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Dr. David Hooker, PhD

Field Crop Agronomist
Assistant Professor


Ph.D. Crop Science - University of Guelph (2000)
M.Sc. Crop Science - University of Guelph (1993)
B.Sc. (Agr.) Crop Science - University of Guelph (1991)


Crop and Livestock Management - Ridgetown College of Agricultural Technology (1985)

Research Interests:

Field crop agronomy is multidisciplinary including expertise in genetics, fertility, soil management, and pest management; my research and teaching programs reflect the nature of agronomy as extremely diverse in structure with robust contributions to both science and extension. The use of hypotheses forces research to attain a high level of precision and focus (Grogan, 2005). My research goal is to develop a better understanding of field crop systems for developing science-based solutions for improving corn, soybean, and wheat production.

In order to achieve this goal, I believe: i) that proficiency (breadth of understanding) across a broad range of knowledge-based areas within field crop production is important, and ii) active collaboration with OMAFRA Specialists, Grain Farmers of Ontario, growers, and other Industry Partners is critical to the output of the research. Projects would not exist without the strong technical skillsets of Scott Jay and Rob Templeman, without my graduate student Jonathan Brinkman, and approximately a dozen summer research assistants.

The primary objective of my research group is to achieve a greater efficiency and sustainability of corn, soybean, and wheat production using an applied systems hypothesis-driven approach, through a better understanding of interactions among genotype, environment, and other crop response factors and input variables.

Current Projects:

  • Interactions of nitrogen (NUE) and foliar fungicides across stacked and conventional corn hybrids
  • Multiple SMART (Strategic Management Adding Revenue Today) projects to investigate interactions of crop inputs in soybean, wheat, and spring cereals
  • Improving the quality of hard red wheat in Ontario using refined N management
  • Development of a N database and N calculator for small cereals in Ontario
  • Sensor-based technology for N management in wheat in Ontario
  • Agronomic and plant health responses to foliar fungicides in seed corn and field corn
  • Deploying intensive management in cereal performance testing
  • Corn, soybean, and wheat performance in long-term tillage-rotation systems
  • Developing a soil quality assessment tool for Ontario (with OMAFRA)
  • Reducing the cost of grain drying to zero (managing to overwinter corn successfully)
  • Replant decisions for corn among hybrid, planting date, and population effects
  • Fungicide screening for controlling FHB and reducing toxin in corn and wheat
  • Impact of cover crops in a continuous soybean cropping system
  • Impact of biomass removal and use of cover crops in a corn-soybean rotation
  • Development and validation of the DONcast tool for predicting deoxynivalenol in wheat
  • Deployment of the DONcast model in Uruguay and Europe with Weather INnovations Incorporated
  • Unbiased performance testing of corn hybrids in southwestern Ontario (collect data from Ontario Corn Performance Trials in 11 locations between Ridgetown Campus and Huron Research Station)
  • Data gatekeeper for Ontario Cereal Crop Committee’s cereal variety website: www.gocereals.ca

Research Partners:

  • Agricultural Adaptation Council
  • Alpine Plant Foods
  • Arysta LifeScience
  • BASF Canada
  • Bayer CropScience
  • C&M Seeds
  • EI Dupont
  • Grain Farmers of Ontario
  • Hyland Seeds
  • International Plant Nutrition Institute
  • John Deere
  • Maizex Seeds
  • Monsanto
  • NK Seeds
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs
  • Ontario Seed Corn Growers
  • Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Assocation
  • Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited
  • Pride Seeds
  • Syngenta Crop Protection
  • Weather INnovations Incorporated

Research Associates:

Scott Jay
Agronomy Building
University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus
Phone: 519-674-1500 x63608
Fax: 519-674-1600
Gerald Backx
Huron Research Station
Phone: 519-235-4075
Fax: 519-674-1600
Ken Van Raay
Agronomy Building
University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus
Phone: 519-674-1500 x63231
Fax: 519-674-1600

Graduate Students:

Jonathan Brinkman
M.Sc. Student
Phone: 519-674-1500 x63151
Department of Plant Agriculture
Kevin Robson
M.Sc. Student
Department of Plant Agriculture
Michael Vanhie
M.Sc. Student
Department of Plant Agriculture
Aric Bos
M.Sc. Student
Department of Plant Agriculture


  • DAGR*2200 Crop Management I (half the course)
  • DAGR*4230 Grain Grading and Seed Production
  • DAGR*1200 Applied Plant Science
  • DAGR*3200 Crop Management II
  • Invited presentations to various industry events and field days

For potential partners:

I am looking for graduate students who have a keen interest in developing a better understanding of interactions among crop response factors and input variables in corn, soybean, or wheat. For more information on many opportunities, please email me.

Page reviewed 12/01/2016