- PhD in Soil Science and Environmental Science, Iowa State University, 2013
- MS in Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, 2009
- BS in Environmental, Soil and Water Science, University of Arkansas, 2007
- 60% research, 40% teaching
Areas of Research and Professional Interest
- Vadose Zone Hydrology
- Chemical Fate and Transport
- Soil Physics
- Water Quality
- Agricultural Water Management
About Aaron Lee M. Daigh
I am a vadose zone hydrologist and soil physicist with research interests in the transfer of energy and matter in natural porous media, sources of spatial and temporal variabilty, ecohydrology, agronomy, water management, contamination and remediation.
I currently direct research on vadose zone water quality and the fate and transport of nutrients and chemicals of agricultural landscapes overlying major aquifers. My research and teaching programs are housed in UNL's Department of Agronomy & Horticulture (tenure home) and Department of Biological Systems Engineering.
I work with local governments, international non-profits, academic communities, and a diversity of public stakeholders to conduct and translate science for our communities.
My past research projects have included:
- remote sensing of soil moisture
- conditioning factors for slope failures
- plant survival in storm-water systems
- water quality links to the soil microbiome
- temporal and spatial dynamics of soil microbial communities
- hydrophobic capillary barriers
- hexacyanoferrate effects on soil and plants
- brine spill remediation
- coal mine reclamation
- subsurface drainage and water quality
- salinity and sodicity
- conservation tillage
- biofuel cropping systems
- crop diversity on soil water
- economic costs of deep wheel-traffic compaction
- carbon dioxide emissions from soils
- the fate and transport of nutrients and heavy metals in pastureland vadose zones
- nitrogen fate dynamics in rice floodwaters
- glyphosate on mycorrhizae in crop roots
Associate Professor of Soil Physics and Hydrology, School of Natural Resource Sciences, North Dakota State University, 2020-2022
Assistant Professor of Soil Physics, School of Natural Resource Sciences, North Dakota State University, 2013-2020
Post-Doctoral Research Associate of Drainage Water Quality, Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, 2013
Honors and Awards
Outstanding Associate Editor Award, Soil Science Society of America Journal, 2021
SSSA Presidential Award to the Representation and Recognition Task Force for past and current efforts to improve the representation and recognition of membership diversity, Soil Science Society of America, 2021 - Awarded while serving as co-chair
National Experiment Station Section Excellence in Multistate Research Award to the W4188 project “Soil, Water, and Environmental Physics to Sustain Agriculture and Natural Resources”, Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP), 2021
Geoderma Editor’s Choice for February 2021. Article: Leitner, Daigh, DeJong-Hughes. 2021. Temporal fluctuations of microbial communities within the crop growing season.
Outstanding Reviewer, Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment, 2019
National, Regional, and State Communications Awards for “Upper Midwest Tillage Guide” as best Publication, The National Association of Country Agricultural Agents, 2018
69 competitive grants and contracts funded for over $7.2 million as PI and Co-PI
Early Career Advice Columns, CSA Magazine
- Daigh, A.L.M. 2020. Mentor or mentee? An early career perspective. Crop, Soil and Agronomy (CSA) News Magazine, August issue. 65(8):24-27
- Daigh, A.L.M. 2019. Diversity and inclusion: Building a vibrant workplace. Crop, Soil and Agronomy (CSA) News Magazine, June issue. 64(6):26-31
- Daigh, A.L.M. 2018. Useful tips to define, communicate and maintain your values in and out of the workplace. Crop, Soil and Agronomy (CSA) News Magazine, November issue. 63(11):44-46
- Daigh, A.L.M. and J.M.D. Motschenbacher. 2017. Breaking tradition to create self-motivated, collaborative students. Crop, Soil and Agronomy (CSA) News Magazine, October issue. 62(10):33-34
- Daigh, A.L.M. 2016. Steps for effective teaching in the classroom. Crop, Soil and Agronomy (CSA) News Magazine, November issue. 61(11):32-34
- Daigh, A.L.M. 2015. How do you manage your time in the mist of chaos? An Introduction to Covey’s Grid. Crop, Soil and Agronomy (CSA) News magazine, June Issue. 60(6):34-35
- Daigh, A.L. 2014. Surviving the interview and your first year in academic research. Crop, Soil and Agronomy (CSA) News, December Issue. 59(12):37-38
Invited Book Chapters
- Daigh, A.L.M. 2022. Crop diversification and soil water. Chapter 5, pg. 85 - 108, In Blanco, H., Kumar, S., Anderson, S. (Eds.) Soil Hydrology in a Changing Climate. Australian CSIRO.
