In Profile: PSS’s Krishna Jagadish works to ensure the vitality of West Texas
By: Norman Martin
Krishna Jagadish, a professor and Thornton Distinguished Chair in the Department of Plant & Soil Science, hasn't been at Texas Tech University long, but his impact has already been massive.
Since joining the faculty in 2021, Jagadish has earned more than $11 million in funding from his various sources to help with his mission. His projects have a wide range of impacts while all working together toward the same goal.
“When you think about what agriculture does, it's sustaining the future of food and fiber production, which ultimately leads to the long-term sustainability of rural communities,” said Davis College Dean Clint Krehbiel. “Dr. Jagadish brings a vision and intellect, but he also brings a work ethic. Those are three key elements of a successful faculty member to what we do here.”
Jagadish's work is heavily focused on water and how its use and conservation measures relate to crop production. He uses the latest technology on different crops, measures water usage and crop yield to study the best solutions for lacking water supplies and helps figure out best practices for area farmers.
But Jagadish isn't just making suggestions. He brings producers to the research and the research to their farms. “The whole idea is to expose producers to the technology for them to see what it actually does,” he said. “Then it's left to them whether they want to use it or not. If they see the economic advantage, they're going to invest money in it.”
From the start Jagadish saw an opportunity at Texas Tech. One of the few Carnegie Tier 1 Research Institutions located in both a semi-arid climate and a massive agricultural production area, the Texas Panhandle provides the perfect laboratory for his work.
With support from Texas Tech and Davis College, he hit the ground running, chasing down new partnerships and sources of funding. In short order, he had partnerships lined up with Kansas State, Texas A&M, the University of Arizona, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Sorghum Checkoff, the National Sorghum Producers, other departments and colleges around Texas Tech, and even Tito's Vodka.
Another part of Jagadish's job is the Davis College Water Center. It's where his research takes place. He's also the director for the Texas Coalition for Sustainable Integrated Systems and coordinator for the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation (TAWC), where his findings are put into practice by area producers.
In one initiative, he's working on designing climate-smart sorghum hybrids and in the next looking at crop rotation between sorghum and cotton to increase yield and value in both. One other project is looking at climate-smart commodities.
On top of that, Jagadish has a leading role in a transdisciplinary project funded by a catalyst grant from Davis College looking at new irrigation-related technological ideas. The project will help revitalize TAWC efforts to strengthen water conservation efforts in the southern High Plains of Texas.
“The catalyst grant, which is internal, has six of the seven departments in Davis College on it,” Jagadish explained. “My role is to try and build our younger faculty more into transdisciplinary research.”
Jagadish's passion for his work, for helping producers and for finding sustainable solutions is easy to spot. “Having Dr. Jagadish is critically important to the future of what we can do at Texas Tech University to ensure water security and conservation to sustain economically profitable agriculture long into the future,” said Davis College Dean Krehbiel.
CONTACT: Clint Krehbiel, Dean, Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or Clint.Krehbiel@ttu.edu
1026NM23 / Editor's Note: To see the full version of Texas Tech University's Communications news item, please click here
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education & Communications
- Animal & Food Sciences
- Landscape Architecture
- Natural Resources Management
- Plant & Soil Science
- Veterinary Science
Editor: Norman Martin
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