Shuresh Ghimire obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in agricultural science from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He completed his Ph.D. in Horticulture (2015-2018) from Washington State University where he studied biodegradable plastic mulches for vegetable production.
Prior to working in Washington, Shuresh was a Horticultural Development Officer for the Department of Agriculture in Nepal (2010-2015), where worked extensively with farmers conducting training and plant clinics and created extension publications. Shuresh also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Horticulture at the Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in Nepal.
In addition to working as a vegetable specialist at UConn since 2018, when hemp became a regulated agricultural crop in CT, he started working with hemp growers to create and disseminate information regarding hemp production practices and integrated pest management.
Areas of Expertise
Washington State University
Small farmers in New England are starting to rebuild, but climate extremes are here to stay
This year, Shuresh Ghimire, assistant extension educator and extension vegetable specialist at the University of Connecticut, drove around the state working with vegetable growers on climate strategy. "Every year is challenging for farmers, but the situation has worsened this year," he said. Ghimire has already seen crops drying to the heat waves that started in early spring, bringing droughts to different parts of the state. Then came the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. Later, in early July, the heavy rainfall and flooding.
CT farmers combat weather extremes, smoke, floods to bring in crops: ‘tremendously resilient folks’
For many Connecticut farmers, “every year can be a challenging year, but this year in particular has been very challenging,” said Shuresh Ghimire, an educator at University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension who specializes in vegetable production. “When we started in early spring, late winter, we had unexpectedly warm weather in February, March, that tempted our growers and gardeners to put crops out on the field earlier than they were supposed to,” Ghimire said. “And then we had frost on May 18 that caused significant damages mainly to tree fruits and some damage to vegetable growers as well.”
Smoke persists in Connecticut and creates challenges for outdoor workers
NBC Connecticut tv
Experts say this smoke can have a negative impact on other crops. "Beans, tomatoes, watermelon and many other crops are very sensitive to ozone injury," said Shuresh Ghimire, vegetable specialist at UConn.
What's up with all the haze in CT? Canadian wildfires bring unhealthy air to New England
Canada’s wildfires are bad news for New England’s summer and fall crop yields. That’s according to Shuresh Ghimire, a vegetable specialist and educator at University of Connecticut. “Most of the smoke, it is not only carbon dioxide, it has toxic gases like nitrous oxide, high level(s) of ozone. When we see such high levels of smoke, the chances are high there is high ozone damage in crops,” Ghimire said.
Native Farmers Push for More Equitable Training and Support in the Farm Bill
Civil Eats online
And if Congress approves their request, it could mean that many more tribes will have access to the foods that—like strawberries in Connecticut—bind their members much deeper to their cultures. “Beyond the food to eat, it’s their culture. It’s everything for them,” says Shuresh Ghimire, the University of Connecticut’s assistant extension educator, who acts as a liaison between UConn and Meechooôk Farm. “It’s not just about production and money. It’s also trying to promote the use of their language through the grant.”
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has tribal department of agriculture
Fruit Growers News online
Building on that success, the Tribal Nation recently reached another exciting milestone – the creation of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Department of Agriculture. The MPTN Department of Agriculture formalizes the education, nutrition, and farming work already done in collaboration with UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources Extension, with Extension Educators Joseph Bonelli and Shuresh Ghimire, who are leading the efforts along with Tribal Nation Councilor Daniel Menihan and others. “Menihan has been actively involved in this project from the get-go and has helped us remarkably achieve the grant goals and strengthen the relationship between UConn and the tribe,” Ghimire said.
Connecticut farmers are finding there’s no easy way to deal with climate extremes
CT Mirror online
Having enough water can only help up to a point. Extended periods of 90-plus degree temperatures during the day or high 70s at night can cause flowers and small fruits to fall off plants, harming production, said Shuresh Ghimire, a vegetable specialist with UConn Extension, a program that provides hands-on support to farmers. He said you’d think the warmer temperatures would be beneficial in a climate like Connecticut’s by extending the growing season, but that’s not the case.
As Hemp Gets Planted, Connecticut Farmers Cautiously Optimistic
Connecticut Public Radio radio
As part of the pilot program arrangement, UConn will send out field scientists to monitor the plants’ CBD levels and collect growing data, which it will make publicly available. Shuresh Ghimire, an extension vegetable educator at UConn, said that information will provide guidance for farmers new to growing hemp. And that next year, farmers will know a lot more about the pitfalls to avoid when it comes to growing hemp. “There will be problems, obviously,” Ghimire said. “It’s a field crop so there will be disease and insects.”
