Crop and Soil Sciences

The Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University serves the Land Grant tradition by offering nationally competitive undergraduate and graduate education programs, conducting fundamental and applied plant and soil research, and extending the science of our disciplines to serve the public. Read more

CSS News & Updates

New video published: “Spring Canola Production in Eastern Washington”
Our project collaborated with the CAHNRS Communications video team to produce a video about spring canola production that is now available on YouTube. The three cooperators who hosted the WOCS 2016 large-scale spring canola variety trials were interviewed for the video, and there is also drone footage of the plots at each location. The video can be found on the WSU CAHNRS YouTube channel, or by clicking on this link: A companion video “Canola Production and Research in Washington State” was published in 2014 and features more detailed information about the WOCS Project.
Pink Snow Mold Destruction Discoved in Area Wheat Fields
PULLMAN, Wash. – Damage caused by snow mold in some eastern Washington wheat fields has surprised a Washington State University plant expert who has studied the fungus for nearly four decades. Tim Murray Melting snow is exposing patches of injured wheat in parts of the state where destruction by snow mold is rarely seen, said WSU plant pathologist Tim Murray. He recently met with 20 growers in the town of Prescott, Wash., to address their concerns about the mold’s impact on winter wheat.
WSU Helps Map Quinoa Genome, Improve 'Super Food'
PULLMAN, Wash. – Discovery of the first high-quality genome of quinoa, published this week in Nature, could help create healthier, tastier varieties of this protein-packed “super food.” Popular in salads, side dishes and gluten-free recipes, quinoa is an edible seed that is low on the glycemic index, contains every amino acid – the building blocks of our body – and has an excellent balance of fiber, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. “Quinoa is like nothing else,” said Kevin Murphy, barley and alternative crop breeder at Washington State University’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences ( “It grows well in many different environments and is a complete protein. If any crop deserves to be called a “super food,” it’s quinoa.”
Scientists Discover Perennial Hybrid of Wheat, Wheatgrass
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – With a hybrid crop called Salish Blue, scientists at Washington State University have combined wheat and wheatgrass in a new species with the potential to help Pacific Northwest farmers and the environment. Salish Blue is just one variety of a new perennial grain species, ×Tritipyrum aaseae. It’s the first new species to be named by wheat breeders at WSU in 122 years of breeding.
Grains Conference Looks to Rebuild Historic Cereal Economy
PULLMAN, Wash. – Neighbors thought he could never grow wheat and barley in a place that gets 82 inches of rain a year. But Evan Mulvaney knew his history. “The Chehalis Valley grew grain for years,” said Mulvaney, owner of Hidden River Farms near Montesano, Wash. “This was a big grain-producing area.” Historically, most local farmers grew small grains for the same reason Mulvaney does—to feed their livestock. Fields of yellow peas feed his pastured hogs, and their manure supplies his crops in turn, helping the soil and the environment. At the same time, he rotates wheat, barley and rye for a local distiller. Evan Mulvaney Farm “It made sense for us to start growing our own grain,” said Mulvaney, who will share his experiences at the fifth annual Cascadia Grains Conference, to be held Jan. 6 and 7 at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia.

WSU Ag Programs Highly Ranked in the World

US News and World Report places WSU at #36 for Best Global Universities for Agriculture Sciences. To see the US News list, click here. QS World University Rankings for Agriculture and Forestry places WSU at #45 worldwide. To see the QS Worldwide list, click here.