Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series starts Sept. 7

Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series starts Sept. 7 Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series
Nebraska's L.J. McElravy, will present the first seminar in the fall Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series on Sept. 7 in Keim Hall. He will discuss “Exploring Positive Psychological Capacity in Teamwork.”  |  Shutterstock

Nebraska’s L.J. McElravy will kick off the fall Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series with a 3:30 p.m. Sept. 7 talk in Keim Hall, Room 150.

McElravy, assistant professor of agricultural leadership, education and communication, will discuss “Exploring Positive Psychological Capacity in Teamwork.”

Positive Psychological Capacity (PsyCap) is a developmental characteristic that is related to a number of positive outcomes in the workplace. The talk will explore how PsyCap can be used to enhance teamwork, specifically in the work environment and in the classroom.

All seminars are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at 3 p.m. Each talk is in Keim Hall, Room 150, and can also be watched online. Learn more about the series.

Other talks in the series are:

Sept. 14Santosh Pitla, assistant professor in biological systems engineering, “Automation and Robotics in Agriculture.”

This presentation will discuss the evolution of agricultural machinery from simple mechanical machines to autonomous driverless robotic machines and advances in automated machine performance data collection. Pitla will also talk about trends in field automation and the aspects of equipment size as related to field productivity, field efficiency, and technical obsolescence.

Sept. 28Katie Kreuser, extension hop program coordinator, “Hopping to It: The Growth and Viability of the Nebraska Hop Industry.”

The hop industry in Nebraska has experienced much growth in recent years. Kreuser will discuss the factors that enable the plant to thrive, the challenges faced in hop production and the exciting possibilities the industry has ahead.

Oct. 5Katja Koehler-Cole, postdoctoral research associate in agronomy and horticulture, “Cover Crops in Nebraska — Expectations and Realizations.”

Cover crops have the potential to improve soil health and provide grazing for Nebraska farmers looking to reduce erosion and soil nitrate loss. However, the predominant corn-soybean erosion limits the selection and productivity of cover crops. Koehler-Cole will present findings from four years of research in no-till corn and soybean systems in Nebraska with implications for both cover crop and main crop management.

Oct. 19Jamie O’Rourke, research geneticist, USDA-ARS, Iowa State University, “Leveraging Genomics, Genetics and Breeding to Understand Crop Adaption to Nutrient Stress.”

Plants require 20 micronutrients for proper growth and development, but environmental conditions often limit soil nutrient availability resulting in stunted growth and reduced yield. O’Rourke will discuss how she combines functional genomics, physiology and plant breeding to identify biological pathways and gene networks associated with nutrient deficiency responses and enhanced stress tolerance.

Oct. 26Strahinja Stepanovic, assistant extension educator, West Central Research and Extension Center, North Platte and Alexandre Tonon Rosa, graduate research assistant in agronomy and horticulture, “Pulse Crops Production and Industry Development in Nebraska.”

Strahinja and Tonon Rosa will discuss pulses (field peas, chickpeas, and lentils), their adoption into Nebraska’s diversified cropping systems and consequent growth of the Nebraska pulse crops industry. They will share details on how the industry has changed and answer any questions on growing and marketing pulses across different regions of the state.

Nov. 2Brian Couch, assistant professor of biological sciences, “How to Optimize Student Engagement with Active Learning and Formative Assessments.”

In recent years, the undergraduate education community has placed an increased focus on implementing formative assessment activities in which students actively engage with course material and receive iterative feedback to improve their understandings. This presentation will summarize research findings and recommendations on how to optimize student engagement with formative assessments.

Nov. 9Hae Jin Kim, senior research associate, Center for Plant Science Innovation, “Synthetic Design of Plant Oil Metabolism.”

To rapidly improve crop quality and productivity, new techniques and tools are required to integrate primary and secondary metabolism. Kim will discuss how synthetic biology can introduce many genes for diverse traits into the plant genome with a single genetic transformation. She will talk about how the improvement of crops can be achieved with lower costs in a shorter period of time than with traditional biotechnology or breeding.

Nov. 16 Richard Ferguson, professor and interim department head of agronomy and horticulture, “Soil in Space and Time.”

Ferguson will discuss how soils vary in space and across time, how we manage accordingly and how that variation influences the development of cropping systems and careers.

Nov. 30Joseph Dauer, assistant professor in natural resources, “The Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA) Curriculum Update.”

For the past year, a committee of faculty has been working to develop a curriculum for a new agricultural institution. Dauer will provide an update on progress toward integrating conservation agriculture, one health, communication and entrepreneurship in an experiential education setting.

Dec. 7Brian Krienke, assistant extension educator in agronomy and horticulture, “Nitrogen Fertigation in Corn.”

The elevated levels of nitrate in groundwater in Nebraska are considered a direct result of Nitrogen management in corn production. Decades of research have attempted to develop methods that increase the use efficiency of applied N, while also optimizing profit for growers. A new approach to N management will be discussed that utilizes a combination of crop canopy sensors with and without the use of a crop model to aid in decision making. Results are promising.

More information on the series can be found at go.unl.edu/seminars.

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