About Tom Kilcer

Tom Kilcer
Tom is an experienced professional with 34 years of Cooperative Extension consulting/education plus extensive field research experience in applied agriculture.

Thomas F. Kilcer
2150 Cherry Street
Rutledge, TN 37861

Professional Experience

Certified Crop Advisor, Certified Pesticide Applicator. 34 years as a Cornell Cooperative Extension multi-county Field Crop and Soils Educator and Program Leader for Agriculture/Horticulture at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County, New York. For the past 3 years as private consultant, he has been conducting cutting edge research on forage, plant nutrition, and bio-industrial crops in partnerships with both university and private industry. He works directly on farm consulting in multiple states of the US. From solving problems in the broad based farm system to detail answers in crop production; solutions, not the problem, has been the focus.

His position as an innovative leader was established through extensive work in the area of no-till planting, including the original fall killing sods concept now nationally recommended. Six years of research, funded by private grants, at the Cornell Valatie Research Farm developed the best management practices for planting, management, and harvesting brown mid rib sorghum sudan crop; and he continues research with the new short season bmr one-cut sorghums as dairy forage.The latest research (funded in part by private industry, and two New York Farm Viability Institute grants) has discovered wide swath haylage harvest, a harvest methods to improve the capture of plant nutrients for milk production and reduce weather related losses. This work is being expanded to encompass the rapid dry down methods for harvesting red clover. Working with both university and private industry, winter forage research has brought double cropping to the Northeast US and southern Canada producing profitable cover crops of the highest quality forage.

More recent work has focused on alternative forage crops, deep zone tillage, soil health and nitrogen application rates. In conjunction with Geneva Experiment Station, and Texas Tech University, Castorbean as a source of Bio-Oil in NY is being funded under a two year NYFVI grant. This is part of an 8 year effort to develop this highly valuable oil crop for northeast farmers. More research on the best agronomic practices for Russian dandelion for natural rubber production has begun.

The work in these areas has been published in regional and national magazines and refereed journals. It has been presented at symposia and seminars in multiple states and foreign countries.

Publications – Professional

  • Kilcer, T.F., Q.M. Ketterings, J.H. Cherney, P. Cerosaletti and P. Barney. “Optimum Stand Height For Forage Brown Midrib Sorghum x Sudangrass In Northeastern USA.” Journal of Agronomy and Plant Science 191, 35-40, 2005.
  • Ketterings, Kilcer, Cerosaletti, & Cherney, “Phosphorus Removal by Forage Brown Midrib Sorghum x Sudangrass in Northeastern USA”, Forage and Grazinglands 2004
  • Ketterings, Q.M., G. Godwin, J.H. Cherney, and T.F. Kilcer . “Potassium Management For Brown Midrib Sorghum x Sudangrass In The Northeast.” Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 191(1): 41-46. 2005
  • Ketterings, Kilcer, Cerosaletti, & Cherney, “Phosphorus Removal by Forage Brown Midrib Sorghum x Sudangrass in Northeastern USA,” What is Cropping Up v15, No1, Jan 2005
  • Ketterings, Q.M., J.H. Cherney, G. Godwin, T.F. Kilcer, P. Barney, and S. Beer. “Nitrogen Management Of Brown Midrib Sorghum x Sudangrass In The Northeastern USA”. Agronomy Journal. 2007
  • Hunter, M., Ketterings, Q. M., Cherney, J. H., Barney, P., Kilcer, T., and Godwin, G.. “Nitrogen Needs Of Teff Managed As Forage Crop In New York”. Online. Forage and Grazinglands doi:10.1094/FG-2009-0612-01-RS. 2009

Publications – General Public

  • Hay for Silage: Lay it Wide and Don’t Condition, Hoards Dairyman, p281 April 25 2006
  • Wide vs Narrow – Swath Harvesting; Silage for Dairy Farms Proceedings, NRAES-181 pp 206-213January 2006,
  • Make the Forage Pieces Fit, Northeast Dairy Business, Jan/Feb 2000 pp 34-35
  • Match Crop with Cows, Dairy Herd Magazine, October 1999, pp48-50
  • Proceedings of 1997 Cornell Nutrition Conference cot 1997 pp 45-53
  • Bunkers Must be Sized Right to Work Right, Hoards Dairyman, October 25, 1991, p787
  • Keeping Air Out of Bunkers is Key, Hoards Dairyman, March 25, 1992, p 253


World Dairy Expo, Pennsylvania Forage Conference, Canadian Certified Crop Advisors Conference, and numerous sites from Indiana to Maine

Work History

1976 – 2009 Agronomist/Program Leader Cornell Cooperative Extension in Rensselaer County
1972- 1974 Texas Instruments, Fisheries Biologist; Education
1972 – 1973 Ichthyological Associates, Fisheries Biologist;
BS with Distinction in Agronomy, Iowa State University, 1976
BS in Fisheries Biology, Cornell Univeristy, 1971;
AAS in Agronomy, SUNY at Cobleskill, 1969;