The Open Furrow Projects Behind the Wire Dirt Hog's Companion On Point Explorations Agrosphere Journal
10 April 2012: This web page will be migrating to a new server in Williams Hall sometime in late April, effectively merging IT services and infrastructure within the Departments of Soil Science and Crop Science. A process is in place to maintain web page integrity as well as ensure redirection of indexed URLs. However, there may be some collateral effects of moving that we cannot predict. Do not hesitate to contact me via email if this site behaves badly in any part and, in advance, I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

14 Feb 2010: We mourn the loss of Bill Jackson, age 85. Dr. Jackson was a highly respected faculty member in the Department of Soil Science whose teaching, advising, and research interests were the envy of many and the measure by which we judge success. "It's a fact."

Welcome to The Open Furrow. The design of this website reaches beyond the usual "who we are", "what we do" embellishments (although we shamelessly dish up some of that), to fostering an open exchange of informative, thought-provoking ideas about soil, "the thin mantle of Earth's surface that sustains us". The impress of our ploughshares may be local, but the purview of The Open Furrow is global. Human population presses inexorably upon the good Earth to provide food, fiber, energy, engineering, and a host of ecosystem services undreamed of a generation ago. I'm optimistic enough to think we can, collectively, meet these productivity demands through research, technology, and timely communication.

As Research Specialist in the Department of Soil Science at NC State University I have collaborated with faculty, staff, graduate students, extension personnel, and private stakeholders on projects related to tillage practices, nutrient management and productivity emphasizing intrinsic soil-water-plant relationships that impact long-term sustainability in cropping systems under the guidance of Dr. Michael G. Wagger from 1994-2006. From 2007-2014 I provided technical support to Dr. Jeffrey G. White focusing on integrating precision agriculture, remote sensing, and related geospatial technologies within a similar research framework. In January 2015 I joined the fledgling AMPLIFY project at the NCSU-NCDA Cunningham Research Farm in Kinston, N.C. The AMPLIFY (Agrosphere Modeling for Producing Large Increases in Food Yield) strategic public-private research partnership engages experts and prime stakeholders from industry, academia, and agribusiness to generate knowledge and develop, test, and publish new approaches, technologies and analytic tools to advance high-yield, resilient agriculture integrating multi-platform digital information.

We invite you to browse the links at left. Examine our recent and on-going work in Projects; for the non-specialist we present a growing series of soil technical notes in Dirt Hog's Companion; links to innovative, thought-provoking ideas about tillage, soil productivity and resource-efficient "sustainable" agriculture in Behind the Wire; the evolving field of site-specific management is featured in On Point; Agrosphere Journal (formerly Open Furrow Pages), a blog that ponders land and life and everything within and between; and finally, learn about agriculture, soil, and the world beyond in Explorations.

This site was created by Robert D. Walters in consultation with Jijy Thanwalee. Reproduction of author's content by permission only. Questions and/or comments about this site may be directed to This site and all content within it have not been endorsed by N.C. State University. Directory information for Robert D. Walters available here (via Linkedin).

This page was last modified on 23-Jan-2016 .