Megan Reese

Megan Reese
  • Masters Student
  • Washington State University
  • Crop and Soil Sciences


Bill Pan

Thesis or Dissertation Citation: 

Reese, M. 2015. Dryland winter canola water and nitrogen use in Eastern Washington. Washington State University MS Thesis, pp. 1-87.

Research Focus: 

Winter Canola Water Use

Research Abstract: 

In the low-intermediate rainfall zones of Washington state, a wheat-fallow cropping sequence is dominant. Winter canola is a relatively recent rotational option, boosting subsequent wheat yields due to weed control possibilities, pest cycle disruption, and potential soil health benefits. Little is known about the water and nitrogen (N) requirements of winter canola. Field experiments were conducted to assess the growth and water and N use of winter canola throughout three distinct “seasons”: fall (vegetative growth), winter, and harvest (spring regrowth to harvest). Water use varied widely based upon location, though a sigmoidal relationship between fall water use and growing degree days emerged. Canola water extraction patterns were showed water depletion throughout the soil profile. An additional planting date study revealed the influence of seeding date on water use and winter survival. Soil water and N dynamics over winter were tracked, and eventual grain harvest enabled yield-based factors, such as water use efficiency. Nitrogen use efficiency and its components were determined on both a seasonal and total-season basis, with harvest season N metrics similar to spring canola.


I grew up among the crops and livestock of central California, where my family background and 4-H involvement developed my passion for agriculture at a young age. I loved my time as a Plant Science student at UC Davis, which further cemented my desire to contribute to the agricultural industry. Outside of class and work experiences, water polo has been a large part of my life. I also love working with cows, hiking with my border collie, and riding my horse.