MIDWEST COVER CROPS COUNCIL
Dean Baas is a Senior Research Associate in Michigan State University (MSU) Extension. Dean is involved in cover crop and organic agriculture research and education. Farmers and commodity groups are an integral part of his projects and programs. He is a member of the Midwest Cover Crops Council Executive Committee (MCCC) and coordinates MCCC activities including the promotion of cover crop usage in the Midwest and the development of tools to assist farmers in cover crop decision-making. He is the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Coordinator for the state of Michigan coordinating and promoting SARE programs including the professional development, farmer rancher, research and education, and graduate student grant programs through the North Central Region of SARE.
He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Geosciences and Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from MSU. Prior to returning to MSU for graduate study, he had a 20-year career with the Kellogg Company.
Jim Hoorman is an Assistant Professor for the Ohio State University as well as an Extension Educator for Putnam County. Jim recently completed his PhD in Environmental Sciences with specializations in cover crops, no-till, manure managment, and water quality.
Jim's research efforts have concentrated on using grass, legume, and brassica cover crops to improve soil structure and tie up manure nutrients to prevent runoff. Jim has produced several fact sheets and power point presentations on "Soil Ecology and Nutrient Management" and "The Biology of Soil Compaction".
Rich Hoormann is a Region Agronomy Specialist for University of Missouri Extension. His extension programming responsibilities include: water quality, pesticide training, forage management, nutrient management and row crop IPM. Past research areas have included nitrogen carryover management, band placement of dry fertilizer and using trap crops to reduce pesticide use in commercial vegetable production. Current field scale research efforts concentrate on evaluation of long term cover crop usage as a manage tool to address water quality issues, increase crop yields, improve soil physical properties and weed suppression. He is also a past member of the Missouri SARE Advisory Committee.
Tom Kaspar is a Plant Physiologist at the USDA-ARS National Soil Tilth Laboratory in Ames, IA and a Collaborator/Professor with the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University. He earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Iowa State University. Dr. Kaspar’s research program focuses mainly on crop and soil management to improve water quality and soil productivity. He has conducted field-scale research on the effects of soil management and soil properties on crop root growth, water infiltration, stand establishment, and spatial variability of crop yield. His recent research has focused on the environmental benefits of winter rye cover crops in corn-soybean rotations.
Dr. Eileen J. Kladivko is Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, where she teaches and does research in soil physics, soil biology, and soil management. Her overall research focus has been to identify soil management systems that improve environmental quality and promote agricultural sustainability. Specific research areas have included the impacts of tile drainage on crop yields and nitrate losses to surface waters; the interactions of earthworms, soil management, and soil physical properties; conservation tillage and cover crops for soil quality improvement; and preferential flow of chemicals through soils. (Read more about Eileen's work here.)
Matt Ruark is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison specializing in soil fertility and nutrient management. He is also a Soil Fertility Specialist with University of Wisconsin-Extension. He earned his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Minnesota and Ph.D. from Purdue University. He is currently an Associate Editor for Agronomy Journal and serves at the Faculty Advisor to the UW-Discovery Farms program. Dr. Ruark's research on cover crops focuses on nutrient cycling in grain, vegetable, and dairy production systems. Specific research includes: assessing the benefits of radish as a cover crop, quantifying the nitrogen credit of legume cover crop species, and utilizing grass cover crops with fall manure applications to reduce nitrate leaching. For more information on Dr. Ruark's research and extension program, go to www.ruarklab.soils.wisc.edu.
Anne Verhallen is the Soil Management Specialist for Horticultural Crops in the Province of Ontario. She has been working for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs since 1988 promoting soil conservation and soil management. In the past she has worked on wind erosion prevention, reduced tillage, refining fertility recommendations in tomatoes and sugar beets and compaction amelioration. Her current areas of focus include soil health, irrigation and cover crops. She has concentrated much of her cover crop field work on specific niches like early harvested vegetable crops like processing peas, snap beans and sweet corn. As part of the OMAFRA Soil Team she helps to deliver training on various soil management topics including cover crops. She is also the current chair of the Ontario Soil Management Research and Services Committee.
M. Scott Wells is an Assistant Professor in Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He is the newly hired forage and cropping systems extension agronomist. Recently, Scott completed his PhD at North Carolina State University researching weed suppression mechanisms of roller-crimped cover crops in organic corn and soybean systems. His current research program focuses on improving the yield and quality of forage production systems including alfalfa, warm and cool season grasses, and small grains, along with employing a systems approach to improving the both the economical and environmental sustainability of corn and soybean production in Minnesota. Current projects include emergency forages, alfalfa management, double cropping forages and small grains, establishment of cover crops in corn and soybean systems, and assessing the water and soil quality impacts of cover crops, crop rotation and perennial based production systems.
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