Dr. Scott Tubbs is the Cropping Systems Agronomist for the University of Georgia (UGA) with 70% research and 30% extension appointment in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department.
He attended the University of Florida (UF) from 1993-2003, where he was introduced to the field of agriculture. While at UF, he studied Agricultural Operations Management for his undergraduate degree. In the summer of 1996, Tubbs took an internship with BASF Chemical Company, where he spent the next four summers. During this time, he also completed a two-year master’s degree program. His experience with BASF is what sparked his interest in pursuing his Ph. D. in the Agronomy Department at UF. Following graduation, Tubbs took on a post-doctoral position with UF for a short period. Tubbs then moved to Nebraska where he worked in a post-doctoral position with the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS).
After spending about three years with USDA, Tubbs applied for the position he currently holds at UGA, where he has spent the last 15 years. In 2020, he was appointed as the Research, Extension, and Instruction Coordinator for the Crop and Soil Sciences Department on Tifton Campus. As a Systems Agronomist, he can go in many directions, regarding assisting with Entomology, Pathology, Weed Science, and other disciplines. The research he conducts is very applied to find quick solutions to issues farmers are facing in the field.
One project of Tubbs’ that has generated a lot of attention has been his replant trials. The initiation of the project was to determine when is the best time is to replant peanuts if there had been a poor stand after emergence. This research is in its third phase and has resulted in multiple publications and awards. Another objective is to determine the best methods and timings to allow growers to maximize their plant stand and yield with minimized inputs. However, replanting a field introduces new factors for a grower to consider. Some of these factors may include the harvest timing, determining maturity, and herbicide and fungicide applications. The results of the project have determined what is an acceptable plant stand to not require an investment of going into the field for replanting vs. advising a grower that they could capitalize by replanting. From this project, they have developed management tools to make planting recommendations.
Another impactful project has been his rotation work. Tubbs explained that rotation is extensively difficult to complete because of the long-term commitment required. He iterated that with a project that runs this long-term, not many programs can commit to the time and investment required to continually manage these crops. With these rotation projects, you are managing multiple crops in the same field, which logistically is a challenge for the technical support. Because long-term rotation projects are so few, when an experiment is successfully completed, it is that much more impactful for growers and scientists.
With both projects, growers are already adopting the new practices. Rotations require the grower to plan ahead in their planting scheme. The replant effect can take place immediately and growers can call to get prompt answers from their UGA extension agent.
The funding of these projects come from the National Peanut Board through the Southeast Peanut Research Initiative, the Georgia Peanut Commission, certain projects are funded by the USDA and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
by Caraline Coombs, student assistant, UGA Peanut Team Media