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Doug Collins

Doug Collins is an Extension Faculty with WSU’s Food Systems Program and an affiliate faculty with the WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. His extension programs and research focus on soil quality and vegetable and fruit production for small farms.  Doug has a Ph.D. in soil science from Washington State University, an M.S. in Plant Pathology from Montana State University, and a B.A. in biology from Colorado College. He previously worked for Ribeiro Plant Lab, Inc., Seattle Tilth Association and the Washington Toxics Coalition and served on the board of directors of Tilth Producers of Washington.

Doug is an active instructor in Ecological Soil Management for beginning and advanced producers. He conducts workshops at area conferences and for Cultivating Success™ classes. Doug’s research program is focused on organic vegetable cropping systems and managing and monitoring soil fertility.

Areas of Interest

  • Managing and monitoring soil fertility on diverse organic vegetable farms
  • Organic vegetable cropping systems, including reduced tillage
  • Soil variability across landscapes
  • Biological indicators of soil quality


Cogger, C, A. Bary, A. Fortuna, L. Myhre, and D.P. Collins. 2016. Soil physical properties, nitrogen, and crop yield in organic vegetable production systems. Agronomy Journal. 108:1142-1154

Collins, D.P., H. Harness, and A.I. Bary. 2016. Commercial compost application on western Washington Farms. Biocycle. 57(3):63-65.

Collins, D.P, C. Benedict, A.I. Bary, C. Cogger. 2015. Soil mapping and ad hoc power analysis to increase blocking efficiency prior to establishing a long-term field experiment. Scientific World JournalArticle ID 205392: 1-8.

Wayman, S., C. Cogger, D. P. Collins, C. Benedict, I. Burke, and A. Bary. 2015. Cover crop effects on light, nitrogen, and weeds in organic reduced tillage.  Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. 39:6, 647-665, DOI: 10.1080/21683565.2015.1018398

Collins, D.P., C. Miles, C. Cogger, and R. Koenig.  2013.  Soil fertility in organic systems: A guide for gardeners and small acreage farmers.  Pacific Northwest Extension Fact Sheet, PNW646.

Collins, D.P.  2012.  Soil testing:  A guide for farms with diverse vegetable crops.  Washington State University Extension Fact Sheet.  EM050E.

Collins, D.P., C.G. Cogger, A.C. Kennedy, T. Forge, A.I. Bary, H.P. Collins, and R. Rossi. 2011.  Farm-scale variation of soil quality indices and association with edaphic properties.  Soil Science Society of America Journal. 75 (2): 580-590.

Wayman, S., C. Cogger, C. Benedict, I. Burke, D. Collins, and A. Bary.  2014.  The influence of cover crop variety, termination timing, and termination method on mulch, weed cover, and soil nitrate in organic reduced-tillage.  Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. FirstView: 1-11.

Wayman, S. and D. Collins. 2013. For the life of the soil:  Farmer perspectives and experiences adopting reduced tillage organic agriculture.  Tilth Producers Quarterly. 23 (4): 1, 4-5.

Hoashi-Erhardt, W.K.,  P.P.Moore, D.P.Collins, A.I.Bary, and C.G.Cogger.  2013.  Evaluation of day-neutral cultivars for organic strawberry production in Washington.  Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 1001:167-174

Corbin, A., D. Collins, R. Krebill-Prather, C. Benedict, and D. Moore. 2013. Adoption potential and perceptions of reduced tillage among organic farmers in the maritime Pacific Northwest.  eXtension Foundation, eOrganic Community of Practice. [Online].

Collins, D.P.  2013.  Seasonal nitrogen mineralization on organic farms.  Tilth Producers Quarterly.  23 (1): 1,4-5.

Collins, D.P., A. Corbin, C. Benedict, C. Cogger,  A. Bary,  C. Burrows,  and C. Miles.  2011.  Reducing tillage with cover crops in western Washington organic vegetable production:  early research progress and future direction. Tilth Producers Quarterly. 21 (2): 15-19.

Collins, D.P., Koenig, K.; Berman, F.  2011.  Passing knowledge through hands-on experience:  legal farm internships in Washington State.  Tilth Producers Quarterly. 21 (1): 8-11.

Collins, D.P.  2011.  Nitrogen availability from soil organic matter, fertilizer, and amendments.  Tilth Producers Quarterly. 21 (1): 12-13.

Collins, D.P.  2011.  Report card nitrate test for assessing fertilizer efficiency. Tilth Producers Quarterly. 21 (3): 11.

Collins, D.P. and B. J. Jacobsen.  2003.  Optimizing a Bacillus subtilis isolate for biological control of sugar beet cercospora leaf spot. Biological Control.  26 (2): 153-161.

Collins, D.P., B. J. Jacobsen and B. Maxwell.  2003.  Spatial and temporal population dynamics of a phyllosphere colonizing Bacillus subtilis biological control agent of sugar beet cercospora leaf spot.  Biological Control.   26 (3):  224-232.


2016-2017  Collins, D and  D. Sullivan. Strip tillage and cover cropping for enhanced water use efficiency in western Washington organic vegetable farms. WSU BIOAg Program. $30,562.

2015-2017  Collins, D. and A. Bary. Optimizing Nitrogen Management on Organic and Biologically Intensive Farms. Western SARE. $49,996.

2014-2016    Collins, D, C. Benedict, A. Corbin, A. Bary, and C. Cogger.  Increasing adoption of reduced tillage strategies on organic vegetable farms in the maritime Northwest.  Western SARE.  $249,919.

2012-2015    Collins, D., M. Ostrom, J. Garcia-Pabon,  M. Flores,   C. Benedict,  J. Busboom,  and M. Heitstuman.  Cultivating new generation and immigrant farmers in Washington State.  USDA-BFRDP.  $675,749.

