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Introduction to my summer internship

My name is Chutao Liu and this summer I join the Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program (NMSP) to do my internship. My project is mainly focused on the optimum nitrogen rate and harvest time for forage sorghum. Besides, I also help other members in NMSP on a wide range of field works such as plot setup, soil sampling and forage harvest. It has been a great experience to work with so many friendly people who would patiently instruct me on establishing field experiment, using various equipment for field research and conducting statistical analysis on collected data. I have learnt a lot about the crop production practice in New York state and the NMSP’s research on farm nutrient management. This eight-week internship will definitely benefit my further study in agronomy by providing me a combination of both hands-on experience and knowledge of conducting research.

Since I mainly focus on the nutrient management for forage sorghum, it is necessary for me to learn some background knowledge about the sorghum production. Sorghum is not as famous as other common grain crops such as wheat or corn, yet it still plays an important role in agriculture. Tons of sorghum produced each year are used for animal feeds and thus support the meat and milk production. Besides, sorghum is also popular as a staple food in areas that often suffer water deficiency due to its tolerance to drought. There is also an increasing need of sorghum for syrup and alcohol production, especially in places where the high price of corn presses producers to look for alternative sources.

I started my internship in the end of May when the sorghum had not been planted. Hence I was able to see the whole process of field establishment and planting.  Seeing the planter moving across the field, I wondered that whether I would also have the chance to drive some ag-machinery in the future.

Field works are always attractive to me, and I will enjoy them.

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