SIPS Soil & Crop Sciences Section

Our mission is to generate and communicate knowledge about agroecosystems and their sustainable management in the face of accelerating global change. We achieve this by educating students for stewardship of agro-ecosystems, conducting scientific research on sustainable land management, and using our extension and outreach programs for the benefit of our stakeholders.

Many faculty conduct programs focusing on New York and the northeastern United States region, as well as in many countries around the world having temperate, sub-tropical and tropical environments. Learn more about the history of our section and the vision of our school.

Research Areas in Soil & Crop Sciences

Crop Science

Our research in crop science encompasses development of innovative management practices that maximize yield and quality while minimizing environmental impact, identifying new strategies for effective weed control and making discoveries in fundamental crop physiology.

Environmental information systems

Research on environmental information systems encompasses remote sensing, data inventory and analysis of interactions between agroecosystems and climate at various scales.

Soil science

Our faculty are engaged in research on the many aspects of soil and soil heath from chemistry and biogeochemistry to soil ecology and microbiome.

two women examining a computer image of plant leaves
woman working with remote sensing equipment in the field
hand holding soil sample against a green field

Graduate and undergraduate training

Soil & Crop Sciences offers degrees and training opportunities at all stages of the educational pipeline

three women in front of a scientific poster

Graduate field of soil & crop sciences

Students interested in obtaining an M.S. or Ph.D. degree in the graduate field of soil & crop sciences can select from four concentrations.

  • Agronomy
  • Field crop science
  • Soil science
  • Environmental information systems

Master of Professional Studies

Our MPS programs are one-year, course-based degrees, ideal for individuals interested in in-depth study of the issues and advancements in plant and soil sciences. Choose from specializations in Controlled Environment Agriculture, viticulture, public garden leadership, hemp science, plant protection, geospatial applications and more.

Undergraduate — plant sciences major

Undergraduates majoring in the plant sciences can choose to concentrate in soil science, preparing them for careers in soil health, conservation and agriculture, whether in private industry or public government/university sectors.

Undergraduate — agricultural sciences major

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to major in agricultural sciences, an interdisciplinary program to which Soil and Crop Sciences faculty and staff contribute significant instruction and research opportunities.

Undergraduate — soil science minor

Undergraduate students in diverse majors can add a minor in soil science, and gain in depth knowledge of this discipline.

Undergraduate — crop management minor

Undergraduate students in diverse majors can add a minor in crop management, providing a strong foundation in this area.

Undergraduate research — Microbial Friends & Foes

Microbial Friends & Foes undergraduate research experience is sponsored by the Cornell Institute of Host-Microbe Interactions and Disease. Participants are placed in host labs at Cornell working on many different aspects of microbial interactions with plants and animals.

Undergraduate research — other

The Office of Undergraduate Research provides information about exploring the wealth of research opportunities at Cornell.

The Honors Program in Biological Sciences is designed to offer advanced training in laboratory and field research through the performance of an original research project under the direct guidance of a member of the Cornell faculty.

News from the SIPS Soil & Crop Sciences Section

Learn more about recent developments in our research, outreach, and education

bipoc hands with nail polish holding clump of healthy soil

News

Cornell soil health experts offer advanced online course
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Agriculture
soybeans in cover crop

News

Farmers interested in using the rolled cover crop organic no-till soybean system can now find techniques and tips in the new guide produced by the Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab at Cornell University. The guide is by Matt Ryan of Cornell...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Agriculture
 Margaret Ball tending to plants growing in a tray in a grow room.

News

Judiciously decomposing organic matter from 700 degrees Fahrenheit to 1,200 degrees F, without oxygen – a process known as pyrolysis, very different from incineration – and retaining nutrients from dairy lagoons can transform manure into a...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Agriculture
a hand holds a clump of soil

Field Note

This summer, the United States Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program published the fourth edition of Building Soils for Better Crops — arguably the most influential publication on soil health...
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Field Crops
Listeria on a petri dish held by a purple gloved hand

News

The pathogen listeria soon may become easier to track down in food recalls, thanks to a new genomic and geological mapping tool created by Cornell food scientists.
  • Food Science
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section