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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Issue: January/February 2006
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Northern PlainFacts.

Issue: January/February 2006


The Northern PlainFacts from the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, Montana, offers brief updates on research, personnel and events at the lab, and includes contact names and e-mail addresses for those interested in further details.
 

In This Month's Issue:

 

ARS Scientists Speak at Irrigation Workshop

ARS Scientist Discusses Sugarbeet Root Maggot Research

ARS Researchers Participate in National Grasshopper Board Meeting

Aiding Effort to Supplement Weed Biocontrol Agents with Pathogens

ARS Montana Scientists Participate in Producer Outreach Tours

ARS Irrigation Specialist Speaks at Montana Agri-Business Convention
ARS Scientists, Technicians Judge Rural School Science Fair
ARS Entomologist Conducts Insect Pest ID Workshop

ARS Irrigation Specialist to Speak at Missouri Irrigation Conference

ARS Microbiologist to Speak at Zero Tillage Workshop
ARS Scientists to Meet with Tribal College Ag Department Head
Strip Tillage, Mormon Cricket, and Wheat Midge Research at Ag Shows
ARS Entomologist to Speak at Range Society Meeting
ARS Plant Pathologist to Speak at WSSA Meeting

ARS strip till research featured in sugarbeet grower publication

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARS strip till research featured in sugarbeet grower publication

ARS research on Strip tillage in sugar beets was featured in the February 2006 edition of "The Sugarbeet Grower" magazine. The article, "Strip Till Research on Beets" by NPARL Ag Engineer Robert Evans, Physical Scientist William Iversen and Agronomist Bart Stevens, outlines how a four-year NPARL study using strip till in sugar beets under sprinkler irrigation following small grains is showing real promise for reducing producer costs while retaining yield and sugar content levels. Halfway through the study, the ARS researchers have observed no significant impact on tons per acre, while recording higher or comparable sugar content and significantly reduced input costs in the strip till plots versus conventional tillage. The reduced input costs under strip tillage are due to the use of specially modified equipment that requires only one pass over the field in the fall to prepare for spring beet planting, instead of the five or more passes required under conventional tillage. In addition, by leaving the wheat or other small grain stubble, the strip till method also allows for improved snow catch and curbs wind erosion and seedling damage during the early growing season. All three ARS researchers are members of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit. A detailed update on their research can be found under the "Quick Links" section of the Sidney, MT lab’s website at: www.sidney.ars.usda.gov.

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(William Iversen, 406.433.9417, biversen@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Bart Stevens, 406.433.9476, bstevens@sidney.ars.usda.gov)


 

ARS Plant Pathologist to Speak at WSSA Meeting

NPARL Plant Pathologist Anthony Caesar has been invited to speak at the 46th annual meeting of the Weed Science Society of America to be held in New York City Feb. 13-16. Dr. Caesar will present his paper entitled "Soilborne fungi associated with root galls of Lepidium draba caused by Ceutorhynchus spp. Dr. Caesar is a member of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit. This meeting marks the 50th Anniversary of the charter meeting of the Weed Society of America, which originally met in New York City on January 4-5, 1956.

(Anthony Caesar, 406.433.9412, caesara@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 

 

 

ARS Entomologist to Speak at Range Society Meeting

NPARL Entomologist David H. Branson has been invited to speak at the 9th Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management, Feb 12-17, 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Dr. Branson’s presentation is entitled "Effects of summer fire and post-fire grazing on grasshopper abundance and species composition" and discusses research being conducted jointly with Dr. Lance T. Vermeire, Rangeland Ecologist with USDA-ARS’s Fort Keogh Livestock and Rangeland Research Laboratory in Miles City, MT. Dr. Branson is a member of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit.

(Dave Branson, 406.433.9406, dbranson@sidney.ars.usda.gov)


 

ARS Strip Tillage, Mormon Cricket, and Wheat Midge Research Featured at Ag Shows

 

NPARL will be participating in two area ag trade shows in the month of February to share research information from the Sidney, MT ARS lab with area producers. First on the agenda is the Glendive Agri-Trade Expo in Glendive, MT Feb. 10-11 and the second, the 53rd National Hard Spring Wheat Show to be held in Williston, ND Feb. 13-15. Research featured in this year’s outreach effort by the lab’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit is a study of strip tillage on sugar beet being conducted by Agricultural Engineer Robert Evans, Physical Scientist Bill Iversen and Agronomist Bart Stevens. Featured from the lab’ s Pest Management Research Unit are studies on Mormon cricket band formation by Ecologist Greg Sword and studies on the movement of the Orange Blossom Wheat Midge into northeastern Montana, by Entomologist Tom Shanower, whose work is the first published account of the pest’s presence in that state. In addition to the upcoming shows, the lab previously participated in the annual MonDak Ag Days event at Sidney, MT Jan. 13-14. At that event, ASRU Soil Scientist Jed Waddell also gave a presentation on "Effective Fertilizing with Today’s Costs."

