James H. Stallings, 98, a retired soil conservationist with the Department of Agriculture who helped develop the scientific basis for what is called no-tillage farming, a widely used technique that reduces soil erosion, died of pneumonia Dec. 19 at the Fernwood nursing home in Bethesda.

Dr. Stallings, a former resident of Washington and Potomac, joined the Department of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service in North Carolina in 1934. He was transferred to Washington in 1937, and he retired in 1962.

His early work in Washington was on flood control programs. During World War II, he helped allocate chemical fertilizers for the War Food Administration. His career after the war was at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, where he was a principal soil conservationist in the Agricultural Research Service.

Dr. Stallings's work on no-tillage farming took account of the fact that the prime causes of soil erosion are wind and rain. They are particularly damaging to soil that has been stripped of vegetation through such cultivating techniques as plowing and harrowing.

In no-tillage farming, the residue of one crop is used to protect the land until the next crop matures. A field could be planted in rye, for example. When it is harvested, the land is not tilled. Instead, a chemical pesticide is used to control weeds. The next crop -- it could be rye again, or corn or something else -- is planted right through the remains of the previous crop with a "no kill" planter. In this way, the soil always has a layer of vegetation to protect it from wind and rain.

No-tillage farming, which also is called conservation farming, has been recommended by the Soil and Conservation Service since the 1970s, and it is now used on about one-quarter of the farms in the United States, according to the Soil and Conservation Service.

Born on a farm near Bryan, Tex., Dr. Stallings graduated from Texas A&M University. He served in the Army in France in World War I. He received master's and doctoral degrees in agronomy at Iowa State University.

He taught at Texas A&M from 1918 until 1926. He then managed an experimental farm in Florida. From 1929 to 1934, he worked for the National Fertilizer Association in Shreveport, La.

Dr. Stallings was the author of more than 20 papers published in professional journals, and he wrote two textbooks, "Soil Conservation," which was used in colleges, and "Soil: Uses and Improvement," which was used in high school courses. He also was the soil consultant to Webster's Third International Dictionary.

He was a member of Sigma Xi, the honorary scientific society. In retirement, he wrote and published two books on the genealogy of his family.

His wife, the former Pearl Louis Drummond, whom he married in 1923, died in 1971.

Survivors include a son, Dr. James H. Stallings Jr. of Potomac, and five grandchildren.

Another son, George D. Stallings, a second lieutenant in the old Army Air Forces, was killed in action over Europe on Aug. 6, 1944, while serving as a bombardier on a B-24 "Liberator" heavy bomber of the 8th Air Force stationed in England.


Humane Society Volunteer

Helen Leary McCauley, 96, the widow of a Navy captain and the mother of a Navy rear admiral, died of heart ailments Dec. 14 at her son's residence in Naples, Fla. She had had a stroke.

Mrs. McCauley lived in Washington from the mid-1930s until 1989, when she moved to Florida. A native of Panhandle, Tex., she was a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.

In 1919, she married Cleveland McCauley, a Navy officer who retired as a captain. She accompanied him to various Naval stations in this country and also on assignments to China, Panama, Great Britain, Mexico and Hawaii, which was then a U.S. territory.

Mrs. McCauley was a member of the Sulgrave Club and was a volunteer with the Washington Humane Society.

Her husband died in 1948.

Survivors include a son, retired Navy Rear Adm. Brian McCauley of Naples; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.



Dixie Jugertha Moore, 103, a United Methodist clergyman's widow who assisted her husband in his ministry, died of cardiac arrest Dec. 17 at Capitol Hill Hospital.

Mrs. Moore, who lived in Washington, was born in Yadkinville, N.C. In 1914 she married the Rev. Edward A. Moore, and she assisted him in his ministry at United Methodist Churches in Laytonsville, Laurel and Fairmont Heights, and at East Calvary United Methodist Church in Washington. He died in 1957.

Mrs. Moore was a member of the United Methodist Ministers Wives Association.

She participated in arts and crafts activities and acting at the Model Cities Senior Citizens Center.

Survivors include a daughter, Marcella Moore Pope of Washington; 10 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren. A son, the Rev., Charles E. Moore, died in 1961.