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  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
Vipan Kumar, associate professor, School of Integrative Plant Science, Soil and Crop Sciences Section.

Academic focus: Weed science.

Research summary: I study the biology and ecology of most problematic weed species for developing cost-effective and sustainable weed management strategies in New York field cropping systems. Monitoring evolution and spread of new cases of herbicide-resistant weeds in field crops is an important aspect of my research program. I also study the impact of environmental and management practices on life history stages (germination, emergence, growth pattern and seed production) of predominant weed species. Evaluating and developing chemical and nonchemical (mechanical, biological, cultural practices, and precision ag technologies)-based integrated weed management strategies in wheat, barley, corn, soybean and alfalfa is major emphasis of my research and extension program at Cornell CALS.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Being a plant scientist, I enjoy kitchen gardening during the summer months. Walking, cooking and listening to music are a key part of my regular life.

What are your current outreach/extension projects?

Since joining at SIPS in spring 2023, I have been meeting and interacting with New York field crop stakeholders, including Cornell researchers, producers, crop consultants, county agents and industry representatives, through various Cornell Cooperative Extension events to listen and understand their weed problems and research needs. My plan is to utilize this information to build my extension programs for disseminating data-driven information.

What are three adjectives people might use to describe you?

Careful, energetic, thoughtful.

What (specifically) brought you to Cornell CALS?

Cornell University is a well-ranked ag school in the U.S. and globally. Cutting-edge research activities and the collaborative environment attracted me to pursue my academic career in Cornell CALS.

What do you think is important for people to understand about your field?

People need to understand that crop weeds are different than WEED (marijuana), and any plant out of space can be called as weed.

Why did you feel inspired to pursue a career in this field?

Being from a farming family background in northern India, manual weeding in rice fields during hot summer months in my childhood inspired me to pursue a career in agricultural sciences and, more specifically, in weed science.

What’s the most surprising/interesting thing you’ve discovered about Cornell and/or Ithaca so far?

I have recently discovered that Ithaca and the surrounding area (within 10 to 15 miles) has more than 150 waterfalls.

If you had unlimited grant funding, what major problem in your field would you want to solve?

If I have unlimited grant funding, I would like to develop precision tools that can accurately predict soil weed seedbanks and seed production potential of weed escapes in fast and nondestructive ways.

Learn more about Vipan.

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