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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

2022 Field Day Abstracts cover.

2022 Field Day Abstracts are Now Available

The online, full color version of the 2022 Field Day Abstracts are now available to download on our Field Day Abstracts page.
Rachel Breslauer sitting in a field.

Grad Student Wins Fellowship to Study Buckwheat’s Potential

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Rachel Breslauer didn’t grow up in an agricultural setting. Hailing from a town an hour and a half outside New York City, she became interested in food security and food justice in high school. A woman in a field surrounded by a plant with small pink flowers. Rachel Breslauer in a field of field of buckwheat. While earning her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, Breslauer worked a few on-farm research projects in dairy and cropping systems. Those experiences brought her to WSU, where she earned a master’s degree. Now she’s working on a Ph.D. in WSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, focusing on alternative crops and looking at how to bring newer crops and diversity into fields.
WSU students Cody Wang, Miguel Fuentes, and Taylor Hunt pose with the AgTM program’s newly aquired miniature ‘dozer, while Assistant Professor Tadd Wheeler sits at the controls.

After Decades, Student-Built Bulldozer Comes Home to WSU

Cougs always find their way home. Their bulldozer did too. Students in Washington State University’s Agricultural Technology and Production Management Program (AgTM) will overhaul and bring back to life a one-ton, custom-made miniature bulldozer believed to have been built by their student forerunners in the 1960s. The antique machine was donated this fall by an Illinois family after a long career of Midwestern farm work, as well as stints digging basements under houses.

WSU Graduate Student Wins Science Coalition Student Video Challenge

Washington State University student Molly McIlquham took first place in the graduate student category of The Science Coalition’s third-annual Fund It Forward Student Video Challenge. Graduate and undergraduate students currently enrolled at Science Coalition member institutions were asked to create a video explaining their personal connection to fundamental research and why Congress should continue to invest in the partnership between federal research agencies and their university counterparts.
Experimental plots at Mount Vernon Long Term Agroecological Research and Extension project.

WSU Releases Roadmap for Soil Health Initiative

PULLMAN, Wash. — A 124-page “roadmap” that outlines current challenges and pathways to help maintain healthy soils as an agricultural and environmental resource has been released. Washington Soil Health Initiative, recently funded with a $2.1 million annual allocation from the Washington State Legislature and Gov. Jay Inslee, is a partnership among Washington State University, the Washington State Department of Agriculture and Washington State Conservation Commission
A combine in a field during harvest.

WSU Awarded $10 Million to Increase Nutrition in Food Crops

PULLMAN, Wash. – An approach that promises to increase nutrition literally from the ground up, Washington State University’s Soil to Society project, recently received a five-year, $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The project takes a comprehensive approach to increase the nutrient value in food made from six crops – wheat, barley, peas, lentils, buckwheat, and quinoa. Soil scientists will work to improve the soil quality where they are grown. Plant breeders will develop more nutritional varieties while food scientists will create products to bring to market, and health researchers will evaluate the impact of those foods.
Portrait of Aichatou Waziri.

Fellowship Perfect Fit for Plant Breeding Student

Washington State University graduate student Aichatou Waziri wants to make healthier food through plant breeding. She’s working to boost micronutrients, such as iron and zinc, in existing crops like wheat and other grains around the world; a process called biofortification.
Logo for ARCS

WSU Ag Programs Highly Ranked in the World

US News and World Report places WSU at #30 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 #44 worldwide. For more information, go to the QS Worldwide list.