MSU weed science students win big at conference

Author: Vanessa Beeson

Mississippi State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Two weed science graduate students from the Mississippi State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences earned top honors at the 2015 Beltwide Cotton Conference held Jan. 5-7 in San Antonio, Texas.

Beltwide, a forum coordinated by the National Cotton Council, is considered one of the best cotton technical conferences worldwide. It is a consortium of 11 concurrent cotton technical conferences.

MSU agronomy doctoral student Chase Samples and agronomy master’s student Andrew Denton placed highly in the conference’s visual display competition.

Samples won first place in the agronomy and physiology category for his poster titled, “Impact of Nitrogen Application Rates on Tarnished Plant Bug Populations, Control and Cotton Yield.” Denton placed second in the weed science category for his poster titled, “Sequential Applications for Rescue Control of Glyphosate-Resistant Palmer Amaranth.”

Samples and Denton are under the direction of Darrin Dodds, associate Extension and research professor in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

“Both Chase and Andrew demonstrated the hard work and tenacity required to place in a contest like this,” Dodds said. “While attention to detail on the little things, like font size, sharp graphics and clear images, has a considerable impact, the most critical component is the student’s ability to demonstrate his or her research in a clear and effective manner the judges can easily and quickly understand.”

Dodds said events like the Beltwide Cotton Conference give students ideal opportunities to present research findings in a professional setting.

“Any time our students have the opportunity to speak in front of a crowd, it’s a good thing,” Dodds said. “That interaction goes a long way in helping students succeed. It gives them a chance to gain experience and become comfortable with presenting complex data to a broader audience.”

Mike Phillips, professor and head of the Department of Plant and Soils Sciences, said the awards highlight two extraordinary students while demonstrating the college’s dedication to providing exceptional training for individuals interested in the cotton industry.

“This event draws all of the significant players in the cotton industry, from producers to researchers to Extension professionals and beyond, covering every facet of cotton production,” Phillips said. “Chase and Andrew competed with students from all over the world, which speaks volumes about their individual talents, as well as the kind of training they are receiving here at MSU.”

The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary department with graduate programs in agronomy, horticulture and weed science. Find out more about the department at

Date: 2015-02-10

Plant and Soil Sciences