By: Kay Ledbetter
Dr. Emi Kimura has been named the state peanut specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Kimura joined AgriLife Extension in 2015 as an agronomist serving the Rolling Plains and surrounding areas from the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center south of Vernon.
Dr. Larry Redmon, AgriLife Extension program leader and Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences associate department head in College Station, said Kimura will continue a long-standing tradition of having the state peanut specialist based in Vernon.
When the Vernon agronomist position was open for two years, the state peanut specialist position was transferred to plant pathology in Lubbock in the interim, and now the position is being returned to Vernon, he said.
“Emi is an excellent agronomist, who, as a forage scientist, has become an excellent cotton, wheat, canola, etc. specialist,” Redmon said. “She is well-respected by the industry, growers and AgriLife Extension county agents.”
Kimura’s AgriLife Extension associate, Jonathan Ramirez, has conducted the peanut work in the past for other agronomists, so she is already familiar with the crop and will do well in the role, Redmon said.
Texas is the second largest peanut-growing state in the U.S. and is unique in that it grows all four types of peanut. The majority of Texas peanuts are grown within 90 miles of Lubbock, with Gaines County being the top peanut-producing county in the U.S. There are also pockets of peanut growers in the southeast Panhandle, the Vernon area, south of San Antonio and in the Comanche County area.
Kimura said she will begin working on statewide cultivar trials, management of peanut diseases, herbicide-resistant weed control, organic peanut production systems and, most importantly, outreach efforts through publications, field days and tours with producers.
She will closely work with Texas Peanut Producers Board and deliver information generated from applied research trials. Information generated from Kimura’s program will be updated in the variety testing website at http://varietytesting.tamu.edu/peanuts/.
After graduating high school in Kyoto, Japan, Kimura moved to the U.S. and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wyoming and doctorate from Washington State University.
She completed her postdoctoral work with the Washington State University department of crop and soil sciences. During her graduate and postdoctoral work, she specialized in forages and crop management.
Kimura has conducted cultivar trials with cotton, small grains, cool-season grasses and canola. She also has run multiple studies on nutrient management and planting population studies on cotton and wheat. She said she is continually looking for alternative crops that can fit into area cropping systems and be environmentally and economically sustainable.
Kimura said she believes including the peanut program will further improve current agronomy programs for clientele in Texas.