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Belesky, David

Director of Farm Administration & Operations

David P. Belesky serves as farm system Director for the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Design. He provides administrative and operations oversight, and resource coordination for seven farms at various locations across the state of West Virginia. Dr. Belesky is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University (B.Sc. 1973; M.Sc. 1975) and West Virginia University (Ph.D. 1978). He served as a research agronomist with the USDA-ARS in Georgia and West Virginia, where he developed an internationally recognized research program addressing forage grass – fungal endophyte interactions in pastoral agro-ecosystems. Discoveries from his program inform survival strategy models for tall fescue – endophyte associations growing in a wide range of conditions, contributing to practical management of tall fescue grown on about 35 million acres in the USA. Current research interests focus on spatial and temporal distribution of pasture forage species and production as predictors of climate variation and development of low-input grazing practices for improved hill-land pasture including new forage resources, methods to establish and manage silvopasture and sustaining livestock health and performance. His research program involved post-doctoral research associates and visiting scholars from Poland, Hungary, Syria, China, Britain, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Slovakia, Poland, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Israel and Brazil, as well as numerous colleagues in the USA. Results of his research team efforts are published in approximately 200 original works appearing in refereed journals and reviewed proceedings, invited book chapters and experiment station technical reports.

Select Publications

  • Halvorson JJ, DP Belesky & MS West. 2017. Inhibition of forage seed germination by leaf litter extracts of overstory hardwoods used in silvopastoral systems. Agroforestry Systems 91: 69-83.
  • Belesky DP, & CW Bacon. 2009. Tall fescue and associated mutualistic toxic fungal endophytes in agroecosystems. Toxin Reviews 28 (2-3), 102-117.
  • Malinowski, DP & DP Belesky. 2006. Ecological importance of Neotyphodium spp. grass endophytes in agroecosystems. Grassland Science 52 (1), 1-14.
  • Malinowski, DP & DP Belesky. 2000. Adaptations of endophyte-infected cool-season grasses to environmental stresses: mechanisms of drought and mineral stress tolerance. Crop Science 40 (4) 923-940.
  • Belesky DP, & JM Fedders. 1996. Does endophyte influence regrowth of tall fescue? Annals of Botany 78 (4), 499-505.
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