20160718, Brenda Ortiz, College of Agriculture, Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences

Brenda Ortiz

Extension Specialist & Associate Professor — Precision Agriculture

Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences


2008 Ph.D., University of Georgia, Athens (Biological & Agricultural Engineering)
1997 B.S., University Nacional de Colombia-University del Valle, Cali (Agricultural Engineering)


 2008 – present Associate professor – Grain Crops & Precision Agriculture Specialist,
Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Department — 
Auburn University, Auburn, AL.
2004 – 2008 Research Assistant – Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
1997 – 2004 Research Assistant, Geographic Information System area.
Colombian Sugar Cane Research Center –
Centro de Investigación de la Caña de Azúcar de Colombia, CENICAÑA

honors and awards

2015 Leader, Precision Agriculture Systems Community of the American Society of Agronomy
2014 NIFA Partnership Award received from USDA-NIFA. For outstanding leadership and innovation in climate extension,
by engaging agricultural producers and helping the implement them management strategies to protect crops from
weather extremes. 
2014 National winner of Achievement Award received from the National Association County Agricultural Agents
2014 National winner of Search for Excellence award –
Remote Sensing & Precision Ag Category from the National Association County Agricultural Agents
2014 Alabama winner of Achievement Award received from the Alabama Association County Agricultural Agents
2014 Alabama winner of Search for Excellence award –
Remote Sensing & Precision Ag Category from the Alabama Association County Agricultural Agents
2011 Dean’s Grantsmanship Award 2011 – College of Agriculture. Auburn University

professional affiliations

2004 – present American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE
2009 – present American Society of Agronomy (ASA)
2009 – present Crop Science Society of America


– Evaluation of different management practices to reduce aflatoxin contamination in corn

– Study the impact of weather and climate on agriculture especially corn and wheat crops

– Identification of adaptation strategies to reduce climate-related risk in agriculture

– Use of crop growth modeling to evaluate different management strategies for improving grain production

– Evaluation of irrigation scheduling strategies (sensor-based) for corn and soybean production

– Evaluation of crop sensing technologies for variable rate application of nitrogen.

Extension Activities

The extension program covers the areas of Precision Agriculture (PA), Grain and Small Grain Crops Agronomic Management, and Climate Variability and Change. I utilize modern extension methods, which include participatory approaches of farmers training their peers, establishment and use of learning networks to facilitate and promote engagement between extension faculty, agents and practitioners, co-development (with farmers and extension agents) of extension materials and trainings, and the use of digital outlets such as social media, webinars, videos, and iBooks for information transfer. The goals of my program are: 1) to increase field corn and wheat yield, profitability and input use efficiency by providing farmers with applied research-based information and training on the implementation of the most effective site-specific agronomic management practices; 2) to increase climate science literacy, raise awareness and demonstrate the use of climate forecasting as an agronomic management tool; 3) and to increase overall knowledge, adoption, and skills on the use of PA technologies and associated management strategies. The areas covered by this extension program are essential to ensure not only sustainable food security but also for ensuring increased environmental stewardship and productivity. The adoption of PA technologies as a result of this extension program has contributed to the increase of input use, energy and fuel efficiency on Alabama farms.

Select publications

  •  Mourtzinis, S., B. V. Ortiz, D. Damianidis. 2016. Climate Change and ENSO Effects on Southeastern US Climate Patterns and Maize Yield. Scientific Reports. Accepted on July 23, 2016. Pending for on-line publication.
  •  Sarkar, R., B. V. Ortiz, K. Balkcom. 2015. Strategic adaptation of nitrogen management for El Nino Southern Oscillation-induced winter wheat systems. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. DOI 10.1007/s11027-015-9676-6
  •  Woli, P, B. V. Ortiz, J. Johnson, G. Hoogenboom. 2015. El Niño-Southern Oscillation effects on winter wheat in the southeastern USA. 2015. Agronomy Journal 107:2193–2204
  •  Tian, D., S. Asseng, C. J. Martinez, V. Misra, D. Cammarano, B. V. Ortiz. 2015. Does decadal climate variation influence wheat and maize production in the southeast USA? Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 204, 1–9
  •  Vellidis, G., B. Ortiz, J. Beasley, R. Hill, H. Henry, H. Brannen. 2014. Reducing Digging Losses by Using Automated Steering to Plant and Invert Peanuts. Agronomy 4(3), 337-348; doi:10.3390/agronomy4030337
  •  Torino, M. S., B.V. Ortiz, J. P. Fulton, K. S. Balkcom, and C. W. Wood. 2014. Evaluation of Vegetation Indices for Early Assessment of Corn Status and Yield Potential in the Southeastern United States. Agronomy Journal 106:1389–1401. doi:10.2134/agronj13.0578.
  •  Woli, P., B.V. Ortiz, D. Buntin, K. Flanders. 2014. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Effects on Hessian Fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) Infestation in the Southeastern USA. Environmental Entomology Journal. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EN14032
  •  Ortiz, B. V., K. B. Balkcom, L. Duzy, E. van Santen, D. L. Hartzog. 2013. Evaluation of agronomic and economic benefits of using RTK-based autoguidance systems on peanut production. Journal of Precision Agriculture 14(4): 357-375. DOI 10.1007/s11119-012-9297-y
  •  Tapley, M., B. V. Ortiz, and E. van Santen. 2013. Location, Seeding Date, and Variety Interactions on Winter Wheat Yield in the Southeast USA. Agronomy Journal 105:509-518. doi:10.2134/agronj2012.0379
  •  Ortiz, B. V., D. G. Sullivan, C. Perry, P. Lu, R. Kemerait, R. F .Davis, A. Smith, G. Vellidis, R. Nicholds. 2012. Variable Rate Application of Nematicides on cotton Fields: A Promising Site-Specific Management Strategy. Journal of Nematology 44(1): 31-39.
  •  Ortiz, B. V., D. G. Sullivan, C. Perry, G. Vellidis. 2011. Delineation of management zones for southern root-knot nematode using fuzzy clustering of terrain and edaphic field characteristics. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis journal 42(16): 1972-1994.
  •  Ortiz, B. V., S. Thomson, Huang, Y., K. N. Reddy, W. Ding. 2011. Determination of differences in crop injury from aerial application of glyphosate using vegetation indices. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 77:204-213
  •  Persson, T., Ortiz, B., D. Bransby, S. Sladden, W. Wu, G. Hoogenboom. 2011. Determining the impact of climate and soil variability on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) production in the southeastern USA; a simulation study. Biofuels, Bioproducts & Bioenergy journal (DOI: 10.1002/bbb.288).
  •  Ortiz, B. V., C. Perry, G. Vellidis, D. G. Sullivan. 2010. Geostatistical modeling of the spatial variability and risk areas of southern root-knot nematodes in relation to soil properties. Geoderma 156:243-252
  •  Ortiz, B. V., G. Hoogenboom, G. Vellidis, K. Boote, R. F. Davis, C. Perry. 2009. Adapting the CROPGRO cotton model to simulate cotton biomass and yield under southern root-knot nematode parasitism. Transactions of ASABE 52(6):2129-2140.