Department of Soil Science


  • Ph.D., Soil Fertility; Iowa State University, 1979
  • M.S., Agronomy; University of Nebraska, 1972
  • B.S., Agronomy; University of Nebraska, 1970

Professional Service and Qualifications: 

  • North Dakota Representative to NC-174 Regional Research Committee (Management of Eroded Soils for Enhancement of Productivity and Environmental Quality) and 2000-2001 Chairperson
  • North Dakota Representative to NCERA-59 Regional Research Committee (Soil Organic Matter; Formation, Function, and Management)  and 2011-2012 Chairperson
  • North Dakota Representative to NCR-13 Regional Research Committee (Soil Testing and Plant Analysis) and 1999-2001 Chairperson
  • North Dakota Representative to  NC-1178 Regional Research Committee (Impacts of Crop Residue Removal for Biofuels on Soils)
  • Member of North Dakota Livestock Waste and Nutrient Management Task Force
  • Member of North Dakota Irrigation Task Force
  • Member of NDSU Water Quality Task Force
  • More than 15 years experience in irrigated agriculture
  • Certified Professional Agronomist (ARCPACS)
  • Certified Professional Soil Scientist (ARCPACS)
  • Member of American Society of Agronomy
  • Member of Soil Science Society of America
  • Member of International Union of Soil Science
  • Member of Soil and Water Conservation Society
  • Author or co-author of over 80 research or technical publications

Teaching Interests:

  • Soil Fertility and Fertilizers (SOIL 322)
  • Soil Chemistry (SOIL 455/655 and 755)
  • Soil and Plant Analysis (SOIL 465/665)
  • Advanced Soil Fertility (SOIL 782)