- Oster, J.D., N.W.T. Quinn, A.L.M. Daigh, and E. Scudiero. 2022. Agricultural subsurface drainage water. Chapter 8, pg. 157-195, In Qadir, M., Smakhin, V., Koo-Oshima, S., Edeltruaud, E. (Eds.) Unconventional Water Resources. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Peer-Reviewed Research and Teaching Publications (*corresponding author)
- Joshi, D.R., D.E. Clay*, S.A. Clay, J.M. Miller, A.L.M. Daigh, G. Reicks, and S. Westhoff. 2022. Quantification and machine learning based N2O-N and CO2-C emissions predictions from a decomposing rye cover crop. Agronomy Journal. In Press.
- Acharya*, U., A.L.M. Daigh, and P. Oduor. 2022. Soil moisture mapping with moisture related indices, OPTRAM, and an integrated random forest-OPTRAM algorithm from Landsat 8 images. Remote Sensing 14:3801. doi:10:3390/rs14153801
- Acharya*, U., A.L.M. Daigh, and P.G. Oduor. 2022. Factors affecting the use of weather stations data in predicting surface soil moisture for agricultural applications. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 102: 419-431. doi:10.1139/cjss-2021-0034
- Alghamdi*, R.S., L. Cihacek, A.L.M. Daigh, and S. Rahman. 2022. Post-harvest crop residue contribution to soil N availability or unavailability in North Dakota. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment. 5:e220233. doi:10.1002/agg2.20233.
- Green, A., T. DeSutter*, M. Meehan, and A.L.M. Daigh. 2022. Brine spill remediation utilizing capillary transport and wicking materials in loam and silty clay soils. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment. 5:e220237. doi:10.1002/agg2.20237.
- Acharya*, U., A.L.M. Daigh, and P.G. Oduor. 2021. Machine learning for predicting field soil moisture using soil, crop, and nearby weather station data in the Red River Valley of the North. Soil Systems 5(4):57. doi:10.3390/soilsystems5040057.
- Alghamdi*, R. A.L.M. Daigh, J. DeJong-Hughes, and A. Wick. 2021. Soil temperature and water contents among vertical tillage, strip tillage, and chisel plowing in the Upper Great Plains. Canadian Journal of Soil Science. 101:596-616 doi:10.1139/cjss-2021-0010
- Reicks, G., D.E. Clay*, S.A. Clay, J.R. Deepak, J. Moriles-Miller, S. Westhoff, A.L.M. Daigh, and S.A. Bruggeman. 2021. Winter cereal rye cover crop decreased N2O-N emissions during early spring. Agronomy Journal. 113(5):3900-3909 doi:10.1002/agj2.20658
- Savin*, M.C., A.L.M. Daigh, K.R. Brye, R.J. Norman, and D.M. Miller. 2021. Vertical distribution of fertilizer nitrogen from surface water flooding of a silt-loam and clay soil used for rice production. Soil Use and Management. 37:406-417. doi:10.1111/sum.12599
- Ostrand, M., T. DeSutter, D. Steele, R. Limb, and A.L.M. Daigh*. 2021. Can a superabsorbent polymer help remediate compaction in frigid, semiarid soils? – A laboratory evaluation on soil physical properties. Arid Land Research and Management. 35:311-329. doi:10.1080/15324982.2021.1887399
- Ajmera*, B., K.R. Upadhaya, and A. Daigh. 2021. Slope failures in North Dakota: Influence of geology, topography and salt concentration in pore fluid. Geotechnical Special Publication - Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers IFCEE GSP 325:197-205. doi:10.1061/9780784483428.021
- Klopp*, H., F. Arriaga, A.L.M. Daigh, and W. Bleam. 2021. Development of functions to predict soil hydraulic properties that account for solution sodicity and salinity. Catena 204:105389. doi:10.1016/j.catena.2021.105389
- Leitner, Z., A.L.M. Daigh*, and J. DeJong-Hughes. 2021. Temporal fluctuations of Microbial Communities within the Crop Growing Season. Geoderma 351:114951. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2021.114951.
