The successful candidate will focus on applied agronomic research to improve sustainable rice production in southeast Missouri. However, it is expected that the research-based information will be disseminated to producers, industry and the scientific community via extension presentations and other publications including refereed journal articles.
The position is located at the University of Missouri’s (MU) Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville, MO. The soils and topography of southeastern Missouri (the most northern region of U.S. rice production) offers researchers a unique opportunity to study production in both paddy and row rice systems. Conducting rice variety trials and management of rice in rotation with other crops for optimum yields and quality is a central responsibility. In addition, the candidate is to provide leadership to discover and apply innovative tools and practices for management of water, fertilizer, insecticides, fungicides and other inputs to improve efficiency of rice production. The work will include planning, designing, and conducting field experiments (including data collection and statistical analyses) with input from producers to target research projects relevant to the Missouri rice producing region. Ability to secure extramural funding and publish research findings is required. Collaboration with public and private researchers, farmers, and extension specialists within Missouri and other states is expected. Availability to rice producers to answer questions relative to rice production is critical.
The Fisher Delta Research Center (FDRC) (https://delta.missouri.edu/) is part of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station and contributes to MU’s comprehensive land-grant responsibility. Its goal is to conduct high quality research that will respond to the needs of Missouri citizens, maintain and enhance our natural resource base, support a vital food and fiber system, and help keep Missouri producers competitive and profitable. FDRC staff work with campus faculty involved in teaching, research and extension along with state and federal agencies and Missouri agribusinesses to undergird education and a reliable, safe, sustainable supply of food and other agricultural products. In addition, FDRC faculty commonly collaborate with other state university faculty and staff and with industry on joint research projects that impact local, state, regional, national and international clientele. The FDRC facilities include 1,119 acres at four locations representing the major soil types of the region. In addition, it is expected that a significant portion of the research is to be conducted at the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council’s Missouri rice research farm near Glennonville, MO. The farm consists of 110 acres and additional facilities and provides an essential location for conducting rice research trials. The FDRC headquarters in Portageville consists of 23 offices, seven modern laboratories, eight greenhouses, Foundation Seed cleaning and storage facilities, auditoriums, an exhibit hall, a library and an outstanding professional and support staff. While the position is located at the FDRC, the successful candidate will also be an integral faculty member of the Division of Plant Sciences (DPS) in Columbia, MO (https://plantsciences.missouri.edu/).
Minimum Qualifications: Ph.D. by the time of appointment or Masters with five years of relevant experience in the area of agronomy, soil science, agricultural engineering, or related field.
Candidates will be evaluated on: Proficiency in rice production practices is required, including knowledge of weed and disease/insect control, fertility, tillage, and irrigation. Excellent oral skills to communicate with farmers and other commodity stakeholders and the ability to work well in a collaborative team are essential. Other preferred skills include experience in an aspect of precision agriculture (such as digital technology as it relates to modernizing farming practices), the ability to secure funding, a knowledge of operating and maintaining plot and farm-scale equipment, and proven experience in data analysis, and writing (e.g., grant proposals, scientific publications, and extension publications).