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Soil Fertility-Soil Chemistry

PhD Graduate Research Assistantship

A PhD Graduate Research Assistantship is currently available in the Department of Crops, Soils and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville for a student interested in soil fertility and soil test development for the sustainable production of agronomically important crops (corn, rice, soybean, wheat, etc). This research will encompass both laboratory and field aspects of soil fertility research. The selected student will incorporate agronomy, soil nutrient dynamics and soil chemistry/fertility while interacting with a diverse group of researchers involved in a variety of soil fertility related projects. Required qualifications include a background in soil science with an interest in agronomy, chemistry, and effective oral and written communication skills. Specific projects that are available are outlined below. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and additional fellowships are available to qualifying PhD students along with a tuition stipend. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit a CV, transcripts, GRE scores and contact info for three references. For more information contact Dr. Trenton Roberts (

Project 1:
The first potential research project will deal with implementation of in-season and post- season N management tools in irrigated corn production systems. This student will be responsible for helping to implement in-season corn tissue sampling techniques to help increase N use efficiency in irrigated corn production systems. A portion of the work will focus on identifying field variability associated with in-season and post-season tissue tests to help guide sampling protocols. Additionally, work will be conducted to implement the Corn Stalk Nitrate Test (CSNT) as a post-season N management tool for furrow-irrigated corn production systems. There are also opportunities to explore the use of various soil-based N tests and other N management tools to help improve N fertilizer efficiency and producer profitability.

Project 2:
The second potential research project will focus on continued research into potassium management of irrigated soybean and the field-validation of newly developed tissue tests for correcting late-season potassium deficiency of soybean. A portion of the work will focus on identifying field variability associated with in-season tissue sampling to help guide sampling protocols for irrigated soybean production systems. Categorizing responsiveness of soybean to late-season potassium applications and the economics of return on fertilizer investment will be a focal point. A primary result of this research will be identifying novel ways to maximize soybean yield related to potassium nutrition and optimizing producer profitability through increased potassium use efficiency of soybean.