 

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

(Jed Waddell, 406.433.9402, jwaddell@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 

 

 

ARS Scientists to Meet with Tribal College Ag Department Head

Carrie Archdale, Director of the Agriculture Department at Fort Peck Community College (FPCC) in Poplar, MT, and other tribal college officials, will travel to Sidney, MT Monday, February 13, to take part in a roundtable discussion with ARS researchers at the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory (NPARL). Beginning with an overview by Archdale of FPCC activities, ARS scientists at the lab will follow up with brief overviews of their own research projects. The participants will then discuss common interests and/or activities that NPARL and FPCC could work on together. The meeting is an outgrowth of an earlier meeting last November between NPARL Research Leaders Dr. Robert Evans (Agricultural Systems Research Unit) and Dr. Tom Shanower (Pest Management Research Unit) and a dozen Montana State Legislators and Tribal College representatives to discuss steps to implement Montana House Joint Resolution 11 passed during the state’s last legislative session. The resolution urges "cooperation between and among state and federal agricultural research stations and tribal agricultural research programs to facilitate ongoing research, sharing of research scientists, and educational efforts in addressing critical issues concerning deleterious insects, pesticide use, livestock disease, noxious weeds and irrigated and dryland cropping systems." Participating tribal governments include those with the Fort Peck, Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy Reservations in Montana. In addition to exploring new areas of research cooperation, NPARL has also provided tribal officials with information on student employment opportunities at the Sidney lab (and with ARS in general) and is exploring new opportunities to train tribal faculty as well through special fellowships.

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Tom Shanower, 406.433.9405, tshanower@sidney.ars.usda.gov)


 

ARS Microbiologist to Speak at Zero Tillage Workshop

NPARL Research Microbiologist TheCan Caesar has been invited to speak at the 2006 Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers Association Workshop to be held in Bismarck, ND Feb. 9-10. Dr. Caesar’s presentation for the event is entitled "Building and Enhancing Soil Biology." She is a member of the Sidney, MT ARS lab’s Agricultural Systems Unit. In addition to her presentation, Dr. Caesar plans to meet with other interested scientists and producers at the session to discuss possible collaborations on identifying and evaluating alternative grass crops, such as intermediate wheat grass, Timothy grass or switchgrass, that not only have value as potential cash crops, but which can also improve soil quality. Currently Dr. Caesar is studying switchgrass for its ability to improve soil aggregation in rotational systems. Switchgrass is also being studied as a biofuel. Joining Dr. Caesar at the Zero Tillage Workshop will be NPARL Soil Scientist Bart Stevens, Physical Scientists Bill Iversen and Biological Science Technician Bryan Gebhard, all members of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit.

(TheCan Caesar, 406.433.9415, caesart@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Bryan Gebhard, 406.433.9475, bgebhard@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Bill Iversen, 406.433.9417, biversen@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Bart Stevens, 406.433.9476, bstevens@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 


 

 

ARS Irrigation Specialist to Speak at Missouri Irrigation Conference

 

NPARL Agricultural Engineer and irrigation specialist Robert Evans has been invited to speak at the 39th Annual Missouri Irrigation Conference to be held at the University of Missouri Bradford Farm, Columbia, MO on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Dr. Evans, who also heads up NPARL’ s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, will give a presentation entitled "Sprinkler Selection for Center Pivots and Linear Move Irrigation Systems." In his presentation, Dr. Evans will discuss different sprinkler types, factors affecting sprinkler selection, end guns, and traction problems, along with a brief discussion of center pivot research being conducted at NPARL. The Conference is sponsored by the Missouri Irrigation and Water Management Association, Inc. and the day’s theme is "Managing in Times of High Energy Costs." Other speakers include university and industry representatives.

 

(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486, sjaronski@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 

 

 

ARS Entomologist Conducts Insect Pest ID Workshop

NPARL Entomologist Tom Shanower helped lead an Insect Identification Lab Wednesday, Feb. 1, as part of the 2006 Western Crop and Pest Management School sponsored by North Dakota State University’s Extension Service. The two-day school held at Dickinson, ND is designed for individuals scouting crops for pest and production problems in 2006 and targets problems common to western North Dakota. Dr. Shanower was joined by Dr. Jan Knodel, Assistant Professor in the NDSU Entomology Department, in directing the lab. In addition, NPARL Biological Science Technician Deb Waters also helped with the hands-on component, acquainting participants with Hessian fly, wheat stem maggot, saw fly and cutworm. Other subjects addressed at the Extension school included weed identification and management, crop production issues and diseases and herbicide updates. Dr. Shanower is the research leader of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit.

