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


The faculty, staff and students of Plant and Soil Sciences would like to welcome the following new members to our team. We are very excited these scientists have chosen OSU as their home and look forward to the impacts they will make in the areas of extension, teaching, and research.

Forage Systems Extension Specialist – Dr. Alex Rocateli has accepted the position of Forage Systems Specialist and will begin work on July 1. Dr. Rocateli is a native of Brazil and obtained his BS in Agronomy from FCA/UNESP in Brazil, his MS in Agronomy and Soils from Auburn, and his PhD in Plant and Soil Sciences from Texas Tech. Dr. Rocateli is finishing a post doctoral research position with Dr. Chuck West at Texas Tech. At OSU Dr. Rocateli will develop an integrated research and extension program focused on expanding and improving forage production and utilization through management. Dr. Rocateli’s position was part of a cluster hire that includes Dr. Ryan Reuter in Animal Science and will include Dr. Laura Goodman in Natural Resource Ecology and Management.

Agricultural Systems Modeler – Dr. Phillip Alderman has accepted the position of Agricultural Systems Modeler and will begin work on July 1. Dr. Alderman received his BS in Linguistics (minor in Plant Science), MS in Agronomy, and PhD in Crop Physiology and Ecology from the University of Florida. Dr. Alderman comes to us from CYMMIT where he works as an agricultural systems modeler. At OSU Dr. Alderman will develop a research program focused on adapting socio-ecological systems to increased climate variability and teach courses related to this topic.

Crops Teaching – Dr. Beatrix Haggard has accepted the position of Plant Science Teaching and Extension faculty and will begin work on July 13. Dr. Haggard is a native of TX and obtained her BS in Agronomy and Range Management from Tarleton State and her PhD in Agronomy from LSU. Dr. Haggard comes to us from LSU where she serves as the Upland Row Crop Soil Fertility Specialist. At OSU Dr. Haggard will teach undergraduate crops classes and develop an extension program targeted at providing plant science activities for 4-H and FFA youth.

Panhandle Area Agronomist -  Dr. Tracy Beedy has accepted the position of Area Research and Extension Specialist for the Oklahoma Panhandle and will begin work on July 27. Dr. Beedy is a native of the Texas Panhandle and grew up learning about crop scouting and consulting by helping with the family spraying business. She comes to us with a BS in Agronomy and MS in Soil Science from Texas A&M and an MS in Ag Econ and PhD in Agronomy from Michigan State University. We are very excited that Dr. Beedy is joining the Plant and Soil Sciences team! Her focus will be development of an integrated research and extension program to address agricultural issues in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Cropping Systems Extension Specialist – Dr. Josh Lofton has accepted the position of Cropping Systems Specialist and will begin work on July 31. Dr. Lofton is a native of Oklahoma and obtained his BS and MS in Plant and Soil Sciences from OSU and his PhD in Agronomy from LSU. Dr. Lofton comes to us from the LSU Macon Ridge research station where he has a research and extension program that focuses on a variety of crops important to the region. At OSU he will focus on cropping systems important to Oklahoma stakeholders and provide leadership for the canola research and extension program.


PaSS News

Katie McCauley a Plant and Soil Sciences graduate student receives a Sam Noble Scholarship. Sam Noble Scholarships assist both undergraduate and graduate students studying in the fields of agriculture and technology.  Congratulations Katie.  (

Dr. 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.

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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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