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This profile was last updated on 1/5/16  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Professor of Agronomy

Phone: (765) ***-****  
Email: r***@***.edu
Local Address:  Indiana , United States
Purdue University
550 Stadium Mall Dr.Civil Engineering Building, Room G216B
West Lafayette , Indiana 47907
United States

Company Description: Purdue's College of Engineering is made up of 12 academic programs: aeronautics and astronautics, agricultural and biological, biomedical, chemical, civil,...   more

Employment History

  • Professor Environmental Microbiology
    Purdue University
  • Researchers
    Purdue University
  • Professor In the Department of Agronomy and Director
  • Director
    Director, Global Sustainablity Institute - Purdue University
  • Project Manager
  • Soil Microbiologist and Director
    Purdue Environmental Sciences and Engineering Institute
  • Agronomy Professor and Director
    Purdue Environmental Sciences and Engineering Institute

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Ph. D. , Soil Microbiology
    Washington State University
  • B.S. degrees , Bacteriology and Soil Science
    University of Idaho
160 Total References
Web References
Ronald Turco, a professor of ..., 5 Nov 2015 [cached]
Ronald Turco, a professor of agronomy at Purdue, noted that water is a critical part of Purdue's research and extension missions.
"This panel of experts will provide a significant look at where we are and where we are going in terms of water supply," he said.
Purdue agronomy professor Ron ..., 2 Sept 2015 [cached]
Purdue agronomy professor Ron Turco said, "We considered ourselves successful to get it planted, after 6 months of paperwork - and then it started raining and didn't stop…"
According to the State Climate Office, Indiana set a record for rainfall in the month of June, with a state average of 9.03 inches.
Turco observed that hemp is not a "particularly robust plant" regarding its resiliency, noting, "we lost a lot of plants in the rain."
He did caution that if the hemp had been planted on the more appropriate schedule, the results might have been very different.
Purdue's Ron Turco stated that marijuana and hemp are "exactly the same. The difference is the THC content is less than .3 in hemp; in marijuana it is greater than .3." THC is the psychoactive element in marijuana.
Turco emphasized, "There is no THC in industrial hemp. You can smoke the whole field and you'll end up with cancer before you'll get high."
Indiana is subject to the 2013 U.S. Farm Bill, Section 7506, which states that industrial hemp can only be grown or cultivated "for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural program…"
As a member of the Hemp Project, Turco is a licensed hemp grower in the state of Indiana under the aegis of the Indiana Seed Commissioner. In Indiana, statute is interpreted as allowing university-based research only. In Kentucky, Turco noted that the ag department of the University of Kentucky has involved numerous farmers in their pilot program.
Farmers and academics in Kentucky share a Memorandum of Understanding, greatly expanding the research opportunities beyond Indiana's current two acres. Think of the old westerns where almost anyone could be deputized to assist the beleaguered and outnumbered sheriff.
The prospect of growing the program here in Indiana is unlikely, Turco indicated, at least until federal law changes.
Ron Turco noted that overall, in his dealings with state officials, everyone has been good to work with, from the state police to the Indiana Seed Commissioner.
Purdue researchers Janna Beckerman and Ron Turco are growing test plots of hemp so they can offer science-based crop advice to future commercial hemp growers. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)
But that will likely change, said Ron Turco, professor of agronomy and the assistant dean for agricultural and environmental research. Beckerman and Turco co-led the Purdue effort to obtain federal and state permits to grow hemp for research, as well as import and export permits from Canada, in anticipation of a future market for U.S. hemp.
"Because of Purdue' s long history of working with biobased products, we are really well-positioned to be a leader in helping to craft a market for hemp products," Turco said. "We don't yet know which varieties grow best or which soil conditions give the highest yields or the issues surrounding oil and fiber production. A lot of technical details still need to be worked out. But the fundamental research we're doing will help provide quality information about the production and processing of industrial hemp."
