Interns Share Research Results from Field Studies and Extension Experience

Interns Share Research Results from Field Studies and Extension Experience

In 2017, seven students were awarded an Undergraduate Research and Extension Experiential Learning Fellowship in Integrated Agronomic Systems at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. These were awarded through the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. The fellowships, which were funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture NIFA AFRI Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative, provided an opportunity for students to learn about research and extension while working directly with faculty mentors with expertise on corn/soybean cropping systems, cover crop/crop residue management, grassland systems ecology and soil management.

One activity was to develop a CropWatch article related to their research project. These CropWatch articles illustrate the students' scholarly pursuits to learn about these applied topics in a short, 10-week fellowship and effectively communicate their findings to clientele. Department of Agronomy and Horticulture faculty and staff who served as research mentors and provided guidance during the development of these articles included Humberto Blanco, Roger Elmore, John Guretzky, Katja Koehler-Cole, and Daren Redfearn. Michelle Howell-Smith, Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics, provided support to faculty with regard to assessment of project outcomes and communicated with students about their needs and program expectations. Students and faculty mentors also were supported by other staff, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and several Nebraska Extension educators throughout the summer.

The articles listed reflect a growing interest among extension clientele, faculty, and students about use of cover crops and annual forages in integrated agronomic systems to increase forage for grazing livestock and improve soil ecosystem services. Developing student skills in conducting research, communicating findings, and educating crop and livestock producers in this emerging area of agriculture is a priority.

2017 Integrated Agronomic Systems Interns and Their Articles

Lindsey Anderson, University of Missouri, Using High-Carbon Char as a Soil Amendment to Improve Soil Properties

Amber Blue, Alabama A&M University, Can a Rye Cover Crop Reduce Wind Erosion from Fields with Little Residue Cover?

Hillary Booher, Purdue University, Does Seeding Rate Affect Establishment-Year Growth and Long-term Forage Yield of Indiangrass?

Alexa Johnson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Does Weed Control Method Impact Indiangrass Establishment and Persistence?

Grace Kurtz, Seattle University, Switchgrass Barriers as a Soil Water Conservation Practice

Caroline Lancaster, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Rain-Fed Corn Growth and Development Following Cover Crops in 2017

Ivori Schley, North Carolina A&T State University, Long-term Tillage and Soil CO2 Fluxes