The Plant and Soil Sciences Department at Oklahoma State University is an exciting place to study and work.  


PaSS News


 Join us for a reception honoring 2015 DASNR Distinguished Alumni, Dr. Bob Westerman. The reception will be at 10:00 AM, October 16th in room 374 Ag Hall. There will be time to share your favorite stories about Dr. Westerman and his time at OSU.


New OSU Berry Fellows would make namesake 'pleased'

Four members of Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources have been selected as 2015-2017 Berry Fellows by the Oklahoma Water Resources Center. The OSU Thomas E. Berry Faculty Fellows Program in Integrated Water Research and Management recognizes and supports DASNR educators, scientists and specialists who are making outstanding contributions relative to building awareness about and promoting wise use of Oklahoma’s water resources.

Dr. Warren will be focusing on subsurface drip irrigation systems, concentrating on how soil types affect efficiency and management.

Select this link for news release by Don Stotts, DASNR News and Media Relations.  For more information select this link for the Aquahoman Newsletter.

Check out the student section of the Aquahoman Newsletter for Briana Wyatt in the spotlight.

 OETA presents The Truth About Wheat

Wheat has been successfully feeding civilizations for over 10,000 years and has the nickname "Staff of Life".  It is packed full of important vitamins, nutrients and fiber and is made into delicious products.  Join us at the dining room table for an informative discussion about The Truth About Wheat with Ken Root and Experts, Dr. Brett Carver, Dr. Julie Miller Jones, and wheat farmer Sara Olsen.

Select this link for 27:46 min closed captioning

Select this link for article from the Journal Record, by Brian Brus Germinating support: Oklahoma Wheat Commission fired back at Gluten Foes.


Oklahoma State Unveils New HRW Wheat Variety for 2016 Season- Bentley

In advance of the upcoming fall planting season, Oklahoma State University has announced the release of Bentley, its newest wheat variety.

“OSU has a strong history of producing high performing wheat varieties and Bentley only adds to this proud tradition,” said Jeff Edwards, head of the OSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. “The OSU Wheat Improvement Team is dedicated to meeting the needs of Oklahoma wheat producers and we’re excited about the ways Bentley will help them continue to thrive and succeed.”

“Bentley’s drought resistance is equal to or slightly better than Iba, which is currently our best adapted variety for drought, but it has much better leaf hygiene in the presence of leaf spotting diseases, particularly tan spot and physiological leaf spot,” said Dr. Carver, lead researcher for the OSU WIT, an interdisciplinary team of nine OSU researchers responsible for developing the variety.

Along with another OSU experimental line, Bentley earned the 2015 Millers Award presented by the Wheat Quality Council. It also has placed in the highest yielding group of varieties at every location for which three-year data (2013-15) is available for the OSU Wheat Variety Trials.

For the complete story, and comments from Dr. Carver please select this link, Oklahoma Farm Report, Ron Hays.


Canopeo App

New Crop Analysis App Released

Oklahoma State University is making available a new app that allows users to quantify green vegetation in a plant’s canopy in the field through photos taken using a smartphone.

Canopeo, developed jointly by the OSU App Center and students and faculty in the department of plant and soil sciences, is the first mobile application developed from concept to release through the center. It is available for download for both Apple and Android smartphones.

The free mobile app analyzes the images and provides an accurate measure of percent canopy cover for row crops, grassland, turfgrass or other green vegetation. The information can be used to monitor a crop’s growth or evaluate damage and allows the user to adjust management decisions.

“Green canopy cover is an excellent indication of crop progress, especially early in the growing season,” said Tyson Ochsner, Sarkeys Distinguished Professor in Applied Soil Physics with OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

For complete story select this link: Oklahoma Farm Report Ron Hays. For information about the OSU App Center visit or talk to App Center student interns in the lobby of the Henry Bellmon Research Center on OSU’s Stillwater campus. Learn more about Canopeo at

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Conferences, Clinics and Field Days

Extension and Research News

Attached is a new newsletter outlining herbicide considerations, fertilizer options, and  planting decisions for the canola crop.  Newsletter PDF.

The article is also available online at


A new blog has been posted on titled “Some thoughts on pre-plant nitrogen and a little outside the box thinking”.
This blog discusses nitrogen sources and application methods.

Direct link

Blog: All about small grain in the southern great plains.



PaSS Employment

Position Open: Assistant/Associate Professor Small Grains Extension Specialist

POSITION DESCRIPTION: The Small Grains Extension Specialist is an 11-month, tenure track position. The position will be filled at either the Assistant or Associate Professor Level, and applications at each rank are encouraged. This position has 75% Extension and 25% research responsibilities and is located on the main campus in Stillwater, OK. Responsibilities include leadership for a nationally recognized, statewide extension and research program focused on wheat and other small grains. The successful candidate will develop an externally funded, applied research and demonstration program to improve the agronomic and economic viability of Oklahoma wheat production and oversee the Oklahoma Small Grains Variety Performance Tests. Focus areas can include, but are not limited to, dual-purpose wheat production, physiological responses to management, cultivar development, pest management, tillage systems, intensive wheat management, and strategies to avoid or ameliorate environmental stresses such as drought. Extension efforts will include web-based and innovative information delivery methods, and periodic impact assessment of extension activities is expected. Collaboration with the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, Plant and Soil Sciences faculty, industry partners, and county, area, and state Extension personnel is essential.

For more information select link above.



