Sandy Ramsey


Current: Ph.D. student and AgBioFEWS fellow,  Crop Science (Weed Ecology), North Carolina State University
Major Professor: Dr. Ramon Leon

B.S. Plant and Soil Science, Agroecology Concentration, North Carolina State University, 2017

Academic and Professional Experience

  • Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, North Carolina State University. 2019-present
  • Research Assistant, Maize Breeding and Genetics Lab, North Carolina State University. March 2018-December 2018
  • Apprentice, Amber Waves Farm, Amagansett, New York. May 2017-October 2017
  • Student Intern, Agroecology Education Farm, North Carolina State University. October 2016-May 2017
  • Apprentice, Center for Environmental Farming Systems, Winston-Salem, NC. May 2016-August 2016

Variable Precision Plating for Site-Specific Maximization of Weed Suppression and Yield in Row Crop Systems

It is anticipated that in the next ten years, several row cropping systems will lose the effectiveness of most of their herbicides. Without diverse, effective herbicide programs, growers will have to rapidly adopt integrated approaches to manage weed populations with an emphasis on cultural practices.

With the current widespread use of GPS-driven tractors and the recent commercialization of precision planters with GPS and smart controls, it is now possible to vary planting density or seed spacing in real-time without having to stop and manually modify the settings of the planter. Modern precision planters enable precise, subtle increases and reductions in planting density within rows, which could increase yield while also maintaining high levels of ground cover, thus suppressing weed growth.

The solar corridor cropping system is a method to improve crop yields by rearranging the spatial positioning of plants in an alternative crop architecture designed to maximize the capture of solar radiation and to improve crop growth (Kreamer and Deichman). This project utilizes the solar corridor concept to find a balance between light penetration within the canopy and intra-specific competition by optimizing planting arrangements particularly when there are limitations to modify row spacing.

We propose to identify planting arrangements for three major row crops (corn, cotton, and soybean) that increase weed suppression and protect crop yield under weedy conditions and planting arrangements that increase relative crop yield under weed-free conditions.



NCSU Weed Science Program