Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New Missouri Extension state rice specialist started Aug. 1

justin chlapecka
Justin Chlapecka

Justin Chlapecka began Aug. 1 as University of Missouri Extension state rice specialist at the Fisher Delta Research Center. He also serves as an assistant professor in the MU Division of Plant Science and Technology.

In a new partnership between MU and the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council, Chlapecka will lead rice agronomy research efforts at the Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville and the Missouri Rice Research and Demonstration Farm near Malden.

He will concentrate on applied research to improve sustainability and profitability of rice production in southeastern Missouri. This includes testing of cultivars, rotational systems, pesticides, fertilizers and other inputs in flood-irrigated and furrow-irrigated rice culture, said Robert Kallenbach, associate dean for extension in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“I hope to be a go-to source for information and troubleshooting of in-field issues within the Missouri rice industry,” Chlapecka said.

“We are so glad to welcome Justin to Mizzou and the Fisher Delta Research Center and begin this new partnership with the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council,” said Shibu Jose, CAFNR associate dean for research. “The Fisher Delta Research Center is vital to local producers, and we are thrilled to add Justin’s experience to the team. His research expertise will benefit Missouri rice farmers and beyond.”

Eager to start

Chlapecka said he is eager to be part of Delta Center’s cutting-edge research to improve agriculture in the Mid-South United States, especially southeastern Missouri.

Justin Chlapecka
Justin Chlapecka discusses his research during a rice water field day in Northeast Arkansas — photo by Fred Miller, University of Arkansas

“Rice producers and the rice industry have provided me with a multitude of opportunities, and I hope to give a portion of this back to the agricultural community,” he said.

“The MRRMC has partnered with the Fisher Delta Research Center for many years, and we’re excited to continue this collaboration in a new capacity,” said MRRMC’s David Martin. “Dr. Chlapecka’s expertise will undoubtedly strengthen the Missouri rice market.”

Chlapecka earned his doctorate in crop, soil and environmental science with an emphasis on rice agronomy at the University of Arkansas. He received a master’s degree in agriculture with a concentration in plant and soil sciences from Arkansas State University. He was an Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board Fellow.

The University of Missouri contributed this article.

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