New Hire Announcement – Welcome, Dr. Ramawatar Yadav

July 2, 2024
Dr. Yadav smiling in a dark blue suit with a light grey background

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Ramawatar Yadav will be joining The Ohio State University Department of Horticulture and Crop Science in August 2024 as an Assistant Professor in Specialty Crop Weed Science and Management! Department Chair, Dr. Doug Karcher, summed up our collective enthusiasm best: “Dr. Yadav is widely recognized as a rising star in the weed science discipline. He has 19 scientific papers to his name in only a few years subsequent to earning his PhD. In addition, he is an engaging, young scientist with a collaborative spirit. With Dr. Yadav joining our two additional recent weed science hires of Dr. Alyssa Essman (Agronomic Weed Extension) and Dr. Eugene Law (Weed Ecology), Ohio State is positioned to become a weed science powerhouse. I look forward to watching this team grow.”

Currently, Dr. Yadav is a Postdoc Research Associate in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Among his current research interests are: optimizing the synergism between glufosinate and PPO-inhibitor herbicides; comparing pigweed species response to residual herbicides; and dry bean growth and development in response to cereal cover crops and soil nitrogen.

Dr. Yadav received his Ph.D. in Weed Science at Iowa State University - his Dissertation focused on "Multi-tactic ecological strategies to manage kochia and waterhemp in the cropping systems of Great Plains and Midwestern U.S." (2021). Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Dr. Yadav received his M.S. (Thesis: Bio-efficacy of pre- and post-emergence herbicides for broad-spectrum weed control in soybean) from Punjab Agricultural University (2014). Additionally, he received his B.S. (Agriculture) from Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (2012).

Some core areas Dr. Yadav plans to focus on at Ohio State

  • Research
    • Expanding an independent research program that addresses crop-weed antagonistic interactions with the intent of enhancing crop competitiveness. Including topics such as: herbicide efficacy; identifying, developing, and optimizing effective tools, technologies, and strategies for integrated weed management; herbicide resistance and drift prevention; and weed-crop interactions under changing climatic conditions.
  • Teaching
    • Teaching several courses about weed science (ex. HCS 5422 Biology and Management of Weeds and Invasive Plants) and specialty crop production (ex. HCS 3200 Intro to Horticulture, and HCS 5200 Advanced Horticultural Systems).
  • Extension
    • Developing an impactful extension program that addresses specialty crops weed science in a variety of production systems while collaborating with other scientists and extension personnel to develop effective weed management programs.

Wow, that's quite a broad range of high-impact responsibilities & we could not be happier to bring Dr. Yadav on board for this exciting task! Luckily, he had a minute to step out of the weeds & sit down with us to give us a brief glimpse into his thoughts...

What are you most looking forward to about this next step in your career?

I am very excited. This is a critical juncture for my academic career as I transition my focus from major agronomic crops to specialty crops, where crop diversity offers an excellent opportunity to practice diversified weed management strategies. I am eager to work with CFAES faculty and stakeholders to help me accomplish my diverse goals.

What are some of your initial plans for your 1st year with HCS?

I plan to visit specialty crop stakeholders on various occasions across the state, conduct a statewide survey of specialty crop growers for their weed management concerns and priorities, and help update the Midwestern fruits and vegetable production guides. I also plan on testing new herbicide products for specialty crops by working with IR-4 and chemical industries and evaluating non-chemical weed control tactics such as stale seedbed, cover crops, targeted tillage, weed electrocution, and autonomous weeders.

What initially sparked your interest in weed science?

I grew up on a small family farm, and weeds have been a constant part of our lives. I have always been fascinated by the crop-weed interactions and how weeds adapt to crop production practices and continue to proliferate despite growers’ efforts to manage them. Using diversified weed management strategies, which have been long overdue because of herbicide dominance, is the key to keeping weeds under check. Herbicide use in specialty crop production is limited by default; hence, it provides ample opportunities to develop diverse weed management strategies based on improved knowledge of weed biology and ecology.

What have been a few highlights of your career so far?

During my doctoral and postdoctoral training, I was able to gain experience in the three pillars of land-grant universities, research, teaching, and extension. During this period, I worked on developing integrated weed management practices in different cropping systems and weed species in three states.

We were the first to evaluate the effectiveness of weed seed destructor and chaff lining in the Midwestern soybean production. One aspect of weed management that is often missed in most of the research trials is the long-term effects of management practices beyond the weed control efficacy over a single season. Therefore, in one of my doctoral projects, I utilized several weed control tactics to target waterhemp (the most troublesome weed in the Midwest) at different growth stages over two years in a corn-soybean rotation to deplete the soil seed bank.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I watch movies, play volleyball, travel, and explore new places and cultures.

We’re elated Dr. Yadav has decided to come grow in Ohio’s thriving scientific community and hope you'll join us in welcoming him!