Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series

Spring 2024 Seminars

Seminars will be in person, streamed live and recorded at 11 a.m. CST/CDT on Thursdays in Keim Hall, Room 150, unless otherwise noted.

UNL employees join via Zoom at:

Community members join via Zoom at:

Seminar Series Schedule Poster
April 25, 2024
Desmond Layne

Advances in Quantitative Trait Modeling

Assistant Professor of Theoretical Quantitative Genetics, Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Assistant Professor of Quantitative Genetics, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Quantitative genetics is crucial for understanding complex traits, enhancing crop and livestock breeding, and tackling challenges such as food security and environmental sustainability. However, the breadth of topics in quantitative trait modeling is vast. In this seminar, three experts will discuss how cutting-edge research, mentoring students, and securing funding for innovative projects, can contribute to addressing global food security. Co-sponsored with the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Statistics.


February 1, 2024

Hydroponic Approaches and Value to the Food Supply Chain

Professor of Practice, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Alternative production practices must be employed to supplement and secure the future of the global food system. Hydroponics may address challenges associated with distribution interruptions, environmental influences, socioeconomics, catastrophe, and war. Opportunities exist for entrepreneurship or farm diversification into high value specialty crops. This presentation highlights hydroponic approaches and value within the food supply chain.

February 8, 2024

I Want TO...Science + Art Process to Create Landscapes for Plants and People

Professor and Extension Horticulture Specialist, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

The positive effects of exposure to nature are well-documented, yet decisions are often made based on lack of understanding about all landscapes as systems. This seminar will demonstrate a simple universal process that can result in creation of beautiful, practical, manageable, and resilient landscapes of any size that enhance human well-being.

February 15, 2024

Rural Prosperity Nebraska: Connecting Research and Practice to Rural Community Vitality

Director, Rural Prosperity Nebraska; Professor, Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

This presentation will focus on Rural prosperity Nebraska (RPN) and its mandate to connect research and extension in support of rural communities, families, and businesses. RPN extension includes work in community leadership, local and regional food systems, community economic development and entrepreneurship, cooperative development, placemaking and resident attraction, and community and youth engagement.

February 22, 2024
Biquan Zhao

Toward Adaptive Grazing: Leveraging Different Rangeland Monitoring And Assessing Techniques

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Adaptive Grazing has been aware of a strategy for rangeland management. Implementing adaptive grazing is challenging due to the dynamics in forage production, livestock behaviors, and external environment such as climate change. This talk covers my research in long-term forage production monitoring for plant functional groups, forage biomass estimation by using drone remote sensing, and cattle grazing behavior modeling through GPS collars. Those rangeland monitoring techniques were utilized to enhance our understanding of rangeland dynamics and can help better application of adaptive grazing strategies.

February 29, 2024
Ajay Nair

Sustainable Vegetable Production from the Land of Corn and Hogs

Professor and Extension Vegetable Specialist, Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University

This seminar will focus on research conducted in the area of sustainable vegetable production and will provide a quick snapshot of the agriculture industry in Iowa. Research topics would include cover crops, conservation tillage, integrated systems, and soil amendments such as biochar.

March 7, 2024
Ignacio Ciampitti

Advancing Digital Agriculture for Improving Agronomic Decisions

Professor, Farming Systems, Department of Agronomy, and Director, Institute for Digital Agriculture and Advanced Analytics, Kansas State University

This presentation will focus on discussing the bottlenecks for translating science into actionable management and topics related to digital agriculture, and use of new technologies such as satellite imagery and new data visualization to assist producers on developing relevant agronomic decisions.

March 21, 2024
Arshdeep Singh

Nitrogen and Water Management Strategies to Reduce Nitrate Leaching in Irrigated Sandy Soils

Doctoral Candidate, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Nitrogen and water are essential inputs for getting a high corn yield. However, excessive nitrogen and water inputs can deteriorate environmental quality. Optimizing these inputs can result in profitable corn production with less environmental impact. This presentation will focus on in-field strategies for optimizing nitrogen and water inputs to improve nitrogen use efficiency and decrease nitrate leaching losses in irrigated corn fields of Nebraska.

March 28, 2024
Yufeng Ge

Rapid Soil Sensing for Precision Agriculture and Carbon Market

Professor, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Dense, quantitative soil data are increasingly demanded for applications like precision agriculture, climate modeling and carbon crediting. Ge's lab has been working on enabling tools and systems for rapid, low-cost measurement of soil properties. In this seminar, Ge will cover a few projects his team have worked on, key results and lessons learned.

April 4, 2024
Michael Kaiser

Impact of Land Use on the Storage and Turnover of Soil Organic Carbon: Stories from the Subsoil

Michael Kaiser
Assistant Professor of Applied Soil Chemistry, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Land use change is one of the main drivers of organic carbon storage in soils but significant knowledge gaps exist towards the response of biogeochemical cycles in the subsoil. In this seminar, Kaiser will present and discuss data from more than 20 sites in Nebraska. At these sites they sampled soil under cropland, native prairie or forest down to depths of at least 3 meters. The samples were analyzed for carbon storage and turnover, ecologically relevant carbon fractions, microbial community structure and soil mineral characteristics. The data of these analyses can help to develop improved land use strategies to increase the long-term carbon storage beyond the topsoil.

April 11, 2024
Fernando Aramburu Merlos

Integrating Agronomy and Machine Learning to Analyze Yield Gap Magnitudes and Causes from Field to Global Levels

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Identifying untapped opportunities for crop production increase is crucial to guide food security interventions. In this presentation, Merlos will show how agronomic knowledge, big data and machine learning can be integrated to map yield potentials at high resolution and identify agronomic practices that promptly deliver large on-farm yield gains.

April 18, 2024
Desmond Layne

This seminar has been CANCELED:
The FoodU Program at Auburn University

Head and Professor, Department of Horticulture, Auburn University

FoodU provides Auburn students with transformational food system learning experiences as they grow hyperlocal fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers to support consumption and utilization in Campus Dining, the Culinary Sciences program and in two on-campus restaurants. Produce is grown outdoors in raised beds, in greenhouses, vertical farms and on a rooftop. Program highlights, best practices and challenges will be discussed.