LSU AgCenter names new soil fertility, agronomy specialist

Rasel Parvej
Rasel Parvej
Rasel Parvej recently joined the LSU AgCenter Northeast Region faculty as assistant professor serving as a soil fertility and agronomy specialist. Parvej will have statewide responsibilities in row crop soil fertility.

With research experience in cropping systems that include soybean, rice, corn, cotton and cover crops, he plans to work with producers to improve soil fertility through better nutrient management. His primary focus is in corn, soybean, cotton and grain sorghum crops. His experience working in multiple soils laboratories across the country will allow him to have a better understanding of soil fertility research need and approaches to practical solutions.

A native of Bangladesh, Parvej grew up learning about agriculture from his grandfather and has a passion for working with people to share information from his research experience that builds on producer needs.

After receiving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bangladesh Agricultural University, Parvej earned a doctorate in soil fertility and nutrient management from the University of Arkansas in 2015. He completed post-doctoral work in soil fertility and agronomic management from Virginia Tech in 2018 before beginning work on a postdoc in cropping system management at Iowa State University.

While only slightly larger than Louisiana in land mass, Bangladesh has a population of about 160 million people compared to 4.65 million residents in Louisiana, yet the country produces the majority of its own food needs.

The southern United States has more soil fertility issues that need to be addressed compared to northern states, Parvej said, adding that the organic matter in some southern soils is comparatively low, running from 0.5% to 1.5%. These levels will greatly affect recommendations of major and minor nutrients for Louisiana crops.

“I am looking forward to focusing on developing fertilizer recommendations and improving nutrient management in production systems that are economically and environmentally sustainable based on the producer’s farming operation, soil types and yield expectations,” he said. Much of his research and demonstration work will be done on cooperating producers’ farms.

An avid sports fan, Parvej enjoys soccer, cricket, tennis and badminton, but has developed an appreciation for American football and baseball.

Joining the LSU Tiger family seems only appropriate, he said, since the Bengal tiger is native to Bangladesh and has the distinction of being the country’s national animal and national cricket team logo called Tiger Team.

Parvej plans to make his home in the Monroe area with his wife, Jesmine Afroz, and daughter, Fetama Parvej.

Parvej will have offices at the LSU AgCenter Scott Research and Extension Center, Macon Ridge Research Station and the Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph. He also has an appointment in the School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences on the LSU campus.

Parvej can be contacted at mrparvej@agcenter.lsu.edu or 318-435-2157.

The Louisiana State University AgCenter contributed this article.

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