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

Biosolids - Understanding Benefits and Risks
Biosolids? Yes, that means sewage sludge. Well, sort of. But before you say YUCK and click off the page, let’s start with what they really are: biosolids are the materials produced from digestion of sewage at city wastewater treatment plants. They are rich in plant nutrients such as organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, and can be applied to wheat, alfalfa, and timber land for plant fertilization and soil conditioning. When biosolids are applied at rates that meet plant nutrient needs, farmers and researchers are seeing crop yields equal to or greater than those seen with synthetic fertilizer. Applying biosolids as fertilizer also allows them to be recycled for a useful purpose rather than disposed of in landfills or incinerated.
A Win-Win for Farmers and Slowing Climate Change
PULLMAN, Wash. – Climate change is already transforming agriculture in Washington. To help farmers deal with climate change, Bill Pan, a Washington State University professor of crop and soil sciences, is talking to them about ways to both adapt to changes and slow them down. “We want to work with growers to adapt their cropping systems to the inevitable climate changes so they can stay flexible to deal with those changes,” he said. “And we also want growers to know how they can mitigate and slow down climate change.”
Quinoa Comes to the Northwest
SEATTLE – Quinoa has been praised as a superfood among superfoods for its superior protein composition and content, as well as its fiber and iron. Its gluten-free nature and quick-cooking qualities further contribute to its surging popularity.
Video, Tours Highlight Canola Crop Trials, Preparation
RICHLAND, Wash. – Record or near-record canola yields are expected this year in eastern Washington and the video below shows a crop near Odessa being pushed into tight rows for gradual ripening before harvest in about a week.
Two WSU Wheat Scientists Named Vogel Endowed Chairs
LIND, Wash. – Washington State University’s two leading wheat breeders will advance the state’s $1 billion wheat industry as co-recipients of the O.A. Vogel Endowed Chair in Wheat Breeding and Genetics.
Horned Larks Undeterred by Efforts to Protect Canola
LIND, Wash. – A mystery in east-central Washington has canola farmers vexed and researchers scratching their heads. Horned larks are turning up in droves and decimating newly planted winter and spring canola fields despite multiple efforts to deter them.
2016 is the International Year of Pulses
The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP) (A/RES/68/231) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been nominated to facilitate the implementation of the Year in collaboration with Governments, relevant organizations, non-governmental organizations and all other relevant stakeholders. The IYP 2016 aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. The Year will create a unique opportunity to encourage connections throughout the food chain that would better utilize pulse-based proteins, further global production of pulses, better utilize crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses.

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.