2011-2014    Collins, D, A. Corbin, C. Cogger, C. Benedict, and A. Bary.  Selecting management practices and cover crops for reducing tillage, enhancing soil quality, and managing weeds in western WA organic vegetable farms.  Western  SARE.  $196,624.

2011-2012    Collins, D., C. Cogger, and A. Bary.  Measuring active carbon to predict seasonal nitrate mineralization on organic farms.  Organic Farming Research Foundation.  $14,996.


Biology 240: The Urban Farm. University of Washington. Guest lecturer, Reduced Tillage Organic Agriculture. Fall, 2015.

Soils 201: Soil: A Living System. Washington State University. Guest lecturer, Organic Soil Fertility. Spring, 2015.

Practice of Sustainable Agriculture, The Evergreen State College.  Guest lecturer, Nitrogen mineralization on Organic Farms and soil fertility planning.  Summer, 2013.

Soils 501:  Seminar, Pullman, WA.  Revealing Soil Patterns to Increase Blocking Efficiency:  Mapping Soil Organic Matter and Weed Seed Bank Density Prior to Establishing a Reduced Tillage Experiment in Organic Agriculture.  Fall 2013.

Introduction to R.  WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center, summer 2013 and summer 2015, 2016

Biology 368:  Advanced Ecology, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA. Guest lecturer and lab instructor, soil quality indicators.  Fall 2011 and fall 2015.

Biology 116 and Biology 387: Introductory and Advanced Ecology, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA, guest lecturer and lab instructor, soil quality indicators.  Fall 2009.

Ecological Agriculture & Practices of Sustainable Agriculture, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, guest lecturer and lab instructor, soil biology.   Fall 2007.

Plant Pathology 513: Nematology, Washington State University, Prosser, WA, guest lecturer and lab instructor, soil food webs.  Summer 2009.

Soils 531: Advanced Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, guest lecturer and lab instructor.  Fall 2008 & fall 2007.

Soils 201:  Soils: A Living System, Washington State University, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Pullman, WA.  Teaching Assistant, spring 2005

Plant Pathology 100:   Introduction to Biotechnology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.  Teaching Assistant, spring 1999


Collins, D.P. (Writer, Director, Producer, Videographer, and Video Editor) and co-writers and videographers C. Benedict, C. Corbin.  2011.  “Reduced tillage on organic farms:  virtual field day.”  [online]

Collins,D.P. and J. Garcia-Pabon  (Producers) 2013.  “Cosecha y empaque de lechugas Romanas para sanidad y calidad.” (Harvesting and packing Romaine lettuce for safety and quality).  Writer:  S. Schaeffer; Editor: T. Cogger.  [online]


Collins, D, C. Benedict, A. Bary, C.G. Cogger, Sandra Wayman, A. Corbin. 2016. Selecting management practices and cover crops for reducing tillage, enhancing soil quality, and managing weeds in western WA organic vegetable farms. American Society for Horticultural Sciences, Atlanta, GA. Poster Presentation.

B. Wolters, D. CollinsA.M. Fortuna, C.G Cogger, A.I. Bary. 2014. Greenhouse gas emissions in no-till vegetable production. Proceedings of the Agronomy Society of America, Long Beach, CA. Poster Presentation.

Collins, D., C. Cogger, A. Bary.  2013.  Soil Sampling to direct management on diverse organic farms.  Soil Science Society of America Abstracts.

Collins, D., C. Cogger, A. Bary, C. Benedict, D. Corbin, C. Miles. 2012. Tillage reduction and cover cropping for enhanced soil quality and weed management in western Washington organic vegetable farms. Proceeding of the 6th National Small Farms Conf.  Memphis, TN.


David Sullivan, M.S. in progress, expected completion winter 2017 (committee chair). Project: Strip tillage and cover cropping for enhanced water use efficiency in western Washington organic vegetable farms.

Nathan Stacey, Ph.D. in progress, expected completion winter 2017. Project: Compost as a nutrient substitute for golf course fairways

Ryan Tarbell, M.S. in progress, expected completion spring 2017 (committee chair). Project: Nitrogen fertility in reduced-tillage organic broccoli production

Rebecca Collier, M.S. (Iowa State University) expected completion winter 2016. Project: Nitrogen release and decomposition by cover crops in reduced-tillage organic systems

Bethany Wolters, M.S. completed May 2015 (committee chair). Thesis:  Greenhouse gas emissions in no-till vegetable production.

Patrick O’Neill, M.S. completed Aug 2015. Thesis: Columbia root knot nematode management in potatoes using rotational crops under cool-climate conditions

Justin Ruiz, M.S completed fall 2015. Project: Food Waste – Derived Organic Fertilizer for Golf Courses


Tuong Vu, expected completion winter 2017; Project: Optimizing nitrogen fertility on organic farms

Holly Lane, completed winter 2016 ; The effects of reduced tillage on soil moisture, temperature, and light intensity in organic vegetable systems; Poster awarded Gray award at WSU Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA)

Christian Bush, completed winter 2015

Kyle Saxe, completed winter 2013

Katrina McCann, completed spring 2013. Awarded Soil Science Society of America Golden Opportunity Scholar, 2011.

McCann, K., D.P. Collins, C. Cogger, and A. Bary.  2011.  Variation in soil collembolan populations and microbial biomass on western Washington organic farms.  Soil Ecology Society Bi-Annual Meeting, Kelowna, British Columbia.  Poster Presentation.

McCann, K., D.P. Collins, C. Cogger,  and A. Bary.  2011.  Estimating long-term compost application effects on active soil carbon with 24-hour basal respiration.  Proceedings of the Soil Science Society of America, San Antonio, TX.  Poster Presentation.