From Issue Fall 2015
The backbone of our research is centered on soil fertility and nutrient management in rice, soybeans, and corn. Our research program specifically addresses nutrient correlation/calibration to validate P, K, and Zinc soil test recommendations, for the above mentioned crops. We are also evaluating nitrogen requirement across varieties. We also evaluate new and emerging fertilizer technologies associated with enhanced nutrient efficiency and environmental stewardship.
Name A Specific Time When Your Research Was Applied
Three years ago there were a lot of zinc deficiencies in corn in the Mississippi Delta which was misidentified as herbicide injury. Jason Bond, a professor who specializes in weed control, and I looked at a lot of those fields and positively identified them as zinc- deficient based on the research we've conducted at the Delta Research and Extension Center, which was sponsored by the Corn Promotion Board. We conducted the research to validate how to correct the deficiency, extended that information to stakeholders, and that particular problem was addressed for many producers.
How Does Your Research Help Inform Your Extension Role And Vice Versa?
If a producer asks a question and we are not conducting applied research in this joint appointment role, where do I find the answer to his question? If you are growing corn in Tallahatchie County or you are growing rice in Bolivar County, do you want the researcher from MSU answering your question with local data or do you want corn data from Minnesota or rice data from overseas? We don't always have the luxury of answering questions with local data, but in many instances the joint appointment aids in generating data that meets local producer's needs. On the flip side, by being out in the field answering calls and making field visits, you observe lots of things you wouldn't see if you were exclusively limited to working on a research station. You get a lot of great research ideas by being out in the field, talking to the producers, listening to their concerns, and seeing what occurs in their fields. It makes each job easier by doing the other.
What Research Are You Looking Forward To On The Horizon?
The soil test correlation/calibration, as an ongoing trial, is tremendously important. That is something that needs to be done perpetually since it is a moving target with changes in cultivars, yield levels, and production practices. We have also observed an uptick of sulfur deficiencies in the last year and a half so that is a topic of research we are pursuing. Jason Bond and I have a graduate student working in rice to determine how to manage herbicide drift in relation to when the fertilizer application is applied.