University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Go to the U of M home page

Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics

Current News and Events

NWROC Crops & Soils Day

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Registration for small grains tours opens at 7:45 a.m.
More information and schedule
Northwest Research and Outreach Center
Crookston, MN

Organic Field Day

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Schedule and registration form
Southwest Research and Outreach Center
Lamberton, MN


2015 Field School for Ag Professionals

July 29 - 30
University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus
Field School Sessions
More information


Barley U

Barley is one of the primary ingredients for producing beer and the University of Minnesota is an active center for barley research. Come to the St. Paul campus with others from the local malting and brewing industries to visit with UM researchers, learn about barley research, and see field experiments on campus.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus

RSVP Online by Monday, July 6.


Production Agriculture Annual Symposium - University of Minnesota

Precision Crop Management: Data to Decisions

February 10, 2015
9:00 AM --5:00 PM 

University of Minnesota – St. Paul Student Center 2017 Buford Avenue, Falcon Heights, MN

click for more details 

Agronomy Graduate students attended the PAG XXII Plant & Animal Genome Conference, held on January 10-14 in San Diego, Ca

Poster / Paper Winners:

Ben Cambell took 1st place in the C07 (Genomics, Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology) Poster Competition.
Poster Title:
Genome-Wide Structural Profiling and Bulk Segregant Sequencing Resolve a NAP1 Mutation Underlying a Short Trichome Phenotype in Soybean
Benjamin W. Campbell, Suma Sreekanta, Fengli Fu, Thomas Y. Kono, Gary J. Muehlbauer and Robert M. Stupar

Farm and Ranch Guide 
While in Chile, the delegation also visited Jim Orf's University of Minnesota soybean breeding facility at La Platina in Santiago and learned about his work with glyphosate-resistance soybeans, food grade and high oleic soybeans. The North Dakota and Minnesota soybean delegation toured the winter nurseries of DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto, both located about an hour from Santiago.

Several graduate students in Agronomy attended and submitted posters/papers to the ASA C01 (Crop Breeding and Genetics) division poster competition
The competition was held at the ASA, CSSA and SSSA International Annual Meeting in Long Beach, CA, November 2-5, 2014..

Poster / Paper Winners:

Ben Campbell   1st place winner
Title:  Three Soybean Yellow Foliage Loci: y11, y11-2, and CD-5 Encode Paralogous Magnesium Chelatase Subunits
Authors and abstracts: Benjamin W Campbell, Dhananjay Mani, Shaun Curtin, Rebecca A Slattery, Jean-Michel Michno, James H. Orf, and Robert Michael Stupar
The paper connected with the poster is now published in G3:  

Kayla Altendorf  3rd place winner
Poster title: Characterization of Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) Germplasm: A New Oilseed Cover Crop

Eric Wilson  1st place winner 
1st place in the Applied Soybean Research PhD Student Oral Competition. This was through the Tri Societies meetings (ASA,CSSA,SSSA)

CSA News Article is now online.

Check out the article titled :Link
Empowering Graduate Students in the Plant Sciences through Student-Driven Symposia
by Justin Anderson, Amy Jacobson, Hannah Swegarden, and Tyler Tiede

Solutions: Forever Green  Don Wyse

Alternative, off-season crops could benefit economy as well as ecology

Star Tribune
What if the answer to Minnesota's dwindling pheasant and duck populations - and the degradation of its soil and water - was growing in plain sight, in the heart of the Twin Cities? ...
That might be the case, if professor Don Wyse and other U researchers succeed in developing new, profitable, wildlife-friendly crops that also address farmland environmental problems
.Wyse -Forever Green

Dairy Herd
Produce Retailer
Vance Publishing Corporation’s Agribusiness Group today reveals the honorees for its second annual 40 Under 40 Award program, which recognizes people making a significant contribution to America’s food system.
This list includes Jeffrey Coulter, Associate Professor and Extension Agronomist, University of Minnesota-Extension.

Minnesota Farm Guide
To understand more about the genes affecting soybean seed composition, University of Minnesota researchers have been analyzing and identifying soybean genes...
"Some of our more basic research is looking at genes that are involved in the 'regulation' of protein and oil in soybeans," said Jim Orf, soybean breeder at the University of Minnesota
. Orf in the field 2014

Star Tribune
Nestled on the U of M St. Paul campus is a 3-plus-acre farm that is changing the lives of many students, one tomato (and cucumber and potato) at a time...Nearby, 
Courtney Tchida surveys the acreage on the outskirts of the St. Paul campus. She points out other research growing in the three fields that make up this student organic farm.
Courtney Tchida Field

Star Tribune
Weed blaster shows promise as alternative to herbicides...
Frank Forcella is tackling the problem of weeds head-on.
  Frank Forcella -Weeds head on 2014


These new data are “a resource that we've been eagerly waiting for,” says James Anderson, a wheat breeder at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. They should allow him and his colleagues to greatly speed up the breeding of new strains of wheat, more productive than today's and more resistant to drought and pests.

Star Tribune
Jared Goplen, a University of Minnesota graduate student, is testing whether crop rotation and other non-herbicide methods can make a difference in keeping weeds under control. He records the number of giant ragweeds as they come up, collects and counts seeds that fall from mature plants, and even sifts seeds in the soil to map hot spots in the seedbank where seeds are waiting to sprout next year.