- Ghosh*, U., and A.L.M. Daigh. 2020. Soil compaction problems and subsoiling effects on potato crop: A review. Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management. 6(1):e20030. doi:10.1002/cft2.20030
- Ostrand, M., T. DeSutter*, A.L.M. Daigh, R. Limb and D. Steele. 2020. Superabsorbent polymer characteristics, properties and applications. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment. 3(1):e20074. doi:10.1002/agg2.20074
- Green, A., T. DeSutter*, M. Meehan, A.L.M. Daigh, and P. O’Brien. 2020. The remediation of brine-impacted soils and the impact of bine on soil physical, chemical, and biological properties: A Review. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment. 3(1):e20042. doi:10.1002/agg2.20042
- Klopp*, H. and A.L.M. Daigh. 2020. Soil hydraulic model parameters and methodology as affected by sodium salt solutions. Soil Science Society of America Journal 84(2):354-370. doi:10.1002/saj2.20015
- Daigh*, A.L.M., J. DeJong-Hughes, and U. Acharya. 2020. Projections of yield losses and economic costs following deep wheel-traffic compaction during the 2019 harvest. Agricultural & Environmental Letters 5(1):e20013. doi:10.1002/ael2.20013
- Klopp*, H., F. Arriaga, A.L.M. Daigh, and W. Bleam. 2020. Analysis of pedotransfer functions to predict the effects of salinity and sodicity on saturated hydraulic conductivity of soils. Geoderma 362:114078. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2019.114078
- Dornbusch*, M.J., R.F. Limb, H.A.K. Tomlinson, A.L.M. Daigh, and K.K. Sedivec. 2020. Evaluation of soil treatment techniques on remediated brine spill sites in semi-arid rangelands. Journal of Environmental Management 260:110100. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110100
- Klopp*, H.W. and A.L.M. Daigh. 2020. Measured saline and sodic solutions effects on soil saturated hydraulic conductivity, electrical conductivity and sodium adsorption ratio. Arid Land Research and Management 34(3):264-286. doi:10.1080/15324982.2019.1672221
- Spiess, J., D.A. McGranahan*, C. Whippo, B. Poling, A. Daigh, and T. Hovick. 2020. Despite dust emissions, bird and invertebrate communities appear unaffected by fracking traffic along rural roads. Ambio 49:605-615. doi:10.1007/s13280-019-01207-9
- O’Brien*, P. and A.L.M. Daigh. 2019. Tillage practices alter the surface energy balance – A review. Soil & Tillage Research 195:104354. doi:10.1016/j.still.2019.104354
- Acharya*, U., A. Chatterjee, A.L.M. Daigh. 2019. Effect of subsurface drainage, crop rotation and tillage on crop yield in Fargo clay soil. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 74(5):456-465. doi:10.2489/jswc.74.5.456.
- Acharya*, U., A. Chatterjee, A.L.M. Daigh. 2019. Effect of subsurface drainage spacing and depth on crop yield. Agronomy Journal 111(4):1675-1681. doi:10.2134/agronj2018.11.0738.
- Daigh*, A.L.M., J. DeJong-Hughes, D.H. Gatchell, N.E. Derby, R. Alghamdi, Z.R. Leitner, A. Wick, and U. Acharya. 2019. Crop and soil responses to on-farm conservation tillage systems in the Upper Midwest. Agricultural and Environmental Letters. 4:190012. doi:10.2134/ael2019.03.0012.
- Fidantemiz, Y., X. Jia, A.L.M. Daigh, H. Hatterman-Valenti, D.D. Steele, A.R. Niaghi, and H. Simsek*. 2019. Effect of Water table depth on soybean water use, growth, and yield parameters. Water 11:931. doi:10.3390/w11050931
- Green, A., T. DeSutter*, A.L.M. Daigh, and M. Meehan. 2019. Wicking salts from brine contaminated soils: Potential method for in-situ remediation. Agricultural and Environmental Letters 4:180069. doi:10.2134/ael2018.12.0069
- O’Brien, P.L., T.M. DeSutter*, F.X.M. Casey, A.L.M. Daigh, J.L. Heitman, N.E. Derby, and E. Khan. 2018. Daytime surface energy fluxes over soil material remediated using thermal desorption. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment 1:180027. doi:10.2134/age2018.08.0027
- Nelson, R., E., McGinnis*, A.L.M. Daigh. 2018. Rain garden sedges tolerate cyclical flooding and drought. HortScience 53(11):1669-1676. doi:10.21273/HORTSCI13234-18.
- Nelson*, R., McGinnis, A.L.M. Daigh. 2018. Perigynia removal improved germination in two native sedge. Seed Science and Technology 46(3):48-495. doi:10.15258/sst.2018.46.3.06
- Daigh*, A.L.M., U. Ghosh, J. DeJong-Hughes, and R. Horton. 2018. Spatial response of near-surface soil water contents to newly imposed soil management. Agricultural & Environmental Letters 3:180032. doi:10.2134/ael2018.06.0032.
