Norman Alton Minton, 92, passed away on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 in Gray, Geogia. Norman was born on October 12, 1924 in Spring Garden, Alabama to the late Pearson and Clara Savage Minton. He faithfully served his country in the United States Army during WWII, serving two years in Europe with the Army Corp of Engineers and the remainder of the time in the Philippines and Japan. He received a B.S. degree in Agricultural Education and a M.S. degree in Horticulture from Auburn University. In 1955, Dr. Minton joined the USDA ARS as an Assistant Nematologist in Auburn, Alabama. At the same time, he also enrolled part time at Auburn University and was awarded a Ph.D. in Zoology in 1960. In 1964, he was transferred to Tifton, Georgia to fill the position vacated by Dr. Joe Good. His research dealt with managing nematodes on agronomic and forage crops. Dr. Minton was a strong advocate of interdisciplinary cooperative research. He worked on almost every agronomic practice likely to affect nematode populations including host-plant resistance, nematicides, crop rotation, tillage, and briefly with the parasitic bacterium Pasteuria penetrans. Dr. Minton identified resistance to Meloidogyne spp. in several forages. He also evaluated peanut cultivars for resistance to M. arenaria and M. hapla. Dr. Minton demonstrated the value of growing Meloidogyne-resistant soybean which resulted in a shift away from planting susceptible cultivars. Along with coworkers, he determined that in-row subsoiling of compacted soil reduced nematode damage to soybean and increased yields. Fracturing the hardpan allowed soybean roots to penetrate the subsoil where moisture was greater and there were fewer nematodes. In other cooperative work, he determined that high populations of M. incognita increased the incidence of Fusariam wilt in soybean and zinc deficiency in corn. Application of a nematicide reduced the severity of Fusarium wilt in soybean and zinc deficiency in corn. Dr. Minton initiated several long-term crop rotation studies which were completed by others after his retirement in 1994. He was a charter member of the Society of Nematologists and was honored as a Fellow of the Society in 1992.
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