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David Clay

Photo of David Clay
Title Professor Soil Science
Office Building Berg Agricultural Hall
Room Number 214
Mailing Address South Dakota State University
Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science
SAG 214, Box 2207A
Brookings, SD 57007

Dr. David E. Clay received a B.S degree from the University of Wisconsin (Madison), M.S. Degree from the University of Idaho, and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Currently, he is Professor of Soil Science at South Dakota State University. He has served on the Editorial Board for the Agronomy Journal in a number of roles including Associate Editor, Technical Editor, and Editor. In addition, he is an Editor or author for 13 books and has published over 250 papers. Dr. Clay’s research goal is to develop and test sustainable precision agricultural management systems that enhance environmental quality, maintain rural economies, and improve energy and economic self-sufficiency.
Based on his research, teaching, and service responsibilities he has received a number of awards including two papers that awarded paper of the year, being twice selected for the ASA precision Systems Impact award, being selected twice for the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Outstanding Researcher, editor on three books that were awarded excellence in extension materials greater than 15 papers, selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 2007, being awarded the 2009 PrecisionAG Award of Excellence in Education and research, and being awarded the SDSU F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Research.

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Area(s) of Research

My research goal is to develop and test sustainable agricultural management systems that enhance environmental quality, maintain rural economies, create wealth and jobs, improve soil health, and lead to energy self-sufficiency. Specific research projects include the development of: (i) a conceptual understandings on how complex interactions among weeds, crop genetics, soils, topography, water, insects, diseases, and nutrient cycling influence crop productivity, profitability, and energy efficiency over landscapes; (ii) remote sensing techniques for assessing C storage and N and water stress in crop plants; (iii) new techniques for assessing the impact of management on system resilience; and (iv) precision farming equations for improved management. Principle obstacles to this research has been: (i) the linking of information collected at cellular or plant scales with higher organizational levels; (ii) developing analysis tools that quantitatively define the impact of stress on plant growth, (iii) mathematically defining how different limiting factors interact to influence yield, and (v) developing experimental approaches to solve multivariate problems. We have used simulation models, remote sensing, tracking stable isotopes pulses, microarray analysis, detailed soil and plant measurements, and natural abundance stable isotope approaches in our research. I am committed toward increasing the adoption of technologies that can improve agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. To achieve this goal I believe that we need to research the barriers to adopting technologies that clearly have economic and environmental benefits. I am committed to convert agricultural research into tools that producers can use to increase their profitability.

Awards & Honors

• 2016, Paper of the year, for Smart, A.J., L.B. Perkins, T.N. Schramm, M.J. Nelson, P.J. Bauman, S.A. Clay, and D.E. Clay. 2016. The effects of patch-burn grazing on vegetation structural heterogeneity in the northern tallgrass prairie of South Dakota. Great Plains Research 26:57-70.
• 2016 awarded the ASA Precision Agriculture Systems Impact Award, from the American Society of Agronomy, Precision Agricultural Systems community,
• 2016, ASA Excellence for publication > 16 pages, Midwest Cover Crop Field Guide. 2nd Edition.
• 2016, Clay, D.E., G. Reicks, J. Chang, T. Kharel, and S.A.H. Bruggeman. 2016. Assessing a fertilizer program: Short and long-term approaches. In A. Chatterjee and D. Clay (eds), Soil Fertility Management in Agroecosystems. ASA/Crop Science/SSSA digital library, Madison WI, used to develop a certified crop consultant training guide.
• 2014 recipient of the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Outstanding Researcher Award,
• 2013 ASA Precision Agriculture Systems Impact Award, from the American Society of Agronomy, Precision Agricultural Systems community.
• Awarded the Weed Science Society Paper of the Year in 2012,
• The South Dakota iGrow Wheat Best Management Practices for Wheat Production was awarded a certificate of Excellence for Extension Material >15 pages by the American Society of Agronomy, (10/20/2012). D. Clay was lead editor.
• American Society of Agronomy Division A-4, Corn Best Management Practices awarded Excellence for Extension Materials greater than 15 pages. November 2010
• Awarded the 2009 PrecisionAG Award of Excellence, Education/research Award, Sponsored by the PrecisionAG Institute, The PrecisionAg™ Institute is an independent global forum dedicated to the sharing of precision agriculture practices, ideas, research, products, services and success stories.
• Fellow American Society of Agronomy, 2007.
• Awarded SD Sigma Xi Presidents Award for Service, 2006;
• Awarded USDA-ARS Collaboration Award, April 20, 2006;
• Awarded the Deans Award for Teamwork, 2004
• Awarded SDSU F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Research, December 2004
• Awarded the Gamma Delta Research Award, 1996;
• Awarded the Deans Award for Excellence, 1994;