PaSS Websites/Social Media

Canola (Josh Bushong):  Winter canola has proven to be a great option for crop rotation with winter wheat in the region. By incorporating canola into their crop rotation, many Oklahoma wheat producers have cleaned up their weedy wheat fields, improved wheat quality, increased wheat forage and increased wheat grain yields.

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Cotton (Randy Boman): Major responsibilities of the Cotton Team are to develop and conduct extension and applied research programs to inform Oklahoma producers as to the best management practices for cotton production.

Energy Crops (Gopal Kakani): This program is dedicated to the development of new bioenergy crops and their production systems and train Scientific Crops in Bioenergy Crop Production that will strengthen the efforts at Oklahoma State University where a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, bioenergy research team has been formed from multiple departments and across colleges. Program also collaborates extensively with researchers in Oklahoma and across the nation, in addition to several industry partners.
Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Program (Brian J. Carter)
Extension News (Jeff Edwards)

Forage and Pasture Management (Alexandre Rocateli will be joining us July 1, 2015)): Due to the differences in soil types, precipitation amounts, and temperature gradients in Oklahoma, many forage species are managed for pasture and hay.  There are approximately 20 different grass and legume species grown that warrant individual attention.

Manure and Animal Waste Management (Hailin Zhang): Animal agriculture is a large segment of the economy in Oklahoma. The huge quantities of manure generated by animal feeding operations (AFO's) can be an economical source of plant nutrients and a valuable soil amendment to Improve Soil Quality and Maintain Soil pH. Thus, manure can be a valuable asset to a livestock production operation if its nutrients and organic matter are recycled through land application properly.

Nitrogen Use Efficiency
(Bill Raun)

Non-Agricultural Soils (Sergio Abit): Soil is a key foundation and unparalleled recycler and purifier across a catena that includes forest, rangeland, agricultural, urban and suburban and wetland ecosystems. Soil processes in these ecosystems allow the soil to perform functions that may be related to production, ecological regulation, biological habitat and engineering.

No-Till  (Jason Warren)
 No-till in Oklahoma continues to grow in popularity among producers that want to increase soil quality, conserve soil moisture, and decrease fuel and labor costs.No-till is not an answer for everything but should be considered an important part of your cropping system.

NPK (Brian Arnall): This site is constructed to contain producer friendly information about nutrient management, fertilizer use, and precision fertilizer application.

NPK Blog:
A blog about agricultural nutrient management in the southern great plains.

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NSF REU - Interdisciplinary Sustainable Biobased Products and Energy (Dr. Kakani): Learn about the scientific processes and procedures required to conduct bio-products and bio-energy research. Understand the importance of an interdisciplinary environment in developing bio-products and bio-energy production systems. Explore the role of bio-product and bio-energy  research in a global society. Develop professional skills that are necessary for a successful career. Discover graduate studies and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related disciplines, specifically those related to bio-based products and energy.

Oilseeds (Position Vacant, Cropping Systems Specialist): The purpose of this site is to assist and provide producers in Oklahoma with the latest oilseed crop production practices. Our mission is to improve peanut, soybean, canola, and sunflower yields throughout Oklahoma which will lead to increased profitability of producers in the region.

Oklahoma Certified Crop Advisors (Hailin Zhang): The Oklahoma CCA program is a voluntary certification program for individuals who provide advice to growers on crop management and inputs.

Oklahoma Panhandle Research & Extension Center (OPREC) (Position Vacant)

The Oklahoma Panhandle Research & Extension Center consists of 550 acres of irrigated, limited-irrigated, and dryland research.
Soil and Water Conservation/Management (Jason Warren)
The Soil and Water Conservation/Management website will provide information on soil processes and characteristics that impact crop productivity, soil quality, soil carbon storage, water availability and water conservation.

Soil Chemistry (Chad Penn): Agro-Environmental Chemistry Research (AECR). This program is centered around the application of chemistry in order to conduct, promote, and disperse research and information to industries and the public that is relevant and beneficial to increasing agricultural production while simultaneously minimizing environmental impact or improving environmental quality.

Soil Physics (Tyson Ochsner): Our mission is to help people better understand and appreciate the soil, the soil water balance, and the surface energy balance so that we can more wisely manage and conserve the land and water with which we have been entrusted. Our primary focus is on multi-scale soil moisture monitoring and improved utilization of soil moisture data in agriculture, meteorology, environmental modeling, and drought adaptation.

Soil, Water and Forage Analytical Laboratory (SWFAL) (Hailin Zhang): The Soil, Water and Forage Analytical Laboratory (SWFAL) was established by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to provide soil testing, plant, animal waste and water analyses for the State of Oklahoma and anyone who needs agricultural testing services

Switchgrass (Yanqi Wu): As a native perennial grass, it has long been recognized as an important component of the productive tallgrass prairie plant community that dominated much of the Great Plains over the millennium. Given its history, the potential for it to persist under the sometimes harsh Oklahoma climate is without question.

Weed Science (Angela Post): The purpose of this site is to provide current information regarding extension and research activities in weed management for all of Oklahoma’s crop production systems, resources for weed identification, and contact information for the weed science personnel at OSU.

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Wheat (Jeff Edwards): This site is designed to serve as a resource for anyone interested in small grains production in the Southern Great Plains.

All about small grain in the southern great plains.

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Wheat Improvement Team (Brett F. Carver): The Wheat Improvement Team is committed to strengthening the Oklahoma wheat industry by enhancing its genetic resources, a mission that could not be accomplished without contributions from other state, federal, and private researchers.



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