Washington State University
Where he is now: Small Farms Extension Specialist, Washington State University
Doug Collins focused his research efforts on a topic of great interest to the region’s specialty crop growers, and one that would shape his Extension career to come: improving our understanding of complex soil processes and their role in farm productivity. He studied the spatial variation of microorganisms and other soil properties on a local organic vegetable farm. Through the data he collected, he was able to recommend general biological sampling methods and interpretation guidelines to optimize farm productivity and profitability through improved management decisions.
"We find these kinds of projects to be instrumental for developing progressive organic soil practices,” says Jim Baird of Cloudview EcoFarms, who has collaborated with Collins. “This information is very much needed in our agricultural world.”
Now, as an Extension faculty member with WSU’s Small Farms Program, Collins has received more than $500,000 in subsequent SARE funding to conduct three additional projects aimed at improving soil management on organic farms:
See publications at http://csanr.wsu.edu/ people/doug-collins.
Collins created a WSU Extension publication during this project, Soil Testing: A Guide for Farms With Diverse Vegetable Crops.