Wade Thomason

Professor
Wade Thomason
Crop & Soil Enviro Sci MC 0404
185 Ag Quad Ln 422 Smyth Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Overview

I serve as the grain crops extension specialist for Virginia.  In this role I provide state-wide leadership for extension and research programs in production and management of corn and small grains and oversee the hybrid and variety evaluation efforts.  My applied research interests are in cropping systems and precision agriculture, especially remote sensing technologies.  Small grain and corn production in Virginia regularly represents over $150 million in grain sales annually.  Farmers of these crops are managing over 700,000 acres of the Virginia landscape.

Expertise

  • Cropping Systems
  • Crop Management
  • Precision Agriculture

Education

  • Ph.D., Soil Science, Oklahoma State University, 2001                          
  • M.S., Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 1998
  • B.S., Animal Science, Oklahoma State University, 1996

My research focuses on practical, economical, and environmentally sound rotational and reduced tillage production techniques for grain production.  We also emphasize precision agriculture technologies, especially non-destructive remote sensing techniques, in an effort to improve production efficiency and reduce environmental impacts of agriculture.  Finally, I work with Virginia Cooperative Extension Agents, producers, and agribusiness persons to concentrate not only on being efficient, low cost producers, but also on being effective producers.  Effectiveness involves taking advantage of opportunities to produce products that fit a specific niche and sustain prices above those offered for commodities.  Paramount to taking advantage of these opportunities is understanding the possibilities, knowing how to participate, and having the tools to do so.

The basis of my outreach/extension education program is integration of corn, wheat, barley, and other grain crops into profitable cropping systems for the eastern U.S.  Practical, economical, and environmentally sound production techniques are the major areas of emphasis.  I manage the official Virginia corn hybrid and small grain yield testing programs and am also an active participant in extension agent-led, on-farm experiments and demonstrations that provide science-based information for Virginia producers.  Given the diversity in climate and the economic importance of cultivar selection on overall farm profitability, there is an ongoing need for current information on cultivar performance in our environment. 

Extension is a face-to-face business.  However, with today’s technology we don’t always have to be in the same room to make this happen.  Either way, we must know our clientele and coworkers well enough to understand their problems and issues as well as have a collaborative working relationship.  I use a combination of applied research and field demonstrations, along with electronic and traditional communication tools to reach clientele.

Professor/Extension Grains Specialist | 2015 - Present
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Associate Professor/Extension Grains Specialist | 2010 - 2015
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Assistant Professor/Extension Grains Specialist | 2004 - 2010
Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Soil Fertility and Crops Specialist | 2001 - 2003
Samuel R. Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Ok.

  • Fellow, American Society of Agronomy, 2017.
  • University Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension – Virginia Tech, 2017.
  • Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Contributions to the 7th National Small Farm Conference, USDA, 2016.
  • Land Grant University Award – Virginia Agribusiness Council, 2014.
  • No-Till Innovator Award, Organization–Virginia No-tillage Alliance. Syngenta Crop Protection and No-Till Farmer Magazine, 2014.
  • Excellence Award in Applied Research. Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 2013.
  • ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) Blue Ribbon award for outstanding effort and achievement in the development of noteworthy educational aids – “Precision Farming Tools: Variable-Rate Application.” 2012.
  • Friend of Agriculture award.  Presented by the Virginia Grain Producers Association, 2011.
  • Excellence in Technology Transfer award, USDA-ARS Federal Laboratory Consortium, Mid-Atlantic Region. For: Winter Barley Ethanol Initiative for Improving Energy Independence of the Mid-Atlantic, 2010
  • USDA-ARS Technology Transfer Award, North Atlantic Area, Winter Barley Ethanol Initiative for Improving Energy Independence for Mid-Atlantic, 2010
  • Distinguished Service to Virginia Agriculture award.  Presented by the Virginia Crop Improvement Association, 2009
  • ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) award for outstanding effort and achievement in the development of noteworthy educational aids – VCE publication 442-508, 2008.
  • Certificate of Excellence from the American Society of Agronomy, Division A4 - Newsletter category for Mid Atlantic Regional Agronomist Quarterly Newsletter, 2008.
  • Certificate of Excellence from the American Society of Agronomy, Division A4 - Poster category for Survey of Nematode Populations and Prevalence in Virginia Corn and Soybeans, 2008.
  • No-Till Innovator Award - Organization Division. Syngenta Crop Protection and No-Till Farmer Magazine, 2006.
  • Epsilon Sigma Phi – State Extension Team Award, 2005.