 Congratulation's JoAnn Lamb! 

JoAnn Lamb     JoAnn & Dan from NAAIC.2014

JoAnn received Honorary Membership to the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference.  The NAAIC recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions of alfalfa improvement during their career. Honorary membership was bestowed at the biennial meeting which was held from July 8 - 10 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.  The presenter was Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin and current President of NAAIC.

Dr. Kevin Smith presenting at NWROC’s Crops & Soils Day

 The Minnesota Department of Agricluture (MDA) is excited to announce 4 new research projects:

Principal Investigator: M. Scott Wells - University of Minnesota, Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
Start Date: April 29, 2014 End Date: June 30, 2017

Principal Investigator: James Anderson – University of Minnesota, Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
Start Date: July 1, 2014 End Date: December 31, 2017
Principal Investigator: Frank Forcella – University of Minnesota, Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
Start Date: July 1, 2014 End Date: June 30, 2017
Principal Investigator: Julie Grossman – University of Minnesota, Dept. of Horticultural Science
Start Date: May 9, 2014 End Date: December 31, 2016

The MDA continues to support research projects to identify processes that affect water quality and evaluate the costs and benefits of specific agricultural practices. This year’s research priorities focused on cover crops, saturated buffers and use of other perennials within conventional cash grain cropping systems. More information about MDA’s research priorities is available online.

A total of 11 projects were submitted in the 2013 Request for Proposals (RFP). The total amount of requested funds was $2.7 million. The evaluation committee recommended that the top four projects be funded for a total of $958,240. Information about new projects is now available on the MDA’s Clean Water Fund website.

Go directly to a list of Clean Water Fund supported research projects.

Pioneer Press
Outside of southwest Minnesota, it's been so wet that farmers haven't been able to get their machinery in the fields. "Yields are definitely tipping down at this point," said Seth Naeve, a soybean specialist at the University of Minnesota.

"It may not have wiped out entire crops for farmers, but all of the crops in low areas are going to be affected, and some will be lost completely, and others will be stunted and held back," said Seth Naeve, an associate professor of agronomy and plant genetics at the University of Minnesota.

Pioneer Press
Minnesota Public Radio
It's too late to safely plant corn, even the fastest-maturing varieties, in most of the region, says Jeff Coulter, University of Minnesota Extension corn specialist.

Corn and Soybean Digest
As of June 20, the University of Minnesota Research and Outreach Center at Waseca had set a 100-year record for total rainfall in June,

It’s too late to safely plant corn, even the fastest-maturing varieties, in most of the region, says Jeff Coulter, University of Minnesota Extension corn specialist. Some farmers who want feed for animals still can plant corn, figuring they’ll use it for silage if it can’t be used for grain, he says.

Minnesota Farm Guide
The University of Minnesota’s soybean breeding program has been instrumental in developing varieties with traits that Minnesota farmers need. Jim Orf, University of Minnesota soybean breeder, develops varieties that are specifically adapted to Minnesota conditions.

Corn and Soybean Digest
Spoon-feeding nitrogen makes agronomic and economic sense. These guidelines will help you get the best return on your nitrogen investment. Sidedress corn at the V5 to V6 corn stage (five or six collared leaves), when the plants are about 20 inches tall, says University of Minnesota Corn Specialist Jeff Coulter.

Congratulations to this years (2014) Hayes-Phillips award recipient: Ana Gonzales a grad student of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. Ana received her award this month at the Agronomy Departmental Hayes-Phillips Coffee event.
Picture from left to right: Dr Ronald Phillips, Ana Gonzales and Dr. Nancy Ehlke.

Congratulations Ana!

Ana Gonzales Hayes Phillips Award Recipent

The 35th Annual Philip C. Hamm Memorial Lectureship and Scholarship in the Plant Sciences ceremony was held at the Cargill Building at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus on May 12, 2014 . Awards were presented to the follow from left to right: Margaret Krause, Dr. Susan Rundell Singer, Laura Hayes, and Kevin Dorn.

Congratulations to all of you!

2014 Hamm Lecture Award Recipents

Minnesota Daily -- University research could boost agriculture options. See what agronomy graduate student, Kayla Altendorf and Professor Donald Wyse have to say.

Source Magazine --  Meeting the challenges of today's agriculture   Jeff Gunsolus, Extension weed scientist, updates Christian Lilienthal on herbicide-resistance research.

 Solutions -- Three Questions with Candice Hirsch One of the 19 new faculty members joining the college this year


  10 Reason Norman Borlaug statue will be in the U.S. Capital.

Des Moines Register   There will be another Norman Borlaug... Addie Thompson

Ag Professional  By all accounts, Norman Borlaug was a hardworking and humble man.... says Ronald Phillips, Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota.

Twin Cities Daily Planet  Environmentalists would like Minnesota farmers to plant more cover crops that enrich the soil as alternatives to corn and soy beans. Farmers want to run profitable operations. State funding is being proposed for the University of Minnesota to make those two aims compatible rather than mutually exclusive...For most of the year, Minnesota’s 27 million acres of farmland lacks plants with active roots in the soil, except during the summer growing season, according to slides presented to the committee by Donald Wyse, a University of Minnesota agriculture professor.

 Upcoming Events/Seminars 

Mondays: 3:30 to 5:00
306 Borlaug Hall  (Unless noted)

Applied Plant Science Seminar Series