About Me

Gene Stevens, PhD is a professor at the University of Missouri-Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville. Gene is a member of the Extension Commercial Agriculture Crops Team and conducts research to improve production practices for cotton, rice, corn, soybean, and grain sorghum in the upper Mississippi River Delta region.

Stevens grew up on a dairy farm near Memphis, Tennessee.  He studied agronomy and soil fertility at the University of Tennessee and Mississippi State University.  Before coming to Missouri in 1994, he worked on a USDA crop simulation project.

Dr. Stevens works closely with faculty from other scientific disciplines.  Gene is studying ways to grow rice with less water using center pivot irrigation. In 2010- 2012, he conducted research projects with Howard G. Buffett Foundation in South Africa and Arizona. In July 2014, he went to Tanzania to evaluate soils for growing maize for Outreach International. He recently completed a project evaluating sweet sorghum for ethanol. Gene also writes economic software for farmers and landowners.


  • PhD in Agronomy at Mississippi State University in 1992
  • M.S. in Plant and Soil Science at University of Tennessee in 1982
  • B.S. in Biology/Journalism at Union University in 1979

Work History

Gene StevensCropping Systems Specialist-
University of Missouri-Fisher Delta Center, helps farmers increase efficiencies of fertilizers and pesticides.

Extension Soil Scientist (1990-1994)
USDA Crop Simulation Laboratory, Starkville, MS., provided soil information to farmers using GOSSYM cotton software

Research Associate (1984-1990)
Mississippi State Univ. /N. Mississippi Branch Exp. Station, Holly Springs, MS., specialized in conservation tillage practices.

Graduate Research Assistant (1979-1981)
Univ. of Tennessee /West Tennessee Agric. Exp. Station, Jackson, TN., evaluated cover crop systems for no-till corn


  • Outstanding Service Award-MO Rice Research and Merch Council-2019
  • MO Extension Leadership Development Program-2014
  • Awarded Honorary FFA Member- Portageville High School-2014
  • Top MO State Extension Specialist- J.W. Burch Award- 2013
  • Alumnus of Year (2012), Univ. of Tennessee Dept. of Biosystems and Soil Science
  • USA Rice Researcher of Year (2012)- US Rice Producers Association
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Partnership Award-1998


Cropping Systems Crew 2017

Cropping Systems crew (left to right) Tony Smith, Gene Stevens, Trey Ellis, and Johanna Nelson.


Gene enjoys gardening, fishing, drawing, and writing short stories. Dr. Stevens wrote a collection of short stories about his childhood growing up on a farm in Tennessee. Click here to order a copy.