Postdoctoral Research in Cover Crop Systems for Forage Crop Rotations


A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center located in Madison, Wisconsin. Work at the Center aims to enhance the productivity, efficiency, and environmental sustainability of integrated livestock and forage production systems for dairy farms. For further information, please see

The selected participant will collaborate with a team of USDA and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists who are evaluating how management practices and plant germplasm selection for forages and cover crops influence crop yields, soil conservation and quality, nutrient utilization and loss, and farm profitability. A current focus of the team is to develop workable methods to establish alfalfa in corn grown for silage for use as a cover crop and to increase alfalfa forage production and profitability. Other studies may include evaluations of various corn silage-annual cover and forage crop systems that hold potential for diversifying crop and feed production and for improving ground cover and scavenging of soil nutrients. With guidance provided by the mentor, the participant will gain experience in designing and conducting multidisciplinary experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting and publishing research results. This opportunity will provide the participant with a broad perspective on dairy production systems, soil ecology, forage production, forage quality, nutrient management, whole farm agriculture, and ecosystem services provided by dairy farms.

The mentor for this opportunity is Dr. John Grabber (

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: February 24, 2020

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The annual stipend plus a health insurance allowance will equal up to $76,750. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at ARS in the Madison, Wisconsin, area. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

To apply for this job please visit