(Thomas Shanower, 406.433.9405, tshanower@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 


 

ARS Scientists, Technicians Judge Rural School Science Fair

Eight NPARL employees served as judges for the Rau Science Fair held at a rural Eastern Montana elementary school January 26. Research Scientists John Gaskin and Bart Stevens; Post Doc James Kim, and Technicians Mo O’Mara, Audrey Harris, Laura Senior and Sophia Hanson all helped judge at the event which included presentations on such topics as How Bridges Work, Germination, Perfect Potatoes, and Does Smell Affect Taste. In preparation for the January event, Dr. Gaskin also gave students a talk about how to do a science project last November.

(John Gaskin, 406.433.9444, jgaskin@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Sophia Hanson, 406.433.9492, shanson@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Audrey Harris, 406.433.9484, aharris@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(James Kim, 406.433.9477, jkim@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Maureen O'Mara, 406.433.9497, momara@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Laura Senior, 406.433.9498, lsenior@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Bart Stevens, 406.433.9476, bstevens@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 


 

 

ARS Irrigation Specialist Speaks at Montana Agri-Business Convention

 

NPARL Agricultural Engineer and irrigation specialist Robert Evans was invited to speak at the 2006 joint Montana Agricultural Business Association / Montana Grain Elevator Association Convention January 25-27 in Great Falls, MT. Dr. Evans, who heads up NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, spoke on "Agronomy: Irrigation Issues." In addition to his presentation, convention participants heard from a variety of university and industry representatives along with Montana Agriculture Department Director Nancy Peterson.

 

(Dave Branson, 406.433.9406, dbranson@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486, sjaronski@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 


 

 

ARS Montana Scientists Participate in Producer Outreach Tours

 

NPARL Ecologist Andrew Lenssen was invited to participate in the 2006 Southeastern Montana Extension Winter Series Jan. 23-27, which featured presentations to producers in seven Eastern Montana communities. Dr. Lenssen spoke on "Cropping system influences crops and weeds." Dr. Lenssen, a member of the Sidney, MT ARS lab’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, was not the only NPARL representative participating in an Extension producer meeting tour in January. NPARL Entomologist Tom Shanower, head of the lab’s Pest Management Research Unit, and his Biological Science Technician Debra Waters also participated in a seven-city tour the week of January 16 focusing on pest management in cropland. The pair discussed their ongoing research into the biological control of wheat stem sawfly and the results of a multi-year sampling study tracking the movement of the orange blossom wheat midge into Montana. They also discussed other crop pests, including cutworms and a mustard-attacking flea beetle, describing their life cycles and outlining management options.

 

(Andrew Lenssen, 406.433.9471, alenssen@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

(Thomas Shanower, 406.433.9405, tshanower@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

(Debra Waters, 406.433.9491, dwaters@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 


 

 

ARS Scientist Aiding Effort to Supplement Weed Biocontrol Agents with Pathogens

 

NPARL hosted a special presentation on Jan. 17 entitled "Late blight, not just a potato disease" by Dr. Margot Becktell, a biology professor with Mesa State College at Grand Junction, CO. Dr. Becktell, whose research interests include plant diseases, particularly pathogens of invasive weeds, was visiting the Sidney ARS lab as a guest of NPARL Plant Pathologist Anthony Caesar, with whom she is collaborating on an effort to supplement existing biological control insect releases on leafy spurge with one or more plant pathogens. Dr. Becktell will be using several elements of a supplementation system devised by Dr. Caesar. The process involves isolating soilborne pathogens of leafy spurge from root and crown tissue of Aphthona larvae-damaged leafy spurge; path testing and identifying the pathogen, then reproducing them in sufficient amounts to apply in the field. Dr. Caesar is a member of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit.

 

(Anthony Caesar, 406.433.9412, caesara@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 

 


 

ARS Researchers Participate in National Grasshopper Management Board Meeting

 

NPARL Research Entomologists David Branson and Stefan Jaronski both gave presentations at the National Grasshopper Management Board Annual Meeting in Denver CO Jan. 10-11. Dr. Branson’s presentation was entitled: "Does post-fire grazing intensity mediate the effects of summer fire on grasshopper assemblages in northern mixed-grass prairie?" The