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Kutay Yilmaz Defends M.S. Thesis

Kutay Yilmaz successfully defended his plant sciences M.S. degree on April 2, 2020. The title of his thesis is Seeding Date and Genotype Maturity Interactions on Grain Sorghum [Sorghum Bicolor (L.) Moench] Performance in North Dakota. His advisor is Dr. Burton Johnson.
Kutay Yilmaz Defends  M.S. Thesis

Kutay Yilmaz (left) with advisor Dr. Burton Johnson

April 23, 2020

Kutay Yilmaz successfully defended his plant sciences M.S. degree on April 2, 2020. The title of his thesis is Seeding Date and Genotype Maturity Interactions on Grain Sorghum [Sorghum Bicolor (L.) Moench] Performance in North Dakota. His advisor is Dr. Burton Johnson.

Yilmaz conducted his research to determine the effect of location, seeding dates and genotype maturity interactions on grain sorghum performance in North Dakota. The goal of his research is to provide information on grain sorghum production to benefit producers, and to provide early-maturity, open-pollinated white sorghum genotypes for North Dakota.

Istanbul, Turkey is Yilmaz’s home and he received his undergraduate degree in Field Crop Agriculture Engineering from Karadeniz Technical University in Ordu, Turkey. He learned about North Dakota State University when he read some of Johnson’s research publications and contacted him about pursuing a master’s degree. Johnson encouraged him to apply at NDSU. 

Yilmaz says, “The NDSU Department of Plant Sciences has experienced, sincere, and supportive faculty, technicians and staff.” He cites the agricultural diversity in North Dakota as a positive factor because students have opportunities to learn about many different crops.

He plans to return to Turkey and will work as an agronomist for the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies.

During his graduate studies Yilmaz was active in the NDSU Songwriters Guild, NDSU WIldlife Society and as a member of the NDSU Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow group. He also gave numerous presentations at conferences and symposiums. In addition, he received several awards and scholarships.

  • Placed 2nd in the United Sorghum Checkoff Program #FromtheField photography contest (2018)

  • Twice won People’s Choice Award for Best Display at theNDSU Graduate Student Showcase (2019 & 2020)

  • Was an NDSU University Relations representative to showcase his research at the North Dakota University System Legislative Showcase at the State Capitol Building in Bismarck (2019)

  • Inducted into the Gamma Sigma Delta NDSU Chapter (2019)

  • NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources  Charles and Linda Moses Plant Sciences Scholarship (2019)

  •  Awarded a Student Travel Grant for the 31st Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Annual Meeting (2019)

His graduate committee included Johnson, Dr. Marisol Berti, Dr. Joel Ransom and Dr. Andrew Friskop.

Author: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384, 
Editor: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123, 

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