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Emmanuel Torres Quezada

Assistant Professor of Horticulture
33446 Research Dr.
Painter, VA 23420

Dr. Emmanuel Torres Quezada is the Assistant Professor of Horticulture at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center. He earned his bachelor's in Agriculture from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, he received his MSc and PhD in Horticultural Sciences from the University of Florida, where he worked extensively on water management practice for strawberry. He also worked as an associate professor at the Pan-American Agricultural School Zamorano in Honduras, where he integrated his teaching and research program to promote innovative management practices for vegetables in Central America. His research focuses on production practices for vegetable crops in both open field and protective systems, with an emphasis on water management. Additionally, he is identifying potential applications of precision agriculture technologies to vegetable production systems.

Education and Training

·       2012-2017.     PhD. in Horticultural Sciences. University of Florida, USA. 

·       2011-2012.     M.Sc. in Horticultural Sciences. University of Florida, USA.

·       2007-2010.     B.S. in Agronomic Engineering. Pedro Henríquez Ureña University, Dom. Rep. 


·       2021-present. Assistant Professor of Horticultural Sciences - School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, Painter, VA, USA.

·       2015-present. Principal Investigator - Loyola Polytechnic Institute, Dom. Rep.

·       2018-2021.   Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

·       2016-2018.   Professor of Horticulture - Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School, Honduras.   

·       2010-2017.   Graduate Research Assistant - Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

My goal at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center of Virginia Tech is to improve the efficiency and productivity of vegetables and small fruit systems in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The current emphasis of my laboratory is the evaluation of production practices that maximize plant yield and quality while minimizing the detrimental effects of abiotic stressors. Currently, my research efforts are divided into three categories with multiple projects within each group: 1. Conventional production systems for vegetables and small fruits, 2. Precision agriculture applications to vegetable systems, and 3. New specialty crops and production systems.

  • Conventional production systems for vegetables and small fruits:

Determination of crop coefficients for potatoes, tomatoes, and green beans in the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Kaolin clay applications for heat mitigation in summer-grown tomatoes in Virginia.

Planting dates and N-rates interactions for potato production.

Evaluation of potato cultivars for the northeast USA.

Cover crop mixes for nematode management in potato production.

  • Precision agriculture applications to vegetable systems:

Evaluation of crop indexes for determination of N rates in potatoes under different irrigation regimes.

Evaluation of Eddy covariance method and soil moisture sensors as determination methods for irrigation requirements in early spring tomatoes.

  • New specialty crops and production systems:

Green tea: a new specialty crop in Virginia.

Determination of plant densities for tomatoes under open high tunnels in Virginia.

Compost applications for bell pepper production under high tunnels

New bed architectures for tomato and strawberry production in the southeast.

Integration of vegetable system and photovoltaic cells 

The dissemination of information and improvement of farmers, Extension agents, and stakeholders’ production practices is essential to having a relevant and impactful Extension program. My extension philosophy is based on the idea that programs that result in increased knowledge without actual change in practice are compared to programs that do not increase knowledge at all. To achieve true changes in practice, my program follows the framework of "SMART Objectives": Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. We survey our farmers to understand the needs of the industry, we set specific goals that aim to create a change, we develop an execution plan designed to achieve the proposed goals, and we proceed to survey our farmers once more to measure the impact of our efforts. 

2022 extension presentations:

1.       Planting Dates and Nitrogen Rates for Potato Production on the Eastern Shore of Virginia; Chicago, IL.

2.       Effect of Kaolin Clay and Plastic Mulch Color on Summer Tomato Production in Virginia; Chicago, IL.

3.       Effect of Plant Density on High Tunnel Tomato Production in Virginia; Chicago, IL.

4.       Back to the Basics: Building an Integrated Research and Extension Program for Vegetables in Virginia and Beyond; Chicago, IL.

