Quirine Ketterings

Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2018

Cornell Affiliations:

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Program Website:

CCE Summer Internships


Opportunity Description

Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

The goal of this on-farm research is to identify if sulfur deficiencies do exist in soybean crop rotations and test if additional sulfur fertilization will result in increased yields. Producers will be able to identify if sulfur is a limiting nutrient on farm production, identify key factors that lead to sulfur deficiencies (crop rotations, reduced manure application), and understand how to identify fields with the potential to become sulfur deficient. The multi-county experiment will focus on testing the accuracy of current management tools and practices for making decisions on sulfur management in soybeans. In addition, the experiment will examine use of two forms of sulfur fertilizers (gypsum and ammonium sulfate) at the rate of 30 lbs S/acre to determine if sulfur uptake is impacted by nitrogen availability

Roles and Responsibilities

The Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program is collaborating with Jodi Letham and the NWNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Team to conduct applied research and Extension programming that will benefit crop and dairy producers across several counties in New York State. Soybean production is common to most NY field crop and dairy farms and critical to their economic viability. Despite improved management practices and crop genetics, many opportunities remain to improve soil health, crop quality and yield to enhance farm net profitability. The proposed internship project is designed to help soybean producers identify and address if nutrient deficiencies, specifically sulfur, exist in their soils and if their current management tools and practices for making decisions on sulfur are accurate. The intern will assist with a sulfur status survey on soybean (soil, tissue and yield sampling) and evaluate the impact of gypsum vs. ammonium sulfate application at a standardized rate of 30 lbs S/ acre to determine if sulfur uptake is impacted by nitrogen availability. Other on-farm research projects and surveys of which the intern will assist with include weed ID and sampling, plant disease sampling, insect scouting/trapping, industrial hemp trials, etc. Additionally the intern will visit farmer fields throughout the 10 county region and gather input for weekly Crop Alert bulletins authored by the Extension Educator. The intern will have the opportunity to write an agronomy factsheet, and participate in other extension events, ranging from attending Twilight meetings and Tactical Agriculture Team (TAg) meetings for producers, interactions with local crop consulting firms, work with the dairy, livestock and farm business counterparts in the NWNY Dairy, Livestock, & Field Crops Team, etc. The intern will also assist in social media (Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, Twitter, etc.) extension activities. The internship provides an outstanding opportunity for an agriculturalist-in-training to shadow leading extension professionals as they interact with producers, agribusiness, research specialists and the general public.