Author Archives: Beth Luedeker

McKnight begins AgriLife Extension statewide cotton specialist duties

By: Kay Ledbetter Ben McKnight’s acceptance of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service statewide cotton specialist position is a return to familiar territory. McKnight started April 1 in the Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at College Station. Larry Redmon, Ph.D., associate department head and AgriLife Extension program leader for the department, said the Soil and Crop Sciences Extension Unit was excited to have McKnight fill the cotton specialist position in College Station. “Ben is certainly no stranger to Texas having been born and raised… Read More →

Trostle named statewide AgriLife Extension hemp specialist

By: Kay Ledbetter Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist, Lubbock, has recently been named the statewide hemp specialist for the agency. “We’ve had a lot of excellent work being done by our AgriLife Extension Industrial Hemp Initiative team to prepare Texas for the production of industrial hemp,” said Dan Hale, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension associate director — agriculture and natural resources, College Station, in announcing the new position. Calvin Trostle speaks to attendees of AgriLife event. “Dr. Trostle has worked tirelessly in this area and has… Read More →

Texas A&M ready to begin hemp variety trials

By: Kay Ledbetter Texas A&M AgriLife will be planting hemp variety trials for the first time this spring, with a goal to provide producers, hemp seed companies and the larger hemp industry with a reliable, independent scientific assessment of hemp varietal performance in Texas. Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist and statewide hemp specialist, Lubbock, said they will begin implementing the Texas A&M AgriLife fee-based variety testing program for hemp cannabinoid, fiber and grain at Plainview and San Angelo under irrigation, and Commerce and College… Read More →

Genomes of five cotton species unveiled by Texas-rich research team

By: Kay Ledbetter Cotton – we touch it every day. From clothes to medical supplies to animal feed, cotton continues to increase in quality. A recent collaborative, including Texas A&M researchers, is making sure this amazing crop, and thus the products made from it, will continue to be efficiently bred, grown and produced. The multi-institutional research team sequenced five cotton species, including Upland and Pima cotton grown here in Texas, as well as globally. Contributions to the effort from Texas involved Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research… Read More →

AgriLife Extension hires new small grains specialist

By: Kay Ledbetter The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has hired Fernando Guillen, Ph.D., as the new statewide small grains and oilseed crops specialist in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. He officially started March 1. “Dr. Guillen brings a wealth of agronomic experience to AgriLife Extension’s small grains program, and we are excited to have him joining our department and extension unit,” said Larry Redmon, Ph.D., associate department head and AgriLife Extension program leader for the department. Guillen brings experience Coming to… Read More →

Aggie professor helps law enforcement find answers in the soil

We have seen them on TV, the crime scene investigators who sift through the minutia to help law enforcement personnel determine what took place. Dr. Jacqui Aitkenhead-Peterson fills this role for those in Texas law enforcement looking for soil-borne answers. An Associate Professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Peterson’s research focuses on nutrients in soil and water in human dominated ecosystems. Her research projects include urban irrigation run-off; extractable soil nutrients under tillage and cropping treatments; and investigation of carbon and nutrients… Read More →

Conservation and sustainable agriculture highlighted at field tour

by Beth Ann Luedeker Conservation and sustainable agriculture practices aim to address our world’s need for food and fiber products with minimal impact on the soil and available water resources. Farmers who implement these practices may qualify for federal funding if certain standards are met. The standards are set by the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), based on land grant university research, and disseminated to producers through the NRCS and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension efforts. To help facilitate the communication between these groups, Jake Mowrer, Ph.D., held a… Read More →

Texas A&M AgriLife researcher Bagavathiannan receives weed science society Early Career Outstanding Scientist Award

By: Kay Ledbetter Texas A&M AgriLife researcher Muthukumar Bagavathiannan, Ph.D., was honored with the Early Career Outstanding Scientist Award by the Weed Science Society of America, WSSA, recently at the society’s annual meeting in Maui, Hawaii. WSSA is the premier weed science society in the U.S. and this is the highest recognition for an early career scientist by the society. The early career award is presented to scientists within the first 10 years of their career past their doctorate who have demonstrated originality and creativity and who have… Read More →

Straw joins Department of Soil and Crop Sciences faculty at Texas A&M University

Dr. Chase Straw has joined Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Research as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences turfgrass program. He will be assuming the duties of retired professor Richard White in a tenure track position which is 30% teaching and 70% research. Straw comes to College Station from St. Paul, Minnesota, where he held a postdoctoral position in the University of Minnesota Department of Horticulture. A native of Frankfort, Kentucky, Straw earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and… Read More →

Graduate student earns trip to the nation’s capital

Rahul Raman, a doctoral student under Dr. Nithya Rajan, has been selected as one of 18 graduate students nationwide to receive the 2020 Future Leaders in Science Award. The award will be formally presented March 2, 2020, in Washington D.C.. The award includes a trip to participate in the annual Congressional Visits Day, hosted by the Agronomy Society of America (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), on March 3. During the visit, the participants will meet with members of Congress… Read More →