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Rellaford Honored at Nitrogen Use Meeting

Department of Plant Sciences master’s student Matthew Rellaford was awarded first place for his poster presentation in the Marvin Stone Memorial Poster Competition at the Nitrogen Use Efficiency annual conference.
Rellaford Honored at Nitrogen Use Meeting

Matthew Rellaford (right) receives his award

August 31, 2017

Department of Plant Sciences master’s student Matthew Rellaford was awarded first place for his poster presentation in the Marvin Stone Memorial Poster Competition at the 15th Annual Nitrogen Use Efficiency Conference held August 7-9 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Rellaford co-authored the poster, Predicting the Grain Protein Content of Spring Wheat with Hand-held Active Sensors, with his adviser, professor and Extension agronomist Dr. Joel Ransom. This is the second consecutive year that one of Ransom’s students has won the poster competition.

The focus of this research was to determine whether hand-held optical sensors can be used to predict grain protein content in spring wheat. Grain protein content is a significant factor in the final price wheat growers receive when they sell their grain, so there is significant interest in increasing protein without reducing yield.

The sensors give a reading called the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), which is used to gauge crop health. Rellaford and Ransom compared NDVI at three plant growth stages and post-harvest grain protein content to determine possible predictive relationships. They found a modest relationship between NDVI and grain protein content. However, NDVI was found to be predictive of protein content over the total field.

In their continuing research, a drone is being used to collect imagery from on-farm trials in Minnesota to determine whether NDVI is predictive of grain protein content in a field setting.

Logistical and financial support for this research was provided by the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council.

Rellaford has roots in Columbus, Ohio and American Fork, Utah.

The 2017 Nitrogen Use Efficiency Conference was organized by the Louisiana State University AgCenter. The purpose of the annual meeting is to share information related to improving nitrogen use efficiency in crop production.

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

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