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

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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Journal Club for 2/8

Hi Plant Scientists, Ever wonder how things work on the animal side? Many of the techniques we use in plant genetics have origins in animal science. Following up on our previous dialogue about MAGIC populations, Matthew Murray will lead a discussion about the mouse Collaborative Cross (Collaborative Cross Consortium, 2012) and Diverse Outbred Populations (Svenson et al., 2012). Please join us Monday, Feb. 8 at noon in Moore 473 for a thought-provoking conversation about the development of genetic resource populations, analytical methods, and how these techniques can be adapted for the plant sciences. ccc 2012 Svenson et al 2012 P(opportunity to consume delicious coffee & cookies | attendance at journal club) = 1.
February 2, 2016
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PSGSC Journal Club for 2/1

Welcome back! The temperatures may have dropped, but Journal Club is coming in hot! Do you believe in MAGIC? Please joinus to discuss the use of Multi-parent Advanced Generation Inter-cross populations in fine mapping, novel QTL identification, and applied breeding. In their 2013 paper, Bandillo et al. describe the development and use of MAGIC populations in rice. These populations offer plant scientists a valuable new tool with advantages over traditional QTL mapping and GWAS, as well as a convenient excuse to justify your results with "magic." Hope to see you there! Bandillo et al. 2013
January 22, 2016
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