- O’Brien, P., U. Acharya, R. Alghamdi, A.R. Niaghi, D. Sanyal, Jeremy Wirtz, A.L.M. Daigh, and T. DeSutter*. 2018. Hydromulch application to bare soil: Soil temperature dynamics and evaporative fluxes. Agriculture and Environmental Letters 3:180014. doi:10.2134/ael2018.03.0014.
- Brye*, K.R., A.L.M. Daigh, and R.L. McMullen. 2018. Seasonal effects on leachate quality from an Ozark Highlands managed grassland using automated, equilibrium tension lysimeters. Vadose Zone Journal 17:160082 doi:10.2136/vzj2016.09.0082.
- Daigh*, A.L.M., W. Dick, M. Helmers, R. Lal, J. Lauer, E. Nafziger, C. Pederson, J. Strock, M.B. Villamil, A. Mukherjee, and R. Cruse. 2018. Yields and yield stability of no-till and chisel-plow corn and soybean fields in Midwestern US Corn Belt. Field Crops Research 218:243-253.
- Klopp, H. A.L.M. Daigh*, and T. DeSutter. 2018. Soil shrinkage characteristics as affected by solution composition and mineral contents. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 49:170-180.
- Harmon*, J.P., and A.L.M. Daigh. 2017. Attempting to predict the plant-mediated trophic effects of soil salinity: A mechanistic approach to supplementing insufficient information. Food Webs 13:67-79.
- Schott*, L.R., A. Lagzdins, A.L.M. Daigh, K. Craft, C. Pederson, G. Brenneman, and M.J. Helmers. 2017. Drainage water management effect on corn planting date in Southeast Iowa. Journal of Soil Water Conservation 72:564-574.
- Bohrer, S., R. Limb*, A.L.M. Daigh, and J. Volk. 2017. Below-ground attributes of reclaimed surface minelands over a 40-year chronosequence. Land Degradation and Development 28:2290-2297.
- Schott*, L.R., A. Lagzdins, A.L.M. Daigh, K. Craft, C. Pederson, G. Brenneman, and M.J. Helmers. 2017. Drainage water management effects over five years on water tables, drainage, and yields in southeast Iowa. Journal of Soil Water Conservation 72:251-259.
- Klaustermeier, A., A.L.M. Daigh*, R. Limb, and K. Sedivec. 2017. Crystallization inhibitors and their remediation potential of brine-contaminated soils. Vadose Zone Journal 16(4) doi:10.2136/vzj2016.10.0095.
- Bohrer, S.L., R. Limb*, A.L. Daigh, J.M. Volk, and A.F. Wick. 2017. Fine and coarse-scale patterns of vegetation diversity on reclaimed surface coal mineland over a 40-year chronosequence. Environmental Management 59:431-439.
- Thapa*, R., A. Chatterjee, R. Awale, D. McGranahan, and A. Daigh. 2016. Meta-analysis on the effect of enhanced efficiency fertilizers on nitrous oxide emissions and crop yields in major cereal systems. Soil Science Society of America Journal 80:1121-1134.
- Radcliffe*, D., T. Knappenberger, and A. Daigh. 2016. Using Khan Academy videos in flipped classroom mode to bolster calculus skills in soil physics courses. Natural Science Education 45: doi:10.4195/nse2016.04.0008.
- Klaustermeier, A., H. Tomlinson, A.L. Daigh*, R. Limb, T. DeSutter, and K. Sedivec. 2016. Comparison of soil-to-water suspension ratios for determining electrical conductivity of brine contaminated soils. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 96:233-243.
- Daigh*, A.L.M. and A.W. Klaustermeier. 2016. Approaching brine spill remediation from the surface: A new in situ method. Agricultural and Environmental Letters 1:150013. doi:10.2134/ael2015.12.0013.
- Daigh*, A.L., X. Zhou, M.J. Helmers, C.H. Pederson, R. Horton, M. Jarchow, and M. Liebman. 2015. Subsurface drainage nitrate and total reactive phosphorus losses in biofuel-based prairies and corn systems. Journal of Environmental Quality 44:1638-1646.
- Daigh*, A.L., T. Sauer, X. Xiao, and R. Horton. 2015. Comparison of models for determining soil-surface carbon dioxide effluxes in different agricultural systems. Agronomy Journal 107:1077-1086.
- Daigh*, A.L., X. Zhou, M.J. Helmers, C.H. Pederson, R. Ewing, and R. Horton. 2014. Subsurface drainage flow and soil water dynamics of reconstructed prairies and corn rotations for biofuel production. Vadose Zone Journal doi:10.2136/vzj2013.10.0177.
- Daigh*, A.L., T. Sauer, X. Xiao, and R. Horton. 2014. Soil-surface CO2 emission spatial and temporal dynamics in corn rotations and reconstructed prairies. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78:1338-1350.
