Colorado State Faculty Affiliate, Usda-Ars Soil Scientist Selected as a Fellow by Agronomy Society

Jorge Delgado, faculty affiliate with the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University and a soil scientist with the USDA-Agriculture Research Service Soil Plant Nutrient Research Unit, has been named Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.

The prestigious award was presented at the ASA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America on Nov. 12-16 in Indianapolis, Ind. It is the highest honor the Society bestows on its members. Up to 0.3 percent of ASA’s membership base of 8,000 may be elected to Fellow each year, which places Delgado among an elite group of agricultural researchers around the world.

Delgado is the author and coauthor of more than 110 manuscripts. His research program focuses mainly on conducting site-specific and regional-scale evaluations to try new tools such as GIS, the Nitrogen (N) Index, and nitrogen models to assess the effects of high risk cropping systems/landscaping combinations to reduce nitrate leaching, reduce erosion and expand the use of winter cover crops by farmers on irrigated systems. He has served as a special adviser to the Secretary of Agriculture of Puerto Rico where he led a committee composed of 14 federal and local government agencies that conducted a study of conservation practices in Puerto Rico, and he coordinated and implemented some of the recommended actions to reduce soil erosion.

Delgado continues to lecture, make presentations and consult in many foreign countries. He is research editor of the "Journal of Soil and Water Conservation" and chairman of the editorial board, Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America.

Last May, the USDA-ARS magazine, "Solving Problems for the Growing World," dedicated its cover story to Delgado’s research work. Delgado’s research work has contributed to the use of cover crops showing that cover crops reduce erosion and nitrogen losses to the environment and mine nitrates from underground water and increase nutrient use efficiencies. Delgado’s joint cooperation showed that, under commercial-farmer field operations, the total marketable tuber yield was increased by 12 percent to 30 percent when potatoes followed a sorghum cover crop instead of fallow plots. During both years, the sudan sorghum improved potato tuber quality. Delgado observed superior tuber quality, with a 50 percent higher production rate, for the tubers greater than 8 ounces when compared to tuber quality and production rates that followed a fallow plot. These preliminary results conducted under commercial field studies show that there is potential to generate additional income ($60 to $400 per acre), which would be more than enough to cover the planting of the cover crop sudan system.

Delgado is also an ad honorem professor with the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China. He serves as co-research advisor for M.S. and Ph.D. students and on graduate student committees. Delgado earned his B.S. degree from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a Post Doc with USDA-ARS Soil Plant Nutrient Research Unit at Fort Collins.

ASA has been selecting outstanding members to the position of Fellow since 1924. Fellows are selected through an intense nomination and review process that analyzes nominees’ achievements in education, research, service and leadership. The ASA, CSSA and SSSA are educational organizations helping their 11,000-plus members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy, crop and soil sciences by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

The ASA award is the second prestigious honor bestowed upon Delgado in 2006. In late July, Delgado was designated a Fellow of the Soil and Water Conservation Society for illustrating exceptional service in advocating the conservation of soil, water and related natural resources on both national and international levels. Delgado joined partner SWCS Fellows who meet once a year at the society’s international conference to guide and discuss strategies for conservation.

Nominations for the SWCS honor come from all over the United States and the world to compete against other Society members who are recognized for their expertise and excellence as professional conservationists. In 1953, the first Fellow was inducted into this honorary group. Since then, only 255 people have been chosen for this esteemed award. The SWCS has chapters in all 50 states and about 7,000-plus members worldwide.