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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.


CSS News & Updates

Herbicide Resistance: Coming to a Farm Near You

Herbicide resistance is a problem that is quickly spreading throughout the wheat growing regions of the inland PNW. The newly created Herbicide Resistance Weeds Map, located on the Wheat and Small Grains website, lets you see the results of Dr. Ian Burke’s Herbicide Resistance Testing Program at WSU.

After opening the Herbicide Resistance Weeds Map, select a county to see what herbicide-resistant biotypes have been identified in that county. Select “See screening results” in the popup box to see the number of samples that tested positive for resistance to the various herbicide active ingredients. You can also click on the active ingredient name or weed species name to learn more about the active ingredient or weed species.

Soil Science Alumnus Isaac Madsen Chosen to Lead WSU Oilseed Research

Developing improved crops and practices for the Inland Northwest’s growing oilseed industry, alumnus and soil scientist Isaac Madsen is Washington State University’s new extension agronomist for the Washington Oilseed Cropping Systems program.

Hired Sept. 1, Madsen is based in Pullman, and leads WSU’s field-based testing program for oilseed crops, including canola, camelina, safflower, and sunflower. He will work alongside WSU scientists, Extension experts and Northwest growers to test and improve oilseed varieties and production methods that help diversify dryland farming in eastern Washington.

WSU Cultivating New Perennial Grass Breeding and Ecology Farm Research Site

From above, the five-acre flattened expanse of top soil dotted unevenly with construction equipment bears a striking resemblance to a child’s backyard sand pit.

This time next year, Washington State University’s new Perennial Grass Breeding and Ecology Farm research site will be a sea of green, replete with native grasses and highly sought-after hybrids.

Meet Ryan, WSU’s Elite New Wheat for the Noodle Market

Ryan, the newest spring wheat variety from Washington State University, is winning over Northwest farmers and grain buyers across the Pacific, thanks to its surprising ability to create an outstanding fresh noodle.

“Ryan has hit harder and generated way more interest than anything I’ve done before,” said Mike Pumphrey, WSU’s O.A. Vogel Endowed Chair of Spring Wheat Breeding and Genetics. “What sets Ryan apart is its quite remarkable noodle quality.”

New Irrigation System Can Cut Vineyard Water Usage by 35 Percent

PULLMAN, Wash. – WSU Professor of Crops and Soil Sciences Pete Jacoby has invented and developed a subsurface irrigation system that could be game-changing for Washington’s wine-grape industry.

Launched in 2015, Jacoby’s Direct Root-Zone irrigation (DRZ) system differs from existing micro-irrigation models in significant ways. Whereas common drip irrigation systems deliver water in horizontally buried lines, the DRZ system feeds water into vertical tubes buried 1– 4 feet directly into the root-zone soil. Not only does the DRZ supply water to vines much more efficiently than traditional micro-irrigation systems, its vertical structure is less susceptible to damage from clogs, burrowing rodents, or curious wildlife.

Rich Koenig Named Permanent Chair of WSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Leading Washington State University’s efforts to improve understanding of the agricultural crops and soil that feed the world and fuel our economy, Professor Rich Koenig has been named permanent chair of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.

One of the largest departments at WSU, Crop and Soil Sciences is the biggest unit in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), with more than 30 faculty members and more than 50 adjunct or affiliate faculty.

New WSU Barley Breeder Gets His ‘Dream Job’

Washington State University’s new barley breeder says that job has been his “dream position” ever since he got a Ph.D at the school in 2009.

Currently a barley geneticist at North Dakota State University, Robert Brueggeman will take over as WSU’s R.A. Nilan Endowed Chair in Barley Research and Education in mid-August.

Brueggeman worked in WSU’s barley molecular genetics lab under Andris Kleinhofs. He developed a barley genetics research lab at NDSU, where he has worked for nine years.

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WSU Ag Programs Highly Ranked in the World

US News and World Report places WSU at #36 for Best Global Universities for Agriculture Sciences. For more information, go to the US News list. QS World University Rankings for Agriculture and Forestry places WSU at #45 worldwide. For more information, go to the CS Worldwide list.


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