Boussingault, Jean Baptiste Joseph Dieudonné, 1802-87, French agricultural chemist. He was professor of chemistry at Lyons and later professor of agriculture and analytical chemistry at the Paris Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. He is known especially for his research on the nitrogen cycle. He also worked on the composition of plant tissues and on the nutritive value of forages. He is credited with the idea of agricultural field experiments. In about 1834 he laid out a series of trials on his farm in which he weighed and analyzed both the materials applied to the soil as well as the crops produced. His Économie rurale (1844) was later republished as Agronomie, chimie agricole, et physiologie (1887-91) and translated into English and German. Boussingault's experiments, however, were not limited to agriculture; his research also included work on atomic weights and the properties of steel alloys.