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Cropping Systems

Fields in the Palouse
The term cropping system refers to the crops and crop sequences and the management techniques used on a particular field over a period of years. Long-term cropping systems research projects generally involve a team of scientists of different disciplines working together to answer questions and solve problems. Dryland cropping is practiced in many diverse agro-climates in the Inland Pacific Northwest where average precipitation ranges from 6 to 26 inches per year. Common objectives of cropping systems research projects conducted by WSU and USDA-ARS scientists are to increase crop diversity with non-cereals such as oilseed and legume crops, intensify rotations (i.e., less fallow), maintain or increase soil quality, reduce or eliminate tillage, and sustain economic profitability for farmers.



Dave Huggins, USDA-ARS

Dave Huggins is Director of the Cook Agronomy Farm Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) site and Co-Director of the Pacific Northwest Climate Hub. His research is in the area of Conservation Farming and Agroecology focusing on nitrogen use efficiency, carbon sequestration and overall agroecosystem performance.


Isaac Madsen

Isaac Madsen

My extension and research program focuses on oilseed production in Washington State. I can assist you with questions regarding oilseed production including stand establishment, winter survival, nutrient management and variety selection. Additionally, I am interested in alternative cropping practices such as oilseed-legume intercropping and dual purpose (grazing) winter canola.


Clark Neely

Clark Neely

My research and extension program focuses on identifying production systems and practices that maximize economic returns for dryland producers in central and eastern Washington. I am interested in evaluation of basic agronomic practices for wheat and other common crops across the region as well as looking at alternative crops and how they fit into cropping rotations. I am also interested in the role soil plays in cropping systems and how we can improve their productivity through nutrient management, water capture and storage, and building organic matter.


William Schillinger speaking at Lind Field Day

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.