The WSU Extension Dryland Cropping Systems Team is a collaboration of Eastern Washington county extension educators and WSU campus-based faculty from multiple departments. Together, they work to efficiently coordinate and deliver educational information and resources to dryland crop producers. The team includes specialists in plant pathology, entomology, weed science, soil fertility, economics, agronomy, variety selection, and communications.

Joao Antonangelo professional photo.

Joao Antonangelo

Assistant Professor – Applied Soil Chemistry
Washington Wheat Distinguished Professor

Joao is currently engaged in research in applied soil chemistry within the context of wheat agricultural systems in WA. His primary research thrust centers around addressing the issue of soil acidification in WA, a problem predominantly stemming from excessive nitrogen application. Joao’s work is concentrated on enhancing nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and optimizing the effectiveness of lime application. Additionally, he investigates innovative soil management strategies aimed at boosting soil organic carbon levels and explores the intricate interactions between organic matter and toxic aluminum in the pursuit of fostering increased wheat crop production in low-pH soils.

Cassandra Bates.

Cassandra Bates

Plant Diagnostician

I run the Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic based in Pullman. My work at the clinic is centered on the timely identification of plant pests (pathogens, nematodes, insects, and other various disorders) using visual and microscopic examinations, pathogen culturing, molecular techniques, and utilizing WSU subject experts. I can assist you with identifying the cause of problems that are affecting your small grains, oilseeds, and other crops, and provide you with relevant management options.

Website: Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic
Aaron Esser

Aaron Esser

Regional Extension Agronomist, Lincoln-Adams Extension
My program focuses on helping growers adopt minimum tillage and no-till systems, and more intensive crop rotations that improves soil quality, productivity, and overall profitability. Since 2008, my program has specialized in the management of wireworms in cereal grain production. I grew up on a farm near Genesee, Idaho, and received my Bachelor’s Degree in agricultural economics and a Masters Degree in plant science at the University of Idaho. I can answer questions related to wheat and barley in low to intermediate rainfall zones.

Randy Fortenbery

Randy Fortenbery

Professor and Small Grains Endowed Chair

My research program currently focuses on agricultural price performance in local and national markets. It looks at impacts of new information on relative prices, as well as overall price levels. I also am engaged in studying the impact of futures price action on the stability of cash prices.

Drew Lyon.

Drew Lyon

Endowed Chair in Small Grains Extension and Research, Weed Science

My extension and research program focuses on integrated weed management in dryland small grain production systems in eastern Washington. I can assist you with your weed control questions, including questions on herbicide use, crop rotation, tillage, or other cultural practices that may be used in small grain production systems in eastern Washington.

Phone: 509-335-2961
Carol McFarland professional headshot.

Carol McFarland

Senior Extension Coordinator – PNW Farmers’ Network

My work with the PNW Farmers’ Network focuses on connecting growers in Eastern Washington with the most relevant information on soil health. I serve our region’s farmers from a soils-focused agroecological lens. My work explores a diversity of outreach strategies to get growers the information they want, in a way that works best for them. I work hand-in-hand with technical experts, growers, and greater agriculture community, towards co-developing knowledge and building soil health in eastern Washington. Get in touch with me if you want to talk about your soil health questions and work.


Tim Murray.

Tim Murray

Plant Pathologist

My research and extension program focuses on integrated control of wheat diseases, especially eyespot, Cephalosporium stripe, speckled snow mold, soilborne wheat mosaic, and wheat streak mosaic. I can assist you with questions regarding disease identification and control, including cultural practices, variety selection, and fungicide use.

Phone: 509-335-7515
X: @WSUWheatDoc
Clark Neely professional headshot.

Clark Neely

Extension Agronomist, Cereal Variety Testing Program

I lead the cereal variety testing program. I am originally from rural South central Pennsylvania and received degrees from Penn State, University of Idaho, and Texas A&M University. After completing my Ph.D., I worked for 6 years as the Statewide Small Grains and Cool-season Oilseed Extension Specialist at Texas A&M before coming to WSU in August 2019.

Jenna Osiensky professional headshot.

Jenna Osiensky

Web and Events Manager

I manage the Small Grains website, social media channels, and events, such as the Wheat Academy. Contact me if you have questions about upcoming events, if you need assistance with our website or web resources, or if you’re looking to connect with a member of our team.

Facebook: WSU Small Grains
X: @WSUSmallGrains
Dale Whaley professional headshot.

Dale Whaley

Regional Extension Specialist – Integrated Weed Management and Agriculture

My extension program focuses on biological weed control for noxious weeds, insect pest management and alternative cropping systems in the low-to-intermediate rainfall zones of eastern Washington. I can assist you with your questions about noxious weed identification, integrated weed management, insect identification and management options and production of winter canola.

Rachel Wieme professional photo.

Rachel Wieme

Regional Extension Agronomist

My program is still in its development stages, but I’m looking forward to serving southeast Washington through collaboration on projects about soil health and supporting resilient cropping systems. I completed my Ph.D. in soil science at Washington State University in Pullman. My research background has covered many topics including nutrient cycling, soil health, alternative crops, and management practices, and cropping system diversification. I am also interested in integrated crop-livestock systems.