Dipak Santra - Alternative Crops Breeding Specialist

Dipak Santra

Faculty Bio

Visual representation of gene sequences
Nebraska's James Schnable has helped sequence nearly the entire genetic catalog of proso millet. The resulting genetic insights could help raise yields of the drought-resistant crop in the Nebraska Panhandle and infertile regions likely to face food shortages in coming decades. (Nature Communications / James Schnable / Scott Schrage)

Sequencing of Proso Millet Genome Could Raise Yields, Expand Production Range

March 4, 2019
Researchers have now sequenced and mapped the genome of proso millet – a feat essential to raising yields of the drought-resistant crop in the Nebraska Panhandle and semiarid regions where population booms foreshadow food shortages.

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Proso millet, also known as broomcorn millet, at the High Plains Ag Lab near Sidney.

UNL, CSU Organize International Proso Millet Symposium for Aug. 8-11

July 23, 2018
This International Millet Symposium will focus on millet production in the United States and the world; millet breeding, genetics and genomics; and millet uses and products around the world. Nebraska is one of three states producing 95% of the US crop.

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Pulse crops
Figure 1. Field peas (left) and chick peas are part of the growing pulse crop industry in western Nebraska. Register by Jan. 16 for the Pulse Crops Workshop, Expo or both to engage with industry representatives and growers and learn about the latest research.

January Pulse Crop Programs Offer Two Approaches to Fit Your Needs

January 9, 2018
Learn about and engage with the expanding pulse crop industry at two events being held in western Nebraska this month: the Pulse Crops Workshop Jan. 17 at Bridgeport and the Pulse Crops Expo Jan. 18 at Grant. Check the agendas and register for one or both events by Jan. 16.

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Figure 1. (left) Field pea variety trial in Perkins, one of five field day sites this year.

Field Pea Field Days Scheduled for June at 5 Locations across Nebraska

May 24, 2017
Field day participants will be able to view field pea varieties and learn about rotational benefits and agronomic practices to profitably grow field peas and integrate them with existing cropping systems.

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Field pea

Yellow Field Peas Fare Well After Recent Lows

May 4, 2017
Most yellow field pea being grown in western Nebraska were at early vegetative stages (4th to 7th node or 1-5 leaf stages) during last week’s cold snap, but extensive damage is not expected due to the pea’s level of frost tolerance.Field pea tolerance to frost during early stages of vegetative growth is partially due to the “hypogeal” germination nature of the crop. For plant species with hypogeal germination (e.g., field pea, lentil, chickpea), shoot germination occurs belowground.

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Field pea

Field Pea Seeding Rates, Seeding Depth, and Inoculant

March 13, 2017
Grain-type field peas are a cool season grain crop grown as an alternative for no-till summer fallow in a semiarid cereal-based cropping systems such as wheat-corn-fallow and/or wheat-fallow. They are typically planted in mid-March and harvested late-July. This article reports on research conducted on seeding practices and offers recommendations for producers on the economically optimal seeding rate, seeding depth, and inoculant to grow field peas in western Nebraska.

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field pea comparison
Figure 1. Comparison of water use of two systems -- summer fallow and field peas -- between March 27 and July 20. (Photos by Stranhinja Stepanovic)

Field Pea Production: Rotational Costs and Benefits

March 10, 2017
Research findings show benefits in soil nutrient cycling, water infiltration, and microbial activity from replacing fallow with grain-type field peas in a wheat-fallow rotation in western Nebraska.

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In these research trials in western Nebraska winter triticale was found to offer several advantages over winter barley as a cover crop.
Figure 1. In these research trials in western Nebraska winter triticale was found to offer several advantages over winter barley as a cover crop.

Triticale: A Useful Component of a Cover Crop

December 1, 2016
This overview of UNL research compares winter triticale with winter barley and explores why crop producers may want to include triticale in their cover crop blends.

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