For Hemp Farmers, It's Been A Season Of Learning And Hope
Connecticut Public Radio radio
This season, Ghimire has traveled around the state. Checking in with hemp farmers to help them keep an eye out for pests. “In one field that I visited … 80 percent of the field was completely damaged by deer,” Ghimire said. And Ghimire’s been working to get another message across: male plants are bad.
How to stop throwing away your veggies and fruit
And if the greens say “pre-washed” there’s no need to rewash them, according to Shuresh Ghimire, an extension vegetable specialist at UConn Extension at the University of Connecticut. “The assumption is that the pre-washed salad is washed at a commercial washing facility with quality water following the FDA guidelines,” Ghimire said.
Eat less, be healthier, save the worldCT Mirror
In an era where climate change poses an increasingly dire threat to our planet, it’s vital that we reassess our daily habits and their impact on the environment. One often-overlooked aspect of our lives that significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions is our relationship with food. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has forecasted that we need to increase current food production by 60% to meet the demand by 2050.
Building Agricultural Knowledge of Soil-biodegradable Plastic MulchHortTechnology
2023 The use of polyethylene (PE) mulch causes environmental pollution where incomplete removal leaves fragments susceptible to escape to ecosystems, such as the ocean, where they can cause ecological harm. PE mulch is generally nonrecyclable due to contamination with soil and crop debris after use, leaving growers with few end-of-life options for used PE mulch. Research studies have shown that soil-biodegradable plastic mulch (BDM) is comparable to PE mulch in terms of performance, soil health, and overall economics and is preferred from an environmental perspective, but the adoption of BDM by producers is still low.
In-field degradation of soil-biodegradable plastic mulch films in a Mediterranean climateScience of The Total Environment
2022 Soil-biodegradable plastic mulch films are a promising alternative to polyethylene mulches, but adoption has been slow, in part because of uncertainties about in-field degradation. The international biodegradability standard EN-17033 requires 90% degradation within 2 years in an aerobic incubation at constant temperature (20–28 °C). However, in-laboratory biodegradability does not guarantee in-field degradation will follow the same timeframe. Field test protocols are needed to assess biodegradable mulches under a range of environmental conditions and collate site-specific information to predict degradation.
Deterioration of soil-biodegradable mulch films during storage and its impact on specialty crop productionHortTechnology
2021 Plastic mulch films contribute to improved crop yield and quality for vegetable and small fruit cropping systems. Although the single-season agronomic performance of conventional polyethylene mulches and soil-biodegradable mulches (BDMs) are similar, over time BDMs can begin to break down during storage and subsequently not provide season-long soil coverage. In this study, the changes in physicochemical properties of BDMs were investigated over 3 years of indoor storage (2015–18) under ideal environmental conditions in two laboratories. Mulches evaluated were black, 20–40 µm thick, suitable for annual vegetable production, and included three BDMs: two polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT)-enriched mulches that are commercially available in North America, an experimental polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanote-based film, and a conventional polyethylene mulch as a control.
Plastic mulches improved plant growth and suppressed weeds in late summer-planted floricane-fruiting raspberryHortScience
2020 Planting floricane-fruiting red raspberry ( Rubus ideaus L.) propagated through tissue culture (TC) is becoming increasingly popular in the Pacific Northwest. However, there is a challenge associated with their establishment compared with traditional planting materials (dormant roots and canes), especially regarding weed management due to their sensitivity to herbicides. In addition, there has been an increased interest in late summer planting compared with traditional spring planting because growers find improved establishment in late summer planting. Although polyethylene (PE) and biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs) have demonstrated excellent weed control and increased plant growth and yield in spring-planted TC raspberry, their impacts in late summer plantings are still unknown.
Soil-biodegradable mulches for growth, yield, and quality of sweet corn in a Mediterranean-type climateHortScience
2020 Plastic mulch is commonly used to produce many vegetable crops because of its potential to decrease days to harvest, control weeds, and improve soil moisture conservation. However, use of plastic mulch is relatively new for sweet corn ( Zea mays L.) in North America. We compared five plastic soil-biodegradable mulches [BDMs; Bio360, Organix AG, Clear Organix AG, Naturecycle, and Experimental polylactic acid/polyhydroxyalkanoates (Metabolix, Inc., Cambridge, MA)] and a paper mulch (WeedGuardPlus) against standard black polyethylene (PE; nonbiodegradable) mulch and bare ground cultivation for growth, yield, and quality of sweet corn cultivar Xtra Tender 2171. This field experiment was carried out in Mount Vernon, WA, which has a Mediterranean-type climate with an average air temperature of 16.1 °C during the 2017 and 2018 growing seasons