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Faculty & Staff Soil Scientists
William L. Bland
Associate Professor
B.S. Horticulture, 1975
M.S. Horticulture, 1978, Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D. Soil Science/Horticulture, 1984, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1525 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(office) 608.262.0221 - (fax) 608.265.2595

My research and Extension programs are closely linked, and are directed primarily at two areas of work. One is fostering adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices, by improving access of farmers to needed weather and microclimate data and developing the requisite simulation models. Much of this work has benefited from support by NASA to improve use of satellite data and Internet communications in agricultural management. We have largely supplanted the need to operate our own network of automated weather stations with alternative data sources, primarily satellites and surface observations made by other federal and state agencies. Our team has created computer models for minimum temperature prediction in cranberry bogs, leaf wetness in potato fields, potential evapotranspiration estimates for irrigation scheduling, and leaching of nitrate from potato crops.

More recent initiatives involve exploring ways to help the broad public and decision-makers better understand agricultural systems. Present and future debates surrounding the economic, aesthetic, and environmental implications of agriculture should be informed by current science and data to the maximum extent possible. System modeling and computer communications are powerful tools for this task. Currently we are working on two projects in this domain. The larger of the two is an “integrated assessment model” of the Central Sands of Wisconsin, in which users will be able to explore linkages among groundwater contamination, vegetable production, and the economy. Such a model is needed now by growers, local government, and concerned members of the public. The other project is titled “CELLO” for Communities, Ecosystems, and Large Livestock Operations. Here we are developing an assessment tool to assist communities as they debate the siting of large-scale livestock rearing facilities. The tool will provide locally-based estimates of the impacts of a new (or expanded) animal operations on soil nutrient balances, feed usage, road use, odors, employment, and taxes.


Bland, W.L., and M.K. Clayton. 1994. Spatial structure of solar radiation in Wisconsin. Agric. Forest Meteorol. 69:75-84.

Bland, W.L., J.M. Norman, G.S. Campbell, C. Calissendorff, and E.E. Miller. 1995. A transiently-heated anemometer. Agric. Forest Meteorol. 74:227-235.

Bland, W.L. 1996. Uncertainty of daily insolation estimates from a mesoscale pyranometer network. J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech. 13:255-261.

Bland, W.L., J. Loew, and J.M. Norman. 1996. Evaporation from cranberry. Agric. Forest Meteorol. 81:1-12.

Diak, G.R., W.L. Bland, and J.R. Mecikalski.1996.A note on first estimates of surface insolation from GOES-8 visible satellite data.Agric. Forest Meteorol. 82:219-226.

Fermanich, K.J., W.L. Bland, B. Lowery, and K. McSweeney. 1996. Irrigation and tillage effects on atrazine and atrazine metabolite flux below the root zone of a sandy soil. J. Environ. Qual. 25:1291-1299

Bland, W.L., P.A. Helmke, and J.M. Baker. 1997. High-resolution snow-water equivalent measurement by gamma-ray spectroscopy. Agric. Forest Meteorol. 83:27-36.

Armour, D., L.R. Massie, W.L. Bland, and G.D. Bubenzer. 1997. Specification of center-pivot irrigation based on long-term weather records. Trans. ASAE.40:89-95.

Kanneganti, V.R., W.L. Bland, and D.J. Undersander. 1998. Modeling freezing injury in alfalfa to predict forage yield: II. Model validation and example simulations. Agron. J. 90:698-704.

Diak, G.R., M.C. Anderson, W.L. Bland, J.M. Norman, J.M. Mecikalski, R.M. Aune. 1998. Agricultural management decision aids driven by real-time satellite data. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 79:1345-1355.

Wilson, T. B., W. L. Bland, and J. M. Norman. 1999. Measurement and simulation of dew accumulation and drying in a potato canopy. Agric. Forest Meteorol. 93:111-119.

Bland, W. L. 1999. Toward integrated assessment of agricultural systems. Agric. Systems 60:157-167.

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