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Jose Franco

Research Agronomist

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Jose Franco
Research Agronomist


1925 Linden Dr. W
Madison, WI 53706

Dairy Forage Research : USDA ARS


Dr. Jose Franco is a Research Agronomist/Agroecologist with the US Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, WI. Prior to that, Jose served as a Research Agronomist with the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center in Booneville, AR and as Research Associate with the Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan, ND where he conducted research on cover crops and cropping systems. He earned his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Ecosystem Science and Management with a focus on Agroecology and Sustainable Production Systems, his M.S. from New Mexico State University in Range Management, and his B.S. from the University of Texas at El Paso in Biological Sciences. He also gained valuable on-farm experience working on local farms and with Texas AgriLife Extension as well as extensive teaching experience while completing his Ph.D. at TAMU.

Dr. Franco’s research focus is at the intersection of cover crop systems and precision agriculture. He explores precision tools and practices to improve the establishment, timing, placement, and selection of annual cover crops and alternative perennial forages within the context of dairy forage systems and cropping systems of the Upper Midwest. An essential part of this work is evaluating value-added benefits of cover crops in addition to the potential suite of ecosystem services they provide.  Additionally, his research strives to create multifunctional agricultural landscapes through the use of diverse crop rotations, and utilizes a systems framework to evaluate the combination of precision and conservation management practices and their impact on long-term dairy system sustainability.