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Department of Agronomy

Dr. Gretchen Sassenrath

Dr. Gretchen Sassenrath


Crop Production Agronomist
Email Dr. Sassenrath

Kansas State University
Southeast Research and Extension
25092 Ness Road
Parsons, KS 67357

Ph: +1-620-820-6131
Fx: +1-620-421-0136

Biography & Education


Gretchen Sassenrath is an associate professor of Agronomy at Kansas State University located at the Southeast Research and Extension Center in Parsons, KS. She is originally from Florissant, MO, and received her B.A. from Oberlin College, in Ohio, M.S. in Biophysics from the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign, and Ph.D. in Plant Physiology also from the University of Illinois. After completing post-doctoral work at Michigan State University and University of California – Davis, she joined the research team at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Crop Simulation Research Unit in Starkville, MS.

She transferred to the Application and Production Technology Research Unit in Stoneville, MS in 1997, where she continued her research on cotton production and cropping systems. At ARS, she led research examining the status of farming systems in the U.S. and the future of agriculture.

Gretchen accepted the position at Kansas State University in 2013, and has established a research program on integrated crop and animal production systems that improve agronomic productivity, enhance soil and water resources, and increase economic return for producers. Gretchen is dedicated to improving the long-term sustainability of farming for both farmers and consumers.
  • Ph.D. Plant Physiology, University of Illinois
  • M.S. Biophysics, University of Illinois
  • B.A., Oberlin College


I do not currently have an Extension appointment. I work closely with Extension researchers and county Extension agents to identify challenges to production, and transfer the results of my research to our stakeholders.

Radio Interviews
  • Charcoal Rot Suppression. 10/20/16. “Agriculture Today” hosted by Eric Atkinson.
  • Free Tools for Field Assessments. 12/5/14. “Agriculture Today” hosted by Eric Atkinson.
  • Precision Crop Production. 10/18/16. “Agriculture Today” hosted by Eric Atkinson.
  • Water Use by Cover Crops. 12/8/14. “Agriculture Today” hosted by Eric Atkinson.
Extension e-Update
Reports of Research


