C. Jerry Nelson, PhD

Professor Emeritus

Plant Sciences

Contact Information

Email NelsonCJ@missouri.edu
Phone 573-882-2802
Address 205 Curtis Hall


BS, Animal Science, University of Minnesota
MS, Agronomy, University of Minnesota
PhD, Agronomy/Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin


Jerry Nelson joined the faculty in 1967 and conducted research on growth and yield-limiting factors and photosynthesis of tall fescue, mainly on leaf growth and tiller formation. He also researched legume persistence, mainly alfalfa, including seeding rates and autotoxicity problems. He taught Orientation to Plant Science for freshmen and an upper division course in Crop Physiology. He served as president of the Crop Science Society of America (1988) and the American Society of Agronomy (1996). He led formation of the International Crop Science Society and served as the first president (2000-2004). He currently serves as Senior Advisor for the Asian Affairs Center an as co-Director of the Vietnam Institute on campus.

He was awarded the rank of Curators Professor in 1989. He has received many prestigious awards based on his research contributions published in over 200 refereed journal articles, 35 chapters in books, and service to the University of Missouri and major professional societies.

After retirement in 2002 he continues to work on international programs to provide technical assistance for food security in Asia, mainly South Korea, North Korea and Vietnam. More recently, he also worked in Africa, mainly South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia on programs to increase food production and marketing in the face of climate change and the need for sustainability. He recently finished editing and writing several chapters in the 7th edition of the well-known Forages books. Volume I serves as an undergraduate textbook while Volume II is a comprehensive reference book.