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Crop and Soil Science

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Jay Noller, Head
107 Crop Science
3017 Ag and Life Sciences
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331


Professors Bottomley, Butler (emeritus), Corp, Dragila, Hannaway, Hayes, Karow (emeritus), Kling (sr. research), Lajtha, Machado, Macnab, Mallory-Smith, Myrold, Noller, Rao, Reitz, Ross, Shock, Stephenson, Tuck, Young (emeritus), Zemetra

Associate Professors Angima, Baham (emeritus), Bohle, Chastain, Elias (sr. research), Felix, Flowers, Hulting, Kleber, Lutcher, Nonogaki, Parke (sr. research), Rondon, Roseberg, Schrumpf (seed certification, emeritus), D. Sullivan, Walenta, Wysocki

Assistant Professors N. Anderson, Dreves (sr. research), Leonard (sr. research), Pett-Ridge, C. Sullivan, Townsend (sr. research)

Senior Instructors Cassidy, Charlton, Fery, McMorran (seed certification)

Instructors Buhrig, Burr (seed certification), A. Hunt, Japhet, Maley, Shafa (seed certification), S. Smith (seed certification), Zielinski (seed certification)

Courtesy Faculty

Professors Brilman, Brown, Griffith, Olszyk, Peterson
Associate Professors Henning, Mueller-Warrant, Riera-Lizaraz, Vales
Assistant Professors M. Johnson, M. Rogers, Weisbrod

Professional Faculty

Curry, Garay, Lewis, Lundeen

Undergraduate Major

Crop and Soil Science (BS, CRED, HBS)

Plant Breeding and Genetics

Soil Science


Crop Science
Soil Science

Graduate Majors

Crop Science (MAIS, MS, PhD)

Graduate Areas of Concentration
Crop Breeding, Genetics and Cytogenetics (cereals, oilseeds, potatoes)
Forage and Pasture Management
Grain Crop Production
Post-Harvest Seed Technology
Seed Biology
Seed Crop Physiology
Seed Production
Weed Biology
Weed Management

Graduate Options
Plant Breeding and Genetics

Soil Science (MAIS, MS, PhD)

Graduate Areas of Concentration
Environmental Soil Science
Forest Soils
Nutrient Cycling
Soil Geochemistry
Soil Conservation and Land Use
Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition
Soil Genesis and Classification
Soil Microbiology
Soil Physics

Affiliated Interdisciplinary Graduate Major

Water Resources Science (MS, PhD) (See Graduate School)

Graduate Minors

Crop Science
Soil Science

The discipline of crop science provides the knowledge and understanding of technologies that contribute directly to improvements in production and quality of food, feed, fiber, seed, energy, and nutraceutical crops for the world. The art and science of plant improvement are key elements in efforts to feed, clothe and provide energy for the world’s ever-growing population. Conventional and molecular tools assist in the development of new genetic strains of food and energy crops. Crop plants play an important role in the future of sustainable food and energy production.

The discipline of soil science provides the basic understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological properties of this important natural resource. Why is soil important? Soil is the fundamental substrate for life on terrestrial landscapes. Soil plays a vital role in sustaining human welfare and assuring future agricultural productivity and environmental stability. An understanding of global and local ecology depends on an awareness of the soil and its properties. Global information and mapping systems are essential tools for characterizing the landscape and its constituent soils.

Agronomists are crop and soil scientists who work to improve crops and agricultural productivity while effectively managing pests and weeds. Students in crop and soil science explore important contemporary issues faced by our society, including water quality and management, sustainability of different types of crop production, organic crop production, erosion and sedimentation, growing crops for biofuel production, land use and reclamation, genetic modification of crop plants, and soil quality and sustainability. An array of careers is available.

Career Opportunities

Careers for crop scientists are available in business, industry, farming, research, agricultural chemical industries, seed production, seed technology, communications, conservation, and education. Positions are available in agricultural experiment stations and extension services, state departments of agriculture, food processing companies, insurance agencies, lending institutions, and commercial firms, both domestic and international, dealing in the processing and sale of farm products, chemicals, and seed.

Careers for soil scientists are available in agriculture, forestry, education, state and federal resource agencies, private consulting, and research. Farms, ranches, and agricultural supply companies employ soil scientists as managers or field representatives. Soil scientists may become teachers of vocational agriculture or environmental education, or they may become county extension agents in agriculture or natural resources. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service often employ soil scientists, as do private consulting firms in environmental engineering and land use planning.

Academic Advising

Undergraduate curricula in crop and soil science are flexible enough to provide for the student's individual professional needs and interests and for a broad-based general education by allowing electives in other colleges throughout the university. Undergraduate advising is a vital part of the program, and the department is well known for excellence in advising. The department has a head advisor who meets with all students each term. Advisors and faculty provide curricular guidance and aid in professional extracurricular activities, career decisions, and job placement.


The Department of Crop and Soil Science administers a number of scholarships available only to students majoring in the department. Over $40,000 is given to students each year.

Student Clubs

The department supports a Crop Science Club that provides valuable co-curricular professional development, a collegiate Soil Judging Team that participates in both regional and national competitions, the OSU Organic Growers Club that provides hands-on experience in organic production of vegetable crops, and the OSU Bug Club, a student club whose members are actively engaged in insect education outreach to local schools and communities. Graduate students in soil science also have a student club.


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