Crop and Soil Sciences Faculty with Extension appointments work with their colleagues in the department to discover and develop principles of plant and soil sciences through scientific investigation. They then apply these principles to new management practices in agricultural, urban, and natural environments. Extension faculty engage people, organizations, and communities to advance knowledge, economic well-being, and quality of life by fostering inquiry, learning, and the application of research.

Extension faculty in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences are leaders in several WSU Extension Program areas including:


Extension Personnel

Doug Collins 1

Douglas Collins, ANR Program Unit


My extension programs and research focus on soil quality and vegetable and fruit production for small farms. My areas of interest are: managing and monitoring soil fertility on diverse organic vegetable farms; organic vegetable cropping systems, including reduced tillage; soil variability across landscapes; and biological indicators of soil quality. I am an active instructor in Ecological Soil Management for beginning and advanced producers. I conducts workshops at area conferences and for Cultivating Success™ classes.


Steve Fransen


Steve Fransen continues to work with perennial warm-season grasses as biofuel and forage utilization. A larger USDA funded study will be completed in 2016 involving intercropping switchgrass cultivars into stands of hybrid poplar at GreenWood Resources at Boardman, OR. We found higher land equivalent ratios (LER) through intercropping than growing trees or grass in monoculture. Recently winter canola is part of his research focus with several studies focused on dual-purpose, forage and seed, use of August planted winter canola under irrigation. So far we’ve found greater economic return when managing winter canola for dual-purpose even through grain yields were lower than monoculture grain production. These studies will continue through 2017.

Ryan Higginbotham Aug 2015

Ryan Higginbotham, ANR Program Unit


My extension program includes the WSU Cereal Variety Testing Program, which evaluates winter wheat, spring wheat, and spring barley varieties across the different production zones of eastern Washington. The Cereal Variety Testing Program aims to provide growers and industry stakeholders with information on the agronomic performance of currently available small grain varieties to aid in variety selection. I can assist you with your variety performance questions.


Drew Lyon


My Extension and Research Program focuses on integrated weed management in dryland small grain production in eastern Washington. Research efforts are directed at the most troublesome weeds in each of the three rainfall zones of eastern Washington.


Tim Miller


My research and extension program focuses on weed management in crops grown in western Washington, including berries, vegetable seed crops, ornamental bulbs, Christmas trees and other ornamentals, and many species of fresh market vegetables. I also study control of a host of noxious weed species on agricultural, range, and forest lands west of the Cascade Mountains.


William Pan


I conduct work at the interface between crops and soils at rhizosphere and cropping systems levels the Nutrient Cycling and Rhizosphere Ecology Analytics, Technology and Education (NCREATE) team. We digitally image root rhizospheres and we track nutrient use and cycling of crops in rotations to better inform nutrient management recommendations, which we extend to student and farming communities.


Diana Roberts, ANR Program Unit


I have applied research and extension programs on cover/companion cropping, organic grain production, the orange wheat blossom midge, plus the stem rust and common barberry interaction. I can also answer questions on the cereal leaf beetle and direct seeding/no-till.

Bill copy

William Schillinger


My cropping systems research and extension program is mainly focused in low-precipitation (less than 12 inch annual) farming areas. Research interests include: best management practices to reduce wind erosion, increased cropping intensity, alternative crops, and water use efficiency in cropping systems.

Haiying Tao_Head

Haiying Tao


I can assist you with questions related to nutrient management, fertilizer recommendations and applications, interpretation of soil and tissue testing, and residue management.



Archived Program Sites