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Agricultural News

OSU PASS Dept Head Jeff Edwards Introduces Oklahoma's New Wheat Specialist Amanda De Silva

Wed, 15 May 2019 14:36:12 CDT

OSU PASS Dept Head Jeff Edwards Introduces Oklahoma's New Wheat Specialist Amanda De Silva Dr. Jeff Edwards, head of the Plant & Soil Sciences Department at Oklahoma State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has been in a unique situation this year with his department absent a small grains specialist. A former small grains specialist himself, Edwards has done his best to juggle the duties of that job currently vacant and his own. This has become somewhat of a high-profile position in the state as wheat producers rely heavily on the guidance of those that take up this role. In a recent conversation with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays at the Lahoma Wheat Field Day hosted by OSU, Edwards commended his extension staff for banding together to share the responsibilities of this job and to meet the needs of producers. Fortunately, Edwards also shared the role has finally been filled. Officially, Amanda de Oliveira Silvawill assume the role as OSU’s new Small Grains Specialist later this summer on August 31st. You can hear Edwards and Hays discuss the department’s new hire and this year’s wheat crop, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page to hear their complete conversation.

“We couldn’t be happier to hire Amanda de Oliveira Silva,” Edwards remarked. “Amanda is a native of Brazil but actually her first trip to the US was as an intern for six months with our former Cropping Systems Specialist. So, she’s familiar with Oklahoma. She’s a good speaker and she knows how to communicate science, which is critical in this role. She is just a really solid plant physiologist and I think we hit a home run hiring her.”

At present, Amanda is finishing up her Ph.D. at Kansas State University. Prior to that, she earned her Master’s degree from Perdue University. When she arrives in August, Edwards says she will have just enough time catch up to speed and get a few research studies designed before hitting the ground running, working with producers as they begin the fall planting season for the 2020 wheat crop.

Looking back over this year’s crop though, Edwards reports that farmers were able to get some wheat in the ground early before an extended wet period set in causing widespread late season planting across the state.

“It didn’t look good coming out of winter, out of dormancy,” he said. “It was still pretty small, but this cool spring that we’ve had has been really beneficial for that late planted wheat. It’s come on and I think is actually going to do pretty well.”

Another crop that has really taken off in Oklahoma as of late is cotton, with planted acres shown to be significantly on the rise. You can hear Edwards talk more in depth on the current boom in Oklahoma’s cotton industry, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below to hear that full interview.



Learn more about Di Silva, this year's wheat crop and the boom in Oklahoma's cotton industry, below.
right-click to download mp3


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