of Idaho President Chuck Staben is confident the university offers a great value and education to its students and is ready to embrace the 60 percent post-secondary credential goal set forth by state leaders.

Staben says the UI now has 10,000 students and looks to recruit an additional 5,000 during the next few years.

Staben tells the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that the university needs to work on recruiting more efficiently across the state, particularly in the markets in southern and southeastern Idaho.

He has charged a task force report on implementing the new law allowing guns on campus.

Staben noted UI has satellite campuses and research centers all around the state where the law much be enforced.