- Daigh*, A.L., M.J. Helmers, E. Kladivko, X. Zhou, R. Goeken, J. Cavadini, D. Barker, and J. Sawyer. 2014. Soil water during the drought of 2012 as affected by rye cover crops in fields in Iowa and Indiana. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 69:564-573.
- Daigh*, A.L., M.C. Savin, K.R. Brye, R. Norman, and D. Miller. 2014. Urea persistence in floodwater and soil used for flooded rice production. Soil Use and Management 30(4):463-470. doi:10.1111/sum.12142.
- McMullen, R.L., R.L., K.R. Brye*, D.M. Miller, R.E. Mason, A.L. Daigh, B.C. Menjoulet, A.L. Pirani, E.E. Gbur, and M.A. Evans-White. 2014. Long-term runoff water quality as affected by broiler-litter application to a udult in the Ozark Highlands. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78:2017-2031. doi:10.2136/sssaj2014.07.0291.
- McGranahan*, D.A., A.L. Daigh, J.J. Veenstra, D.M. Engle, J.R. Miller, and D.D. Debinski. 2014. Connecting soil organic carbon and root biomass with land-use and vegetation in temperate grassland. Scientific World Journal doi:10.1155/2014/487563.
- McMullen, R.L., K.R. Brye*, A.L. Daigh, D.M. Miller, E.E. Gbur, A.L. Pirani, M.A. Evans-White, and R.E. Mason. 2014. Long-term leachate water quality trends from a broiler litter-amended Udult in a karst region. Vadose Zone Journal 13(9): doi:10.2136/vzj2014.06.0064.
- Wang, E., R. Cruse*, X. Chen, and A.L. Daigh. 2012. Effects of moisture condition and freeze/thaw cycles on surface soil aggregate size distribution and stability. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 92(3): 529-536. doi: 10.4141/cjss2010-044.
- Daigh*, A.L. 2011. Bioenergy cropping systems effects on soil quality. Soil Survey Horizons 52(2):31-34. doi: 10.2136/ssh2011-52-2-1.
- Brye*, K.R., A.L. Daigh, B.C. Menjoulet, M.L. Pirani, and C.P. West. 2010. Trends in dry matter yield following differential broiler litter application from a soil enriched with organic matter and phosphorus. Forage and Grazinglands 8. doi:10.1094/FG-2010-0407-01-RS.
- Daigh*, A.L., K.R. Brye, A.N. Sharpley, D. Miller, and E. Gbur. 2010. Broiler litter composition as affected by water extractant, dilution ratio, and extraction time. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 41:2340-2357.
- Daigh*, A.L., K.R. Brye, A.N. Sharpley, D.M. Miller, C. West, and J.V. Brahana. 2009. Five-year change in soil profile chemical properties as affected by broiler litter application rate. Soil Science 174:531-542.
- Savin*, M.C., L.C. Purcell, A.L. Daigh, and A. Manfredini. 2009. Response of mycorrhizal infection to glyphosate applications and P fertilization in glyphosate-tolerant soybean, maize, and cotton. Journal of Plant Nutrition 32:1702-1717.
Editor-Reviewed Scientific Journal A-Section Publications
- Daigh A.L.M. and J. DeJong-Hughes. 2017. Fluffy Soil Syndrome: When tilled soil does not settle. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 72(1):10A-14A
Peer-Reviewed Extension Publications, Circulars and Production Guides
- DeJong-Hughes, J. and A.L.M. Daigh. 2022. Upper Midwest Compaction Guide. University of Minnesota Extension Service and North Dakota State University. In Press.
- DeJong-Hughes, J. and A.L.M. Daigh. 2021. Upper Midwest Tillage Guide, 2nd edition. University of Minnesota Extension Service and North Dakota State University. Available online at https://extension.umn.edu/soil-management-and-health/
- Ransom, J., V. Calles-Torrez, A. Daigh, D. Franzen, Andrew Friskop, K. Hellevang, J. Ikley, and J. Knodel. 2019. Basics of corn production in North Dakota. North Dakota State University Extension Publication A834 (revised July 2019). Available online at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/crops/basics-of-corn-production-in-north-dakota
- Meehan, M., K.K. Sedivec, T. DeSutter, C. Augustin, and A. Daigh. 2017. Environmental impacts of brine (produced water). North Dakota State University Extension Service Pub. R1850
- Sedivec, K., C. Piper, J. Printz, A. Wick, A. Daigh, R. Limb. 2014. Successful reclamation of lands disturbed by oil and gas development and infrastructure construction. North Dakota State University Extension Service Pub. R1728