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


Assistant Professor Plant Science Teaching and Extension

Assistant Professor Cropping Systems Specialist Position

Area Research and Extension Specialist Oklahoma Panhandle Research and Extension Center


 2015 Wheat Field Days:

2015 Wheat Field Days Locations Flyer

PaSS News

Jeff Edwards credit to OKFarmReportDr. Coon announces new Department Head for Plant and Soil Sciences.  Dr. Jeff Edwards has accepted the position of Department Head for Plant and Soil Sciences. Dr. Edwards will begin serving as the Interim Head on June 1 until his effective appointment date on August 3, 2015.

OSU Wheat Specialist Jeff Edwards Finds Rain Boosting Oklahoma Wheat Crop In a Big Way. The Oklahoma wheat crop continues to look better down the home stretch. Earlier this spring it was hard to tell how much the crop was hurt by the drought. Now it’s hard to tell how much the spring rains have helped boost yields in recent weeks. Oklahoma State University Extension Wheat Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards said he was bearish in estimating the crop at 100 million bushels a few weeks ago. Last week, the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association annual wheat tour estimated the crop at 108 million bushels. The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week projected the Oklahoma crop at over 118 million bushels.
“With the cool temperatures we’ve had, with the moisture we’ve received, I think we can hit that 118 million and come back closer to what we would consider a normal crop in Oklahoma around 120 million bushels,” Edwards said.

More: Oklahoma Farm Report, Ron Hays, Director of Farm Programming Radio Oklahoma Network, May 14th, 2015.


Canola Josh BushongSpring Moisture Rejuvenates Oklahoma Canola Crop. Late season rains have been a blessing for the Oklahoma canola crop. Oklahoma State University Canola Specialist Josh Bushong said overall the crop is highly variable, but the farmers that have received good moisture this spring have a good pod set.

“For the most part, pod density has been good and we’ve had good seed set within those pods so far,” Bushong said. “Really good pollination this year. Not having those April freezes defiantly was a help, but for the most part we have a decent crop out there.”


Recent Ph.D. Graduate receives Outstanding Thesis Award.  Dr. Natasha Macnack, a recent Ph.D. graduate of the department was selected to receive one of the 2014 Dr. Cletis Williams and William E. and Martha Jane Williams Outstanding Thesis Awards from the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Dr. Cletis William established this award program to stimulate excellence in the preparation and writing of theses at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels. The Graduate Coordinators in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources commend Dr. Macnack for her accomplishment. Congratulations Dr. Macnack.

"Staff of Life award presented at Wheat Field Day".  The Oklahoma Wheat Commission presented its "Staff of Life" award to Dr. Liuling Yan at the Annual Wheat Field Day in Lahoma.  This is the most Prestigious award given by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission to individuals who have had significant contributions to the Oklahoma Wheat industry.  Dr. Yan is Associate Professor of Wheat Molecular Genetics and Breeding, and Dillon and Lois Hodges Professorship. Congratulations Dr. Yan.

Congratulations to the Soil Judging Team. The PaSS Soil Judging Team did well at the National Competition. The Team coached by Dr. Brian Carter ranked 4th in the nation with one student in the top 10. Congratulations.

3mtkatiemccaulyCongratulations Katie -  The 3MT® - Three Minute Thesis Competition is a research communication contest, which challenges graduate students to present a compelling oration on their research and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

On April 16th Katie McCauley competed against the top 11 Three Minute Thesis PhD and MS students at Oklahoma State University in the Graduate College finals. We are proud to say that Katie brought home first place with her thesis topic: “Improving the overwintering capability of winter canola”. She won a $1,000 cash prize and will represent OSU at the Regional University finals in Charlotte, NC in February 2016. Way to go Katie!



2015-banquet-pass522015-banquet-pass29The 2015 PaSS Scholarship and Awards Banquet was a success.  Thirty undergraduate students were recognized and awarded approximately $110,000 in scholarships last night and we have even more scholarships to award.  Thirty-one Masters and PhD students were awarded a total of $59,000.00 in scholarship money.

The Master Agronomist Award was presented to Bryan Vail, of Apache,  Oklahoma.
The Professional Master Agronomist Award was presented to Bob Woods, former Northeast Area Agronomist.
We had a very good attendance and a good time was had by all.  We appreciate all of the donors and everyone that attended.  We owe a special thanks to those who spent hours preparing for this event.

Last week CASNR held their awards banquet and there were 17 Plant and Soil Sciences undergraduate and graduate students that received awards and/or scholarships from the college.


Katie McCauleyCongratulations to Katie McCauley

The 3MT® - Three Minute Thesis Competition is a research communication contest, which challenges graduate students to present a compelling oration on their research and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Katie McCauley, a Masters student in our department, presented her research “Improving the overwintering capability of winter canola” to an audience of peers and non-specialists in the recent College-level 3MT competition.  She competed against 32 PhD and MS students from throughout CASNR in a preliminary round in early March and advanced from this round to the CASNR finals competition which was held March 25th, 2015.  We are proud to say that Katie represented the department well in the finals, bringing home first place in CASNR.  She won a $200 cash prize and will compete in the Graduate College finals April 16th, 2015 at 3:30PM in the Little Theater at the Student Union.  Please come out and show your support.

 Brett Carver 2015WQC

Dr. Brett Carver received the Millers Award at the Wheat Quality Council 2015 Annual Meeting, congratulations Dr. Carver.

Dr. Angela Post WQC2015



Dr. Angela Post was an invited speaker and presented a convincing argument in front of a national audience of millers and bakers that we are not going to perish by consuming wheat treated with roundup.






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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