  • Anfinrud, R., L. Cihacek, B. L. Johnson, Y Ji, and M. T. Berti. 2013.  Sorghum and kenaf biomass yield and quality response to nitrogen fertilization in the Northern Great Plains of the USA.  Indust. Crops Prod. 50:159-165.
  • Rahman, A., S. Rahman, and L. Cihacek.  2012.  Efficacy of vegetative filter Strips (VFS) installed at the edge off feedlot to minimize solids and nutrients from runoff.  Agric. Eng. Int.: CIGR Journal 14(4): 9-21.
  • DeSutter, T. M., L. J. Cihacek, and S. Rahman 2012.  Application of flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) to soil and its impact on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Yields, and Grain and Soil Chemistry. J. Environ. Qual.  doi:10.2134/jeq2012.0084.
  • Scherer, T. F., D. Franzen, and L. Cihacek.  2013.  Soil, Water and Plant Characteristics Important to Irrigation.  NDSU Ext. Bul. AE-1675 (Revised).  June 2013.
  • Cihacek, L. J., D. Franzen, X. Jia, R. Johnson, and T. Scherer.  2012.  Evaluation of soils for suitability for tile drainage performance.  NDSU Ext. Bul. SF-1617. August 2009.
  • Dong, X., B. Patton, P. Nyren, R. Limb, L. Cihacek, D. Kirby, and E. Deckard.  2011.  Leaf-water relations on a native and introduced grass species in the mixed-grass prairie under cattle grazing.  Appl. Ecol. Environ. Res.9(4): 311-331.
  • Desutter, T. M., J. Lukach, and L. J. Cihacek.  2011.  Sulfur fertilization of canola (Brassica napus) with flue gas desulfurization gypsum:  An assessment study. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 42(20):2537-2547.
  • Mahli, S. S., R. L. Lemke, M. A. Liebig, B. McConkey, J. J. Schoenau, L. J. Cihacek, and C. Campbell. 2010.  Management strategies and practices for increasing storage of organic C and N in soil in cropping systems in the Northern Great Plains of North America.  pp. 325-284.  In S. S. Mahli, Y. Gan, J. J. Schoenau, R. L. Lemke and M. A. Liebig (eds.),  Recent Trends in Soil Science and Agronomy Research in the Northern Great Plains of North America.  Research Signpost Press, Kerala, India.
  • Cihacek, L. J., B. W. Botnen, and E. N. Steadman.  2010.  A sampling protocol for monitoring, measurement, and verification of terrestrial carbon sequestration in soils.  Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership Value-Added Report.  Energy and Environment Research Center, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND. 9 p. April 2010.
  • Mikhailova, E., C. Post, L. Cihacek, and M. Ulmer.  2009.  Soil inorganic carbon sequestration as a result of cultivation in the Mollisols. pp. 129-133.  In B. J. McPherson and E. T. Sundquist (eds.) Carbon Sequestration and Its  Role in the Global Carbon Cycle.  Geophys. Mono. Ser. 183.
  • DeSutter, T. M., and L. J. Cihacek.  2009.  Potential agricultural uses of flue gas desulfurization gypsum in the Northern Great Plains.  Agron. J. 101:817-825.
  • Cihacek, L. J., and K. A. Jacobson.  2007.  Effects of soil sample grinding intensity on carbon determination by high-temperature combustion.  Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 38(13);1733-1739.
  • de Silva, L.L., L.J. Cihacek, F.L. Leistritz, T. C. Faller, D.A. Bangsund, J. A. Sorenson, E.N. Steadman, and J.A. Harju.  2005.  The contribution of soils to carbon sequestration.  Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership (PCOR) Topical Report.  Energy and Environment Research Center, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.  23 p.  August 2005. 
  • Cihacek, L.J. and M.G. Ulmer. 2002. Effects of tillage on inorganic carbon storage in soils of the northern Great Plains of the U.S. pp. 63-69. In: J.M. Kimble, R. Lal and R.F. Follett (eds). Agricultural Practices and Policies for carbon sequestiation in soil. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Cihacek, L.J. and D.W. Meyer. 2002. Influence of nitrogen fertility management on profile soil carbon storage under long-term bromegrass production. pp. 281-286. In: J.M. Kimble, R. Lal, and R.F. Follett (eds.) Agricultural practices and polices for carbon sequestration in soil. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Vargas-Lopez, J.M., D. Wiesenborn, K. Tostenson, and L. Cihacek. 1999. Processing of crambe for oil and isolation of erucic acid. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 76:801-809.
  • Todhunter, P.E. and L.J. Cihacek. 1999. Historical reduction of airborn dust in the Red River Valley of the North. J. Soil Water Cons. 54:543-551.
  • Franzen, D.W., V.L. Hofman, L.J. Cihacek, and L.J. Swenson, 1999. Soil nutrient relationship with topography as influenced by crop. Precis. Agric. 1:167-183.
  • Norton, D., I. Shainberg, L. Cihacek, and J.H. Edwards. 1999. Erosion and soil chemical properties. pp. 39-56. In: R. Lal (ed.) Soil Erosion and Soil Quality, CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL.
  • Franzen, D.W., A.D. Halvorson, V.L. Hofman, and L.J. Cihacek, 1998. Variability of soil pH, chloride, and zinc in the Northern Plains, pp. 28-33. In: A.J. Schlegal (ed.) Proceedings of the Great Plains Soil Fertility Confernce. March 2-4, 1998. Denver, CO. Kansas State Univ.
  • Schmisek, M.E., L.J. Cihacek, and L.J. Swenson, 1998. Relationships between the Mehlich-III soil test extraction procedure and standard soil test methods in North Dakota. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 24(11-14):1719-1729.
  • Franzen, D.W., L.J. Cihacek, V.L. Hofman, and L.J. Swenson, 1998. Topography-based sampling compared to grid sampling in the Northern Great Plains. J. Prod. Agric. 11:364-370.
  • Franzen, D.W., V.L. Hofman, and L.J. Cihacek. 1997. Methods and limitations of zone sampling using topography as a logical bases. pp. 96-106. In: G. Hergert (ed.) Proc. Vol. 13. Twenty-seventh North Central Extension-Industry Soil Fertility Conference, November 19-20, 1997. Potash Phosphate Institute, Brookings, SD.
  • Cihacek, L.J. and M.G. Ulmer, 1997. Effects of tillage on profile soil carbon distribution in the Northern Great Plains of the USA, pp. 83-91. In: R. Lal, J.M. Kimble, E. Levine, and B.A. Stewart (eds.) Management of Carbon Sequestiation in Soil-Advances in Soil Science. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Cihacek, L.J., W.L. Anderson, and P.W. Barak. 1996. Linkages between soil quality and plant, animal and human health. pp.9-23. In: J.W. Doran and A.J. Jones (eds.) methods of assessing soil quality. SSSA Spec. Publ. No. 49. Soil Sci. Soc. Am., Inc., Madison, WI
  • Franzen, D.W., V.L. Hofman, A.D. Halvorson, and L.J. Cihacek. 1996. Sampling for site-specific farming: Topography and nutrient considerations. Better Crops 80(3): 14-17.
  • Franzen, D.W., A.D. Halvorson, V.L. Hofman, and L.J. Cihacek. 1996. Initial comments on site-specific management in North Dakota. pp. 115-125. In: J.L. Havlin (ed.) Proc. Great Plains Soil Fertility Conference, March 4-6, 1996. Kansas State Univ.

Research Interests:

  • Effects of management on carbon sequestration in soils
  • Fertilizer management in alternative crop systems
  • Fertilizer management in reduced tillage systems
  • Effects of past erosion on crop yields
  • Effects of cropping systems on soil nutrient cycling
  • Inter-relationships between cropping-systems and soil physical properties.
  • Soil management for waste disposal
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