SDSU professor named president of American Society of Agronomy

South Dakota State University
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — David Clay, a distinguished professor of soil science at South Dakota State University, was recently elected as the incoming president elect of the American Society of Agronomy in 2020.

“As president of the American Society of Agronomy, I hope to improve the communication between diverse groups and facilitate discussions leading to the development, testing, and implementation of economically and environmentally sustainable and transparent food and energy security programs,” Clay said.

Clay was selected as a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 2007 and has served as the editor of the Agronomy Journal since 2018. The Agronomy Journal is the premier journal for the American Society of Agronomy and has been publishing papers for the last 110 years. Clay is the first editor from South Dakota. Last year, 1,000 papers were submitted and of those papers, 40 percent were accepted for publication. He works with a team of eight technical editors and 125 associate editors.

Several years ago, Clay obtained funding from USDA to create a national team focused on workforce development in precision agriculture. This resulted in two books: ‘Precision Agriculture Basics’ and ‘Practical Mathematics for Precision Farming.’ The American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America published both books. The books present practical precision farming information targeted to agronomists, soil scientists and producers with a goal of helping them reduce production cost and environmental impact.

Clay also worked with the American Society of Agronomy Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) program to create a precision farming specialty for professional Certified Crop Advisors. The first exam for the program occurred during the summer of 2019.

In 2019, he was named a distinguished professor by South Dakota State University, which is the university’s ultimate academic recognition.

Additionally, Clay is the author of sixteen books and has published over 265 referred papers in books and professional journals.

Clay’s research focuses on developing and testing sustainable precision agricultural management systems that enhance environmental quality, maintain rural economies, and improve energy and economic self-sufficiency.

“I am committed to increasing the adoption of technologies that can improve agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability,” Clay said. “One of my main goals is to convert agricultural research into tools that producers can use to increase their profitability.”