Texas: National Cotton Council Recognizes 2 from AgriLife Extension

    Two Texas A&M AgriLife faculty members, as well as several Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students, brought back honors from the recent National Cotton Council’s Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio.

    Juan Landivar, Ph.D., director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco and Corpus Christi, was recognized with the Outstanding Career Research Award in Cotton Agronomy for his decades-long contributions to the cotton industry.

    Emi Kimura, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist and state peanut specialist, Vernon, was presented the Dr. J. Tom Cothren Award for Outstanding Research in Cotton in the area of agronomy/physiology and soil science.

    Landivar earns Outstanding Career Research Award

    Described as a unique visionary, Landivar has devoted a career to innovations that alter how we think about cotton agronomy, said Kater Hake, Cotton Incorporated vice president, in a letter of support.

    “From the 1970s development and application of GOSSYM to genetic yield gain to the 1980s work on leaf aging and growth regulators to the 1990s work on soil water and pathogens to the 2000s work on fiber properties and crop rotation to the 2010s work on aerial monitoring and digital twins for management decisions – Dr. Landivar has created and extended to his large audience of fans and followers a massive set of cotton innovations and insights,” wrote Hake.

    During his initial employment as a project leader at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Corpus Christi, Landivar investigated the benefits of plant growth regulators for cotton management. He also developed the “pix stick” that provided farmers with a quantitative measure of deciding when and how much plant growth regulator to apply.

    In addition to his administrative duties, Landivar continues to lead a multi-disciplinary team of scientists focusing on development of digital agriculture tools, specifically focusing on high-throughput phenotyping, data-driven predictive and prescriptive crop management, big data collection, processing, management, analytics, outreach and education.

    His recent contributions include documenting that UAV-collected data is superior to manual sampling in characterizing the response of cotton crops to conservation tillage treatments, crop growth, canopy health and yield.

    Kimura earns Dr. J. Tom Cothren Outstanding Research in Cotton Award

    Kimura has been serving as the AgriLife Extension agronomist for the Texas Rolling Plains region since 2015. She provides research and subsequent training to producers, county agents, faculty and staff in AgriLife Extension District 3, which covers a 25-county area.

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    Over 1 million acres of cotton are produced in the Texas Rolling Plains, so her presence provides critical impacts for profitable cotton production in the region, her nomination stated. She has developed a well-respected relationship with university personnel, county agents, industry representatives, federal and state agencies, and most importantly, producers.

    Kimura has been instrumental in the success of the annual Red River Crops Conference, which devotes an entire day to cotton. Additionally, she helps conduct annual field-scale cotton variety trials throughout the Texas Rolling Plains under dryland and irrigated cropping systems. Area producers rely heavily on this information to determine variety selection each year.

    She also evaluates optimum fertility rates, sources and timing on cotton production. Accounting for well water nitrate has been a focus as the Rolling Plains region has the highest median groundwater nitrate concentrations among major aquifers of Texas.

    Population trials, crop rotation and weed control are also areas in which Kimura concentrates her time and efforts, challenging producers to consider new options. She also provides the lead for disseminating information from cover crop-related research, including optimum cover crop species, cover crop planting rates, cover crop soil moisture use and subsequent impacts on cotton production.

    Student presentation winners

    Students from the Department of Entomology, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences participated in contests at the Beltwide conferences.

    Winners include:

    • Haley Kennedy, a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology, placed second in oral presentation.
    • Zafar Iqbal, a doctoral student in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, placed first in oral presentation.
    • Adeyemi Adeleke – a doctoral student in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, placed third in oral presentation.
    • Joseph Burke, a doctoral student in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, won the oral competition in the Agronomy, Physiology and Soil Conference. He also placed third with his poster in the Sustainability Conference.
    • Joshua Doria, a master’s student in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, placed first with his poster.
    • Catherine Danmaigona Clement, a doctoral student in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, placed first in the Disease Conference oral/poster contest.

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