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

UW-Madison to host Regional SASES Conference March 12-15, 2015

The Badger Crops Club is proud to announce we are hosting the regional conference for the national organization of Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences (SASES). We expect over 300 students from approximately 15 of the top agricultural universities in the country. Conference activities will include networking, presentations, tours, and other opportunities to meet and connect with future agricultural leaders. For details, hotel, and registration, go to http://www.sases2015.com/.
January 21, 2015
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Crop Production and Management Meetings – January 2015

The Department of Agronomy will offer Crop Production and Management Meetings at eight locations during January of 2015. Joe Lauer, Dan Undersander and Shawn Conley will present the latest information on hybrid/variety performance, an analysis and discussion of last year’s growing season, and updated recommendations for field crop production. The registration fee includes a meal and materials. Please pre-register with the Host Agent. A “walk-in” fee will be charged to those who have not preregistered. Additional information packets will be available for $18.00 each. Certified Crop Advisor CEU credits have been requested (3.0 hours in Crop Management). Below is a list of topics, meeting sites, dates and times. Please join us at meeting in your area. Packet materials *2014 Wisconsin Hybrid Corn Performance Trials – Grain and Silage (A3653) *2014 Wisconsin Soybean Variety Test Results (A3654) *2014 Perennial Forage Variety Update for Wisconsin (A1525) *Winter wheat varieties for grain in Wisconsin – 2014 (A3868) *Oat and Barley Variety Performance (A3874) *NCSRP SCN Sampling Publication *Extension publications *Agronomy Advice articles *Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association updates Discussion Topics Forages: *Alfalfa stand changes stand over time. *Performance of GM alfalfa varieties and potential for gene transfer to non GMO ...
December 23, 2014
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Despite tough breaks, WCIA finishes season strong

Though last year was a "crop production season from hell," Wisconsin Foundation Seed Director Pat LeMahieu said there are adequate supplies and excellent quality of seed produced. "Somehow we got good quality seed this year," he told the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association at its recent annual meeting in Madison. LeMahieu credited Jim Albertson for keeping the Foundation Seed program on track. The program's manager started out as a field inspector and has been doing this kind of work for 30 years. "He's found ways to keep things going. When something breaks he's MacGyver." Varietal purity is the key point for a foundation seed program and he said Albertson really "gets it." With nearly 40 varieties of various crops, several of which are privately owned, there's a lot of cleaning of combines and other equipment that needs to be done in order to keep any errant seed from entering. "Thirty-eight combine cleanings takes a lot of time and effort and it's dirty, dusty work. We go after every last seed that might contaminate our varieties." Albertson has been joined by Craig Cottingham, who came to the work ...
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Dr. Bill Tracy receives Public Plant Breeding Award

The National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders (NCCPB) presented Dr. Bill Tracy with the Public Plant Breeding Award for 2014. The award is presented to a person who has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of plant breeding and genetics in the public sector. It is administered by the Council through its Awards Committee and Board of Directors. The award was presented at the American Seed Trade Association Corn & Sorghum and Soybean Conference on December 9.
December 22, 2014
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Who Gets Kissed?

[caption id="attachment_987" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Professor Bill Tracy holds an ear of sweet corn developed through his breeding program.[/caption]   “Who Gets Kissed?” is the name of a new organic sweet corn developed by the UW-Madison and a nonprofit called the Organic Seed Alliance. The corn, with its equally corny name, was announced December 5 by the university. It’s named after a game played at “husking bees” (gatherings of farm families and friends to husk corn, in case you haven't been invited to one yet). The first person to find an ear with all red kernels – this used to be much more common – got to choose one person in the group to kiss. “Who Gets Kissed?” was developed after a Minnesota farmer reached out to the Organic Seed Alliance and an agronomist at UW. The farmer was having trouble growing organic sweet corn in colder soil. The corn took about seven years to develop, according to the university. In addition to its hearty and decidedly Midwestern ability to grow in cold temperatures, they say it is also resistant to “common rust and corn smut.” The corn ...
December 8, 2014
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Final Plant Sciences Journal Club of the semester!

Hello plant scientists! Thank you to those who attended last weeks' journal club with Dr. Fred Gmitter! We had a great discussion, so thanks to all who came, listened, and asked questions. There is one more journal club to attend today, so let's go out with a bang! Herbicide resistance is a very important issue in crop breeding and plant production, especially with the high selection pressure placed on weeds with frequent use of herbicide, and characterizing these types of naturally-occurring resistant mutants is important for management practices. Lynn Maher has selected a paper on the topic of collecting and screening a wide population of grass weeds for resistance in order to infer the evolution of these resistance traits. So please come today, Monday December 8th at Noon to Moore 473 to discuss weeds, resistant mechanisms, regulations, and anything else you would like to discuss. See you there, -PSGSC Herbicide Resistance
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