Energy Center

Tony Vyn

Contact Information

3-450B Lilly Hall of Life Sciences
Department of Agronomy
College of Agriculture
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Biography

Dr. Vyn’s bioenergy research began at the University of Guelph in the early 1980’s following the high world oil prices of the late 1970’s. Funding from the Department of Energy in Ontario, Canada enabled investigations into growing double-crops like fall wheat or rye followed by whole-plant silage corn, and then converting the resulting crop biomass via pyrolysis into energy. His current bioenergy investigations are focused on corn and sorghum crops that are intentionally planted at very high densities to maximize biomass yield for possible conversion to energy via co-firing with coal at electrical power plants. In this research, conducted jointly with Dr. Brad Joern of the Agronomy Department at Purdue University, there is particular emphasis on the in-field degradation of the chemical composition (cellulose, hemi-cellulose, lignin, etc.) of plant materials with time. Tony has also been investigating the soil and environmental consequences of growing continuous corn versus the traditional rotation corn to meet the growing needs of corn for ethanol production for the past 20 years. He directs a 33-year old crop rotation experiment in West-Central Indiana that compares continuous grain corn production, continuous soybean production, and the corn-soybean rotation in multiple tillage systems. 

Dr. Vyn has been doing no-till corn and cropping systems research since 1978. He advises graduate students in research focused on understanding the interactions of tillage, crop rotation, and nutrient placement systems with soil properties and crop response. His current investigations include tillage comparisons (like no-till versus strip tillage), RTK automatic guidance for strip tillage and nutrient banding, plant-to-plant variability in corn at a range of plant populations, deep banding of P and K fertilizers for corn and soybean in intended high yield environments, and soybean Mn uptake following glyphosate herbicide applications. Tony has served as Extension Coordinator for the Agronomy Department at Purdue, and as Associate Editor for the journals of Agronomy, Crop Science, and Soil and Tillage Research.  

Expertise: Cropping systems, Tillage, Corn physiology, Nutrient management, Greenhouse gas emissions from cropping systems, Grain quality, Precision agriculture

 

Education

Degrees:

B.Sc., Agriculture, University of Guelph, 1976 
M.S., Crop Science, University of Guelph, 1978 
Ph.D., Crop Science, University of Guelph, 1987

 

Links of Interest

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