Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » People » Frank Forcella

Frank Forcella
headline bar

Phone: (320) 585-8427
Fax: (320) 589-3787
803 Iowa Ave
Morris, MN, 56267

Current Research:

The primary project focuses on developing weed emergence and growth models that can be used by clients world-wide based on locally-derived weather data and simple soil variables. This work integrates experimentally-generated response functions of weeds to burial, water stress, and temperature with simulated soil water potentials and soil temperatures throughout the upper soil profile (typically 0-10 cm), as well as simulated tillage-induced seed burial depths. (See" Software" on this web site for free downloadable software.) These biological models are integrated with agronomic and management variables (herbicide types and rates, planting and spraying dates) to develop integrated management systems. Management systems include new methods of physical weed control, such as Propelled Agricultural Grit Management (See more information and video of PAGMan), which uses grit made from waste products or organically-approved fertilizers to abrade weed seedlings in row crops.

Alternative crops, particularly specialized oilseeds, also have been a research focus. This secondary project on alternative crops examines agronomic limitations to productivity of new crops such as calendula, cuphea, and echium. This latter work has involved EMS mutagenesis and subsequent breeding for combinations of important agronomic traits, including seed-retention, seed size, and plant stature. Because most oilseed crops also have bright and showy flowers, which are invariably insect-pollinated, our most recent project examines ecosystem services provided by a diverse array of adapted oilseed crops in terms of food resources for, and health of, pollinating insects, especially honey bees.

Professional Experience:

1979-80 Assistant Professor, Yarmouk University, Jordan
1980-81 Project Coordinator, Montana Dept. of Agriculture
1981-83 Research Scientist, CSIRO-Australia, Canberra
1983-84 Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO-Australia, Canberra
1985-88 GS-12, Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS, Morris, MN
1988-89 Agronomist, University of California, Davis, CA
1989-92 GS-12, Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS, Morris, MN
1992-96 GS-13, Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS, Morris, MN
1996-2001 GS-14, Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS, Morris, MN
2001-Present GS-15, Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS, Morris, MN