Agronomy, horticulture seminar series begins Sept. 16

· 5 min read

Agronomy, horticulture seminar series begins Sept. 16

Terri James and Master Gardeners

The fall Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series begins with “Extension Master Gardener Program—a hidden gem” at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 16 in 150 Keim Hall, with refreshments served at 3 p.m.

Terri James, assistant extension educator, will present the first seminar. The Extension Master Gardener program began in 1973 at Washington State. Today every state has a version of that first program. More than 100,000 certified Master Gardeners aid in providing unbiased science-based horticulture information to communities. This presentation will discuss how the Nebraska Extension Master Gardener program is working in Nebraska and how it could be incorporated into your program.

The rest of the seminars will be on the following Fridays:

  • Sept. 23 – Arthur Zygielbaum, research associate professor, Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies in the School of Natural Resources, will present “Phenotyping and remote sensing—what are the chances?” The seminar will give an overview of reflected spectrum remote sensing. Remote sensing has been used for decades to estimate vegetation biophysical parameters. While techniques relating spectral reflectance to pigment content are well understood, reliable estimation of osmoregulated compounds has yet to be realized.

  • Sept. 30 – Shawn Conley, professor of agronomy and state soybean and small grains specialist at the University of Wisconsin, will present “Coolbeans—the musings of a soybean agronomist.” “Academia often too quickly dismiss research ideas as too applied,” “already been done” or “too simple” to be relevant to their discipline. Conley will address these misconceptions through real-world examples from his research program and how those “simple” experiments tend to provide the greatest impact to his research and extension program.

  • Oct. 7 – Joe Keaschall, plant breeding professor of practice of agronomy and horticulture, will present “Seed industry globalization, consolidation and ownership changes – what are the implications?” Keaschall will summarize some of the completed and proposed changes in large multinational seed company ownership. What are some of the potential impacts on research investment, crop improvement, and competition for the leadership position?

  • Oct. 14 – Jenny Dauer, assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources, will present “Teaching and research in SCIL 101: Science and Decision-making for a Complex World.” Dauer will describe the curriculum of SCIL 101 targeted toward developing students’ science literacy skills. She will also describe results from on-going science literacy research in the course.

  • Oct. 21 – Bill Kreuser, assistant professor and extension turfgrass specialist in agronomy and horticulture, will present “Integrating web media for impactful extension and research.” Web-based media such as websites, blogs, webinars, videos and social media can be used to disseminate research, broaden the reach of extension programs and connect with diverse groups. This seminar will discuss ways to integrate various web-based content, track activity and assess impact with surveys, polls and web tools.

  • Oct. 28 – Dipak Santra, associate professor and alternative crops breeding specialist in the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, will present “Alternative crops for semi-arid High Plains of western Nebraska.” Rainfed crop production system in western Nebraska is dominated by the traditional wheat-fallow crop rotation. Replacing fallow in traditional crop rotations is imperative for sustainability. Proso millet is the best alternative crop and field pea is emerging new alternative crop. The presentation will cover current progress of proso millet breeding and genomics, developing grain legume crops field pea and fenugreek, and oil seed crop winter canola.

  • Nov. 4 – Carlos Urrea, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture in the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, will present “Overview of the Dry Bean Breeding Program.” Nebraska is one of the top dry bean producing states in the U.S., ranking first in great northern, second in light red kidney, and third in pinto bean production in 2016. Global engagement of the university’s dry bean breeding activities will be discussed including research, extension, and educational components.

  • Nov. 11 – Julie Peterson, assistant professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology and the West Central Research and Extension Center, will present “Integrating biological control into crop pest management – a little help from beneficial fungi, nematodes, and ladybeetles.” We face significant challenges from insect pests that have evolved resistance to chemical and genetic management tactics. With ever fewer tools for pest management alternative strategies, such as biological control, are needed. Research that takes advantage of the natural ecological interactions between important Nebraska corn pests, such as western bean cutworm and western corn rootworm, and their predators, parasitoids, and diseases will be discussed in the context of IPM.

  • Nov. 18 – Christopher Neale, director of research at the Water for Food Institute and professor of biological systems engineering, will present “Geospatial technologies for the management of water, food production and energy.” Geospatial technologies such as remote sensing, GIS, GPS and digital spatial databases are becoming mainstream and being used operationally for precision agricultural practices. Remote sensing of crop evapotranspiration has matured over the last 15 years with multiple models and approaches and can now be used for real time irrigation water management. The presentation will discuss ongoing research on the use of these technologies for biomass and yield estimation, seasonal crop water use and water productivity estimates at different scales for different crops and locations.

  • Dec. 2 – Tiffany Heng-Moss, associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, will present “Developing the next generation of Rwandan agricultural leaders.” Heng-Moss will discuss a new college initiative that will contribute to the transformation of the Rwandan agricultural industry, acceleration of agricultural production through sustainable resource and environment management, and positioning Rwanda to emerge as the model for African agricultural development. Research and Extension activities on management of herbicide-resistant weeds will be discussed.

  • Dec. 9 – Yufeng Ge, assistant professor of biological systems engineering, will present “High throughput plant phenotyping in greenhouse and field - translational pipelines from gene discovery to crop improvement.” This seminar will give an overview of a number of high throughput plant phenotyping projects at the university. Ge will highlight some key findings and lessons from these projects, and share perspectives on the bright future of plant phenotyping research.

The seminars are free and open to the public. Those interested can join in person or online. For more information, click here.

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