5.       Pumpkin production recommendations; Online, Podcast.

6.       Developing a vegetable research program for the Eastern shore of Virginia; Online, Podcast.

7.       Unmanned Aerial System-based remote sensing and its applications in precision agriculture; Online, training.

8.       Vegetable Production Techniques; Petersburg, VA.

9.       Fundamentos: Seminario Tecnificación del Sistema Nacional de Riego; Online, Dom. Rep.

10.   Técnicas de producción de fresas; Online, Honduras.

11.   New Tomato Production Ideas; Richmond, VA.

12.   Advanced Techniques for Vegetable production Under High Tunnels; Warsaw, VA.

13.   Fundamental Knowledge for Vegetable Production Under High Tunnels; Raleigh, NC.

14.   Precision Agriculture Applications in Vegetable Production; Raleigh, NC.

15.   Basic botany and plant anatomy; Painter, VA.

16.   How plants breathe and produce their food; Online, Podcast.

17.   Application Equipment, Calibration, and Methods; Online, Training.

18.   New Tomato Production Ideas; Charlotteville, VA.

·       Torres-Quezada, E.A., L. Zotarelli, D.D. Treadwell, and B.M. Santos. 2021. Growth Habit and In-row Distance Selection for Bell Pepper Production Under Protective Structures in Florida. International Journal of Vegetable Science. 27(6):561-573.

·       Torres-Quezada, E.A. J.M. Marmolejos, A.R. Lara, W. Maurer, Y. Geraldo D., M. Iris Pilar, I. Torres-Quezada, J. Ariel Caro, and L. Lopez. 2021. Early Results of Kaolin Clay Application in the Dominican Republic. EC Agriculture 7(1):1-9.

·       Torres-Quezada, E.A., J.M. Marmolejos, A.R. Lara, W. Maurer, J.A. González Cuesta, S.M. Medrano Carreño, and L. Lopez. 2021. Yeast-based Lure Type and Renewal Frequency for Trapping Anastrepha suspensa (Diptera: Tephritidae) in the Dominican Republic. The Florida Entomologist. 104(1):1-9.    

·       Torres-Quezada, E.A., L. Zotarelli, V.M. Whitaker, R.L. Darnell, and K. Morgan. 2020. Production Techniques for Strawberry Plugs in West-Central Florida. HortTechnology 30(2):238-247.

·       Torres-Quezada, E.A., L. Zotarelli, V.M. Whitaker, R.L. Darnell, and K. Morgan. 2018. Planting Dates and Transplant Establishment Methods on Early Yield Strawberry in West-Central Florida. HortTechnology 28(5):615-623.

·       Dominguez P.A., J. J. Medina, L. Miranda, J.M. López-Aranda, M.T. Ariza, C. Soriaa, B.M Santos, E.A. Torres-Quezada and I. Hernández-Ochoa. 2016. Effect of Planting and Harvesting Dates on Strawberry Fruit Quality under High Tunnels. International Journal of Fruit Science (16):228-238.

·       Torres-Quezada, E.A., L. Zotarelli, V.M. Whitaker, B.M. Santos, and I. Hernandez-Ochoa. 2015.  Initial Crown Diameter of Strawberry Bare-root Transplants Affects Early and Total Fruit Yield. HortTechnology 25(2):203-208.

·       Torres-Quezada, E.A., B.M. Santos, L. Zotarelli, and D.D. Treadwell. 2014. Soilless Media and Containers for Bell Pepper Production. International Journal of Vegetable Science 21(2):177-187.

·       Santos, B.M., C.D. Stanley, A.J. Whidden, V.W. Whitaker, I. Hernández-Ochoa, P. Huang, and E.A. Torres-Quezada. 2012. Improved Sustainability through Novel Water Management Strategies for Strawberry Transplant Establishment in Florida, United States. Agronomy 2(4):312-320.

Link to google scholar profile:[]

Extension publications

·       Protective Agriculture Production Series: Plant density recommendations. Feb 2, 2023. SPES-474NP

·       How to develop a planting plan for vegetables in Virginia: A sample spreadsheet. May 11, 2022.  SPES-401NP.

·       2022-2023 Mid-Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations. Feb 17, 2022. 456-420 (SPES-391P)

·       VCE AG Today: Tips for Starting the Vegetable Season off Right. Feb 10, 2022. VCE-1027-62NP

·       2021 Eastern Shore AREC Interactive Research Field Day. Oct 8, 2021. SPES-359NP.

·       Protective Agriculture Production Series: Fundamentals. Sep 16, 2021. SPES-355NP      

·       Protected Culture for Vegetable and Small Fruit Crops: Types of Structures. Florida Cooperative Extension Service publication HS1224 (2013)

·       Methods for strawberry transplant establishment in Florida. EDIS 6, 1-4 (2020).

Link to extension publications []. 

RIcardo Gandini
Ricardo Gandini, Masters Student

Ricardo Gandini (Masters Student)

Research Focus: Impact of incorporating kaolin clay and colored mulches on tomato production on the Eastern Shore of Virginia during the summer.

Alexis Suero (Masters Student)

Research Focus: Nitrogen and irrigation management in potatoes.