Feeding 9 Billion People and Creating a Healthier, More Resilient Agriculture.

That is the challenge taken up by the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Agronomy.  We generate and apply knowledge about plants that feed and benefit humankind.  We find and implement answers to problems and opportunities concerning efficiency and sustainability of crop production and in safe and environmentally-sound ways. We generate knowledge on the genetics, biochemistry and physiology of plants. We study the interactions among cropping systems, climate, and the environment. We work to ensure that agricultural systems and products in Wisconsin and the world are able to meet rapidly-changing needs and those of future generations.

  • Planting corn plots

Marian Lund selected for 2016 United Soybean Board Fellowship

PhD candidate Marian Lund has been selected for a 2016 United Soybean Board fellowship. Marian works on a bacterial biological control agent for soybean cyst nematode called Pasteuria nishizawae, an obligate parasite on SCN. Marian is designing a molecular detection method to monitor the movement and overall ecology of the bacterium in the soil over the growing season. The ultimate goal of this project is to assess this method of SCN control and determine which management practices best foster P. nishizawae in the soil. The United Soybean Board (USB) Fellowship promotes graduate education in the area of Plant Sciences, emphasizing the development of improved soybean varieties, understanding soybean genetics, and developing improved ways to grow and use soybeans. Funds for the fellowship are made available by gifts from the United Soybean Board to the American Society of Agronomy. Two fellowships will be awarded, providing a $25,000 annual stipend to each student for up to four years provided that satisfactory progress occurs toward degree completion. The recipients also receive a membership to the American Society of Agronomy and a subscription to the ACSESS ...
June 29, 2016
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Dan Undersander to Receive Three Crop Society Awards

Congratulations to Agronomy faculty member Dan Undersander, who has been selected to receive three awards at the ASA/CSSA Annual meeting in November: the ASA Agronomic Extension Education Award, ASA Agronomic Service Award, and CSSA Crop Science Extension Award. The Agronomic Extension Education Award recognizes educational contributions of extension agronomists, industrial agronomists, or others whose primary contributions are in teaching or education outside the university classroom. The Agronomic Service Award recognizes development of agronomic service programs, practices, and products for acceptance by the public. The focus will be on agronomic service with associated educational, public relations, and administrative contributions of industrial agronomists, governmental, industrial, or university administrators and others. The Crop Science Extension Award is presented in recognition of excellence in extension teaching activities in the area of crop science. The awards come with recognition at a ceremony at the Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ and award funds.
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Adam Gaspar recipient of 2016 Mott Scholarship

UW Agronomy PhD candidiate Adam Gaspar has been awarded the 2016 Gerald O. Mott Scholarship for Meritorious Graduate Students in Crop Science. The Gerald O. Mott Scholarship is provided to a meritorious graduate student in crop science. The scholarship is supported by gifts from the Gerald O. Mott family to the Agronomic Science Foundation and administered by the Crop Science Society of America. Adam will be presented with the award at the annual CSSA meeting in November.
June 22, 2016
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PSGSC Journal Club–Fighting Food Waste

Hi Plant Scientists! Please join us in Moore 473 on Monday, March 14 at noon to discuss the role of scientists in reducing food waste. The need to feed a growing population is a common discussion point in the plant sciences. We often focus on the genetic gain aspect of food security, but this is just one piece of a large, complex puzzle, discussed in depth by Foley et al (2011). Recent news has focused extensively on efforts to combat food waste, which comprises an estimated 30% of total agricultural production. In February, the French senate unanimously passed a law requiring supermarkets to donate unsold food to charities or food banks, with plans to extend this law to the rest of the EU. Food waste was also the cover story in the latest issue of National Geographic, titled “Eat me: How ugly food can help feed the planet.” Is the precedent in France a good model for other countries? How much do crop yields really need to improve by 2050? As plant scientists, how can we contribute to the fight against ...
March 10, 2016
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PSGSC Journal Club–2/22/16

Hi Plant Scientists! Are you interested in conservation biology and/or crowdfunding for research? Please join us Monday, February 22 at noon in Moore 473, where Chris D’Angelo will lead a discussion about parrot conservation and the pursuit of public funding. What if you could sequence every individual in a species? Andrew Digby is doing just that as part of a conservation effort for the kakapo, an unusual, flightless parrot endemic to New Zealand. Because they are a ground-dwelling species, kakapos are particularly susceptible to predation and only an estimated 125 individuals remain. While it’s easy to support conservation efforts in spirit, securing funding is a constant challenge. As an alternative to grants, Digby’s group has started a crowdfunding campaign to support their research and encourage public interest. Can crowdfunding provide a viable substitute for grants and bridge the gap between scientists and the public? More about the kakapo research effort and fundraising: https://www.geneticrescue.science/projects/genome-sequencing/kakapo Press article about the effort to sequence all known kakapo: http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/05/scientists-want-to-sequence-entire-kakapo-population/ “The Crowdfunding Phenomenon: Can it Work for Biomedical Research?” https://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/april2015/429716/crowdfunding.html Have something interesting you’d like to share with your fellow plant scientists? ...
February 18, 2016
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PSGSC Journal Club for 2/15

Hello Plant Scientists! Computational thinking is a widely applicable analytical skill with potential to improve the way we approach scientific inquiries. Jeannette Wing (2006, 2008) presents a case for actively developing this ability, which combines abstract thought processes from mathematics, engineering, and the sciences. Please join us Monday, Feb. 15 at noon in Moore 473, where Schuyler Smith will lead a discussion on the what, how and why of computational thinking. The forecast is intellectually stimulating with a 100% chance of coffee and cookies. We look forward to seeing you there! -PSGSC Wing 2008 Wing 2006
February 9, 2016
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