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David Butler
Assistant Professor
Plant Sciences

David's area of responsibility is Organic/Sustainable and Alternative Crop Production. His appointment is 75% research and 25% teaching.

David earned his Ph.D. in Agronomy with a focus in Soil Science from the University of Georgia and his M.S. in Crop Science from North Carolina State University. His research program emphasizes sustainable management systems for specialty crop production, including non-chemical alternatives to soil fumigation, reduced-tillage organic production systems, and integration of cover crops into production systems. Current research projects also focus on developing practical organic forage production systems for the Southern region, for both organic ruminant livestock production and for integration into sod-based crop rotations for improved soil quality and crop productivity.

Dr. Butler’s teaching program includes PLSC 275, Organic & Sustainable Crop Production and PLSC 415/515, Agroecology. Dr. Butler also serves as chair of the Organic Production concentration in the Plant Sciences major.


Research Projects:

Benefits of intercropping red clover in organic barley production

Development of organic forage production systems for Tennessee and the Mid-South

Energy conservation for organic high tunnel production through rain water utilization, ventilation management, soil mulches and cover crops

Evaluation and optimization of anaerobic soil disinfestation for Tennessee

Evaluation of a bioherbicide for weed control in specialty crop production systems

Impact of legume cover crops on phosphorus and nitrogen availability, weed control, and cash crop performance in reduced-tillage organic cropping systems

Impacts of winter cover crops on weed control, soil properties, and soybean yield in conventionally tilled organic systems

Seeding rates in organic field crop production systems for Tennessee

Sod-based rotations and reduced-tillage systems for improved organic vegetable production systems

Wheat seeding rate and cultivar impacts on weed control and crop performance in a reduced-tillage organic wheat-cowpea double crop