Turco emphasized that while hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same species, hemp contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient chemical in marijuana. By comparison, marijuana can have THC concentrations of 18 percent to 38 percent.
"We need to eliminate hemp's stigma," he said. "It's not marijuana.
Ron Turco, 765-494-8077,
Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Conferences MST, 9 July 2013 [cached]
Ronald F. Turco
Ronald F. Turco, Jr. earned two B.S. degrees from the University of Idaho; the first is in Soil Science (1979) and his second is in Microbiology (1980). He received his Ph.D. in Soil Microbiology from Washington State University in 1985. Dr. Turco joined the faculty of Purdue University in 1985 and is currently a Professor in the College of Agriculture. Dr. Turco is the Director of the Environmental Pathogens Information Network ( and the Director of the Indiana Water Resource Research Center (
Dr. Turco works with a number of research programs across the Purdue Campus and the country. He collaborates with faculty in Purdue's Colleges of Engineering and Science as well as working with the Purdue Climate Change Research Center and the Center for the Environment. Dr. Turco's research program is divided into three major areas of investigation: The Environmental Fate of Pathogens, The Environmental Fate of Organic Chemicals and the use of Biological Processes to Produce Fuel. Currently work in his laboratory is addressing the role of dissolved organic carbon in surface water in supporting the survival of E. coli and the potential of waterborne E. coli and Salmonella to colonize and survive on vegetable surfaces. Dr. Turco used his interest in pathogens to underpin the formation of a major resource on the impact of pathogens in the environment. Other work involves the environmental impact of fullerenes (C60) and signal wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT) on soil processes; this work is also addressing the environmental fate of more traditional organic chemicals such as pesticides. Dr. Turco's has recently initiated a project looking at the potential to use food and agricultural waste to produce CH4 and possibly methanol. As the Water Center Director, Dr. Turco is also working on a project to address the revitalization of the Wabash River corridor by proving expertise that will help minimize the occurrence of pathogenic bacteria. Dr. Turco teaches classes on Soil Ecology, Soil Microbiology and The Environmental Fates of Organics.
Over the 20 years he has been at Purdue University, Dr. Turco has been collaborator or lead PI on projects that have resulted in some $8 million dollars in competitive grant funds. Most recently he has been the lead PI on nanomaterials projects supported by NSF and EPA, EPI-net and a food safety effort supported by USDA and new USDA-CEAP project addressing water issues in Eagle Creek Reservoir near Indianapolis. He has served on numerous review panels for federal and private funding agencies.
Ronald F. Turco, Jr. Professor, Laboratory for Soil Microbiology College of Agriculture Purdue University 915 W. State Street West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: (765)494-8077 Fax: (765) 496-2926
Dr. Ronald ... [cached]
Dr. Ronald Turco Purdue University 915 W. State Street West Lafayette IN 47907
Dr. Ronald F. Turco is a Professor in the Department of Agronomy, and Director of the Indiana Water Resources Research Center. He has B.S. degrees from the University of Idaho in Bacteriology and Soil Science and a Ph. D. from Washington State University in Soil Microbiology. His research has concentrated on understanding how the behavior of environmental microorganism and the processes they control, is influenced by human activity. Currently his program is divided across four areas: understanding the fate of pathogens in soil, water and the plant system and the role these processes play in food contamination, developing a better predictive capacity to understand the environmental fate of manufactured nano materials (fullerenes, single wall carbon nanotubes and nanometals) in soil and water, defining the consequences of using our soils resources for biofuel production and a long-term interest in fate and degradation of organic materials introduced to soils. He has authored many articles and reports and has delivered numerous invited and volunteered presentations. Dr. Turco teaches two graduate level courses: Soil Microbiology and a course titled Biotransformation of Anthropogenic Molecules. He also teaches an undergraduate course on Soil Ecology.
Contact, 9 July 2013 [cached]
Dr. Ronald F. Turco Project Manager (EPI-NET)
915 West State St.
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