Robert Delafield Rands was an American agronomist and mycologist.
Rands was born in 1890.
He served as Chief Director of Agriculture Office of Rubber Plant Investigations in the United States Department of Agriculture. His Doctor of Philosophy thesis at the University of Wisconsin was in the field of plant pathology. In research in Indonesia, he showed that "brown bast" in Hevea species was a result of phloem necrosis due to tapping of the trees for latex.
Rands met Minnie Frost, then a graduate student at the University of Chicago, in a field trip to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Minnie Frost Rands wrote a book about her experiences in the places the couple traveled to After returning to the United States, Rands worked for the United States Department of Agriculture into diseases of sugar cane, and then at the beginning of World World War II returned to study of rubber plants.
He later became head of Rubber Investigations Office. On his retirement in 1954, he moved to Lake Wales, Florida and acted as a consultant for the then B. F Goodrich Company"s establishment of rubber plantations in the Philippines and Africa.
Rand was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Phytopathological Society, and the Washington Academy of Sciences.
Rands died 10 December 1970 in Lake Wales. In an obituary he was described as a leading authority on diseases of sugar cane and rubber plants. Phytophthora cinnamomi.