Dr. Zane Helsel

Biography

Zane R. Helsel, PhD, is Emeritus Extension Specialist in Agriculture Energy with Rutgers Cooperative Extension and Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and Courtesy Professor of Agronomy at the University of Florida. In the 1970s, Dr Helsel evaluated yield and direct combustion energy potential of 12 different potential biomass energy crops in Iowa. In the years following he authored numerous publications on the conservation of energy on the farm, emphasizing those in fuel use for equipment and reducing energy in pest control and nutrient use. As a faculty member at both Michigan State University and the University of Missouri his primary focus was on soybeans and other field crops but continued to provide Extension programming on various aspects of energy use and conservation. In the last decade he returned to evaluating the potential for biomass energy production in agriculture both in New Jersey and in Florida. In Florida, he conducted research on production and energy potential of sweet sorghum, tropical corn, switchgrass, and tall growing perennial grass crops (sugar and energycanes, elephantgrass, Arundo donax, etc) for direct combustion and conversion to ethanol. He has also worked with Dr Jose Alvarez on the development of budgets for the production of sugarcane, energycane, sweet sorghum and switchgrass for ethanol production. In New Jersey his emphasis has been on switchgrass, but has also evaluated annual crops as well. He has been involved nationally and regionally in research and education work serving on the former Steering Committee of the Northeast Sungrant program and as a contributor to eXtension's community of practice on Farm Energy. Now retired, he welcomes opportunities to collaborate on agriculture energy and field and forage crop programs.

Title and Address:
Emeritus Extension Specialist in Agriculture Energy
Department of Plant Biology
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences,
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Primary Focus Area: Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Contact Information:
Dr. Zane Helsel
Department of Plant Biology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
59 Dudley Road, Foran Hall 186
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520
Tel: 848-932-6323
helsel@aesop.rutgers.edu