Mathesius is New UC Soil Scientist
July 26, 2016
Mathesius is New Agronomy Farm Advisor in Sutter-Yuba, Colusa Counties
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director
Konrad Mathesius is the new Agronomy farm advisor at the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension, Sutter-Yuba, Colusa Counties. Mathesius first explained his unusual last name. “It means 'mathematics' in Latin. I guess we had accountants in our family lineage back there somewhere,” he said.
Mathesius completed his undergrad degree in political science at Utah State, followed by two master's degrees at UC Davis in Soils and Biogeochemistry; and in International Agricultural Development (IAD)—a graduate group within the Department of Plant Sciences. “The IAD is flexible in its curriculum, which allowed me to take many plant- and soil- specific courses. I took the opportunity at IAD to specialize in soils,” he said.
“Through the years, we have learned a lot through the pioneers of soil science and it’s an exciting field because there is still a lot to learn,” said Mathesius. “And everything that comes out of soil science, in one way or another, is applicable to life on the planet.”
“Soils also tell a story, and that’s one thing I really enjoy about it. It’s especially evident in California because there is a remarkable combination of parent material that has created an abundance of different soils in the state,” noted Mathesius. “And it’s very relevant to agriculture, ecology, and environmental science. Differences in soils create a stark contrast in how crops grow and how they need to be managed,” he said.
Mathesius is responsible for the agronomic crops grown in his region, including dry beans, oilseeds such as safflower and sunflower, fresh market corn and silage corn, and small grains such as barley, wheat, and rye.
“I’m a soil scientist by trade, but ultimately I am a UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor and available to growers to figure out what their crop issues are—which include pests, diseases and soil fertility," noted Mathesius. “I am a resource, and the UC system has many other resources and personnel who can thoughtfully consider solutions to crop problems.”