Peer-Reviewed Publications
  • Jardine, D.J., Adee, E., Sassenrath, G.F. 2016. Effects of seed protection chemicals on stand and yield of soybeans in Kansas, 2014. Plant Disease Management Reports. 9:ST001.
  • Walters, J.P., Archer, D.W., Sassenrath, G.F., Hendrickson, J.R., Hanson, J.D., Halloran, J.M., Vadas, P., Alarcon, V.J. 2016. Exploring agricultural production systems and their fundamental components with system dynamics modeling. Ecological Modelling. 333:51-65.
  • Parajuli, P.B., Jayakodya, P., Sassenrath, G.F., Ouyang, Y. 2016. Assessing the impacts of climate change and tillage practices on stream flow, crop and sediment yields from the Mississippi River Basin. Agricultural Water Management. 168:112-124.
  • Lukowiak, R., Grzebisz, W., Sassenrath, G.F. 2016. New insights into phosphorus management in agriculture – a crop rotation approach. Science of the Total Environment. 542(B):1062-1077.
  • Alarcon, V.J., Sassenrath, G.F. 2015. Optimizing canopy photosynthetic rate through PAR modeling in cotton (Gossypium spp.) crops. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 119:142-152.
  • Zhao, J., Yang, X., Lin, X., Sassenrath, G., Dai, S., Lv, S., Chen, X., Chen, F., Mi, G. 2015. Correlation between Radiation Use Efficiency and Yield of Maize Hybrids Released in Different Decades in Northeast China. Agronomy Journal. 107:1-8. doi:10.2134/agronj14.0510
  • Mun, S., Sassenrath, G.F., Schmidt, A.M., Lee, N., Wadsworth, M.C., Rice, B., Corbitt, J.Q., Schneider, J.M., Tagert, M.L., Pote, J., Prabhu, R., 2015. Uncertainty analysis of an irrigation scheduling model for water management in crop production. Agricultural Water Management. 155:100-112. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2015.03.009.
  • Zhang, T., Lin, X., Sassenrath, G.F. 2015. Current irrigation practices in the central United States reduce drought and extreme heat impacts for maize and soybean, but not for wheat. Science of the Total Environment. 508:331-342. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.004
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Broome, H., Corbitt, J., Talal Younes, S., Stover, M., Schneider, J.M., Steele, M. 2014. Assessing the energy production potential of Mississippi crops and crop residue using adiabatic bomb calorimetry. Mississippi Academy of Science. 59:396-407.
  • Lin, X., Hubbard, K.G., Mahmood, R., Sassenrath, G.F. 2014. Assessing satellite-based start-of-season trends in the U.S. High Plains. Environmental Research Letters. 9:104016. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/10/104016.
  • Jayakody, P., Parajuli, P., Sassenrath, G.F., Ouyang, Y. 2014. Relationships between water table and model simulated ET. Groundwater. 52(2):303-310. DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12053.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Schneider, J.M., Schmidt, A.M., Corbitt, J., Halloran, J.M., Prabhu, R. 2013. Testing gridded NWS 1-Day Observed Precipitation Analysis in a daily irrigation scheduler. Agricultural Sciences. 4(12):621-627.
  • Woods, R., Sassenrath, G.F., Halloran, J., Whittaker, W. 2013. The economic feasibility of implementing irrigation in small, limited resource farming systems. American Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 3(4):664-684.
  • Parajuli, P., Jayakody, P., Sassenrath, G.F., Ouyang, Y., Pote, J.W. 2013. Assessing the impacts of crop-rotation and tillage on crop yields and sediment yield using a modeling approach. Agricultural Water Management. 119:32-42.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Schneider, J.M., Gaj, R., Grzebisz, W., Halloran, J.M. 2013. Nitrogen balance as an indicator of environmental impact: Towards sustainable agricultural production. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 28(3):276-289. doi:10.1017/S1742170512000166.
  • Grzebisz, W., Gaj, R., Sassenrath, G.F., Halloran, J.M. 2012. Fertilizer use and wheat yield in Central-Eastern European Countries from 1986-2005 and its implications for developing sustainable fertilizer management practices. Communication in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 43:2358–2375.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Schneider, J.M., Schmidt, A.M., Silva, A.M. 2012. Quality assurance of weather parameters for determining daily evapotranspiration in the humid growing environment of the Mid-South. Mississippi Academy of Science. 57:178-192.
  • Halloran, J.M., Sassenrath, G.F., Archer, D.W., Hendrickson, J.R., Hanson, J.D., Vadas, P.A. 2011. Application of principles of integrated systems: Results from farmer panels. J Agricultural Science and Technology. 1(5):638-644.
  • Alarcon, V.J., Sassenrath, G.F. 2011. Modeling cotton (Gossypium spp.) leaves and canopy using computer aided geometric design (CAGD). Ecol. Model. 222:1951–1963 doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.03.037
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Halloran, J.M., Archer, D.W., Raper, R.L., Hendrickson, J.R., Vadas, P., Hanson, J. 2010. Drivers impacting the adoption of sustainable agricultural management practices and production systems of the Northeast and Southeast US. J. Sustainable Agriculture. 34:1–23.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Heilman, P., Luschei, E., Bennett, G., Fitzgerald, G., Klesius, P., Tracy, W., Williford, J.R. 2008. Technology, complexity and change in agricultural production systems. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 23(4):285-295
  • Hendrickson, J.R., Sassenrath, G.F., Archer, D., Hanson, J., Halloran, J. 2008. Interactions in Integrated U.S. Agricultural Systems: The past, present and future. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 23(4):314-324.
  • Hendrickson, J.R., Liebig, M.A., Sassenrath, G.F. 2008. Environment and Integrated Agricultural Systems. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 23(4):304-313.
  • Hendrickson, J.R., Hanson, J.D., Tanaka, D.L., Sassenrath, G.F. 2008. Principles of integrated agricultural systems: Introduction to process and definitions. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 23(4):265-271.
  • Tarpley, L. and Sassenrath, G.F. 2006. Carbohydrate profiles during cotton floral bud (square) development. J. Agronomy and Crop Science. 192:363-372.
Refereed Book Chapters & Proceedings
  • Alarcon, V.J., Sassenrath, G.F. 2016. Modeling and simulating nutrient management practices for the Mobile River Watershed. The 16th International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications (ICCSA 2016). Beijing, China, July 4-7, 2016.
  • Alarcon, V.J., Sassenrath, G.F. 2015. Sensitivity of nutrient estimations to sediment washoff using a hydrological model of Cherry Creek watershed, Kansas, USA. O. Gervasi et al. (Eds.): ICCSA 2015, Part III, LNCS 9157, pp. 457–467, 2015. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-21470-2_33
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Mueller, T.G., Schneider, J.M. 2015. Transitioning agronomic systems to sustainability through targeted conservation planning. In GIS Applications in Agriculture, Volume 4: Conservation Planning. T.G. Mueller and G.F. Sassenrath, eds. Taylor and Francis Publ. p. 1-9
  • Mueller, T.G., Zourarakis, D., Sassenrath, G.F., Mijatovic, B., Dillon, C., Gianello, E., Barbieri, R., Rodrigues, M., Rienzi, E.A., Faleiros, G.D. 2015. Remote sensing, soil surveys, and topographic analysis for conservation planning. In GIS Applications in Agriculture, Volume 4: Conservation Planning. T.G. Mueller and G.F. Sassenrath, eds. Taylor and Francis Publ. p. 11-35.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Wiener, J.D., Hendrickson, J., Schneider, J., Archer, D. 2010. Achieving Effective Landscape Conservation: Evolving Demands, Adaptive Metrics. In P. Nowak and M. Schnepf, ed. “Managing Agricultural Landscapes for Environmental Quality: Achieving More Effective Conservation.” Soil and Water Conservation Society, Ankeny, IA. pp 107-120.
  • Heitholt, J.J., and Sassenrath-Cole, G.F. 2010. Inter-plant competition: Growth responses to plant density and row spacing. In J.McD. Stewart, D. Oosterhuis, J.J. Heitholt, and J.R. Mauney, eds., Cotton Physiology. National Cotton Council, Memphis, TN. Springer Press, NY. Pp. 179-186.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Hanson, J.D., Hendrickson, J.R., Archer, D.W., Halloran, J.M., Steiner, J.J. 2009. Principles of Dynamic Integrated Agricultural Systems: Lessons learned from an examination of Southeast Production Systems. In P. Bohlen, ed. “Agroecosystem Management for Ecological, Social, and Economic Sustainability.” Advances in Agroecology Series, Taylor and Francis/CRC Press. pp 259-269
  • T.G. Mueller and G.F. Sassenrath, editors. 2015. GIS Applications in Agriculture, Volume 4: Conservation Planning. Taylor and Frances/CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL. 14 chapters.
  • J. Delgado, T.G. Mueller, and G.F. Sassenrath, editors. “Precision Conservation: Geospatial Techniques for Agricultural and Natural Resources Conservation.” American Society of Agronomy Special Publication. In progress.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Mueller, T., Shoup, D., Alarcon, V.J., Kulesza, S. 2016. In-field variability of terrain and soils in southeast Kansas: Challenges for effective conservation. 13th International Conference on Precision Agriculture. July 31 – Aug 4, 2016. St. Louis, MO.
  • Byler, R.K., Delhom, C.D., Sassenrath, G.F., Krifa, M. 2014. Fiber damage related to maturity and processing. 2014 ASABE and CSBE/SCGAB Annual International Meeting, Paper Number: 1912745. Montreal, Quebec Canada, July 13-16, 2014.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Schmidt, A.M., Schneider, J.M., Tagert, M.L., Corbitt, J.Q., van Riessen, H., Crumpton, J., Rice, B., Thornton, R., Prabhu, R., Pote, J., Wax, C. 2013. Development of the Mississippi Irrigation Scheduling Tool – MIST. ASABE Annual Meeting Paper Number: 1619807. ASABE Annual International Meeting, Kansas City, MO. July 21-24, 2013. 7 pp.
  • Prabhu, R., Lee, N., Wadsworth, M.C., Sassenrath, G.F., Schmidt, A.M., Crumpton, J., Rice, B., van Riessen, H., Thornton, R., Pote, J., Wax, C. 2013. Uncertainty, calibration, and validation of the Mississippi Irrigation Scheduling Tool Model. ASABE Annual International Meeting Paper No. 1620221. Kansas City, MO, July 21-24, 2013.
  • Schmidt, A.M., Sassenrath, G.F., Crumpton, J., Corbitt, J.Q., Rice, B., van Riessen, H., Thornton, R., Prabhu, R., Pote, J., Wax, C., Tagert, M.L. 2013. Development and delivery of educational tools for irrigation water management and on-farm implementation of the Mississippi Irrigation Scheduling Tool (MIST). ASABE Annual International Meeting Paper No. 1320243. Kansas City, MO, July 21-24, 2013.
  • Wiener, J.D., Sassenrath, G.F. 2012. Landscaping the long term: Water system and irrigation re-visions for sustainability. AWRA 2012 Summer Specialty Conference. Riparian Ecosystems IV: Advancing Science, Economics and Policy. Denver, Colorado. June 27 – 29, 2012
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Schmidt, A., Pringle, H.C., Shrestha, B., Fisher, D.K. 2011. Mississippi web-based irrigation scheduling tool. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. Atlanta, GA. Jan. 4-9, 2011. p. 7-9.
  • Byler, R.K., Delhom, C.D., Sassenrath, G.F., Krifa, M. 2011. Investigation of fiber maturity effect on saw-type lint cleaner fiber damage and yarn properties. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. Atlanta, GA. Jan. 4-9, 2011. p. 659-667.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Pringle, H.C., Fisher, D.K., Samson, S., Schmidt, A.M., Shrestha, B. 2010. Development of irrigation scheduling tools for the humid, high-rainfall environment of the Lower Mississippi Delta. 5th National Decennial Irrigation CD-ROM Proceedings Phoenix Convention Center, 5 - 8 December 2010, Phoenix, AZ USA M. Dukes ed. St Joseph Mich: ASABE. Publication Number 711P0810cd. Paper Number: IRR10-9797
  • Sassenrath, G.F. Irrigation scheduling for humid environments: Improving water management, crop performance, and economic return. Government Publications/Report Fact Sheet #2010-03. 2 pp. 2010.
  • Gaj, R., and G.F. Sassenrath. 2010. Evaluation of nutrient balances as an indicator for the impact of agriculture on environment – a comparison of case studies from the US and Poland. Managing Agricultural Landscapes for Environmental Quality: Achieving More Effective Conservation. Soil and Water Conservation Society, Ankeny, IA.
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Hanson, J.D., Hendrickson, J.R., Archer, D.W., Halloran, J.M., Vadas, P. 2009. Exploring agricultural production systems and their fundamental components with dynamic modeling. Farming Systems Design Conference, Monterey, CA August 23 – 26,
  • Sassenrath, G.F., Fisher, D.K., Williford, J.R. 2008. Impact of Conservation Production Practices on Soil Moisture Availability in Alluvial Soils. Southern Conservation Tillage for Sustainable Agriculture Proceedings (PDF).


Improving the Productive Capacity of Agricultural Systems in Southeast Kansas

My research program is designed to develop agriculture in the region to its full economic potential, incorporating sound ecological and environmental principles. Through on-farm and research plot experiments, we address the challenges facing the agricultural production system and farmers in America, and develop realistic production systems and management practices for transitioning agricultural systems in southeast Kansas and the U.S. towards sustainable production. Research areas include rain-fed resource-efficient cropping systems with wheat, soybeans, corn, sorghum, other small grains, and new or alternative crops, as well as cover crops and forages.

Research is designed to explore cropping systems management and integrated crop/livestock production systems, including crop rotations, insect management, and disease and weed control. Research will delineate the economic feasibility and the environmental impact of alternative management practices and production systems. Crop sequences research will explore potential alternative uses of crops, identify promising new crops, provide long term benefits of crop rotations, and allow producers to capture optimal return on investment in highly volatile markets. Research is conducted both independently and in cooperation with faculty at the research center and in multiple on-campus departments.

  • Delineate causes of the yield gap. Potential factors contributing to the difference in yield observed between production fields and the genetic potential of crops are determined from on-farm measurements and historical production records and reports.
  • Improve net return of crop production. Alternative agronomic methods and conservation technologies are tested for their ability to increase return on investment and improve soil health and crop resiliency to variable growing conditions.
  • Improve yield stability and resiliency of the agronomic system. Integrated animal and crop management scenarios are tested for their potential to improve overall agronomic system performance, economic return, and soil health, while controlling or reducing negative environmental impacts.

Staff & Students

  • Che-Jen “Jerry” Hsiao, Ph.D. Graduate Student
  • Lonnie Mengarelli, Research Assistant
  • Dekon Strickland, Agricultural Technician