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Graduate students earn awards at crop, soil meeting

Photo of Matthew Rellaford


Photo of Nicholas Schimek


Two NDSU plant sciences graduate students received awards during the annual joint meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America in Tampa, Florida, on Oct. 22-25.

Matthew Rellaford won first place for his presentation in the “Sensor-Based Nutrient Management” session and Nicholas Schimek won first place for his poster in the “Current Research for Advancing Precision Agriculture” session.

Rellaford presented “Predicting Potential Grain Protein Content of Spring Wheat with in-Season Hand-Held Optical Sensors.” The research goal was to determine whether hand-held optical sensors can be used to predict Grain Protein Content in spring wheat. The sensors give a reading called the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, which is used to gauge crop health. Rellaford looked at the relationship between the index at three plant growth stages and post-harvest Grain Protein Content to determine whether there was a predictive relationship. The research was supported by the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council.

Schimek presented his poster, “Reliability of Predicting Spring Wheat Yield with DSSAT Using Early Season Weather Data.” He described his research using the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer crop modeling software to determine how well the model could be adapted to predict spring wheat yield, how early in the growing season the model could accurately simulate end season yield and the best strategy to use historic weather data to forecast weather for the remainder of the season.

Rellaford is from Columbus, Ohio and American Fork, Utah, and Schimek is from Deer River, Minnesota. They are advised by Joel Ransom, plant sciences professor and Extension agronomist.

More than 4,000 agriculture, crop and soil professionals attended the organizations’ meetings.

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