Dr. Dave Huggins is a Soil Scientist with the USDA-Agricultural Research
Service, Land Management and Water Conservation Unit, in Pullman, WA.
Dr. Huggins received his Ph.D. in soil fertility and plant nutrition from
Washington State Universityin 1991.
His doctoral dissertation was on redesigning no-till cropping systems
for increased productivity and N use efficiency.
Prior to joining the USDA-ARS in 1997, Dr. Huggins was an Assistant Professor
with the Universityof Minnesotain the Dept. of Soil, Water and Climate where he led investigations on
crop rotation, N use efficiency and tillage practices for corn and soybean.
Dr. Huggins has worked with direct-seed farmers and other professionals
since 1981 including several seasons operating a no-till drill in a custom
Currently, Dr. Huggins aids in managing two research farms: the 202 acre
USDA-ARS Palouse Conservation Field Station and the 140 acre WSU Cook Agronomy
Farm near Pullman WA.
Both of these research farms have extensive studies in no-till and precision
Overall, current research is directed to assess interactive effects of
terrain attributes, soil properties, C and N cycling, crop diversity and
tillage on agroecosystem performance.
Process-based and empirical models are coupled with research in order
to evaluate and improve prediction.
Specific research is primarily conducted at field-scales with the following
(1) Develop efficient and sustainable dryland agricultural systems utilizing
crop rotation, conservation tillage and precision agricultural techniques
to improve C and N cycling and N use efficiency (NUE), and to control trace
gas fluxes and soil erosion in the Pacific Northwest.
(2) Determine whether topographic, vegetation, and N efficiency indices
computed from terrain modeling and crop proximal/remote sensing can improve
prediction of crop N status, NUE, and grain yield/quality response to N
applications; and provide spatially distributed inputs for precision N
(3) Determine trade-offs between short-term economic return to growers
who harvest crop residues for bioenergy feedstocks versus long-term benefits
of retaining crop residues to maintain soil organic matter and sequester
Dr. Huggins has authored/co-authored 39 peer-reviewed journal articles
and 14 peer-reviewed book chapters with over 100 different scientists representing
In addition, he has 47 technical publications and given 125 oral/poster
presentations at national and international meetings on soil fertility,
soil biochemistry, soil conservation and land management, soil physics,
crop science, agronomy, agricultural systems, agricultural economics and
biophysical systems modeling.
Dr. Huggins has been a Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on 40 grants
totaling over $7,000,000.
He is a recognized international authority on: agriculture management
impacts on soil C and the use of C-13 to assess soil C transformations;
N use efficiency of cereal crops; and sustainable agricultural systems
including no-till. He recently co-authored a publication on No-till agriculture
for Scientific American.
Dr Huggins is an Ex-Officio Board Member of the Pacific Northwest Direct
Seed Association and a District Supervisor on the Latah Soil and Water
Conservation District Board.