Russell Gesch (Russ)
Research Plant Physiologist
Research responsibilities: Leads research on developing management strategies for production of new, alternative, and traditional crops and identifying/characterizing physiological processes and management protocols for crops to cope with environmental stresses. Goal/Mission: To increase efficiency and economic returns of farming systems in short-season, high-stress environments using new knowledge, new products, and new/alternative crops as management tools.
- Develop cuphea as a new domestic source of medium-chain fatty acid oil.
- Investigate basic agronomics – rotational effects of cuphea with wheat, corn, and soybean; harvest techniques to reduce seed moisture and loss
- Determine nitrogen and sulfur fertilizer requirements for optimum seed and oil yield
- Determine effects of NO3 vs. NH4 source of nitrogen fertilizer on cuphea emergence
- Determine benefits of temperature-responsive polymer seed coating for early planted corn and soybean to extend the amount of time farmers have to accomplish spring field work.
- Determine germination and emergence characteristics (early & late planting dates
- Determine potential for use of longer season hybrid corn & maturity group soybean
- Determine potential for minimum-till soils
- Determine extent of genetic variation in photosynthetic acclimation to temperature fluctuations in switchgrass (comparison of four ecotypes). This study will provide basic information useful to increase switchgrass productivity in northern climates through breeding and molecular genetics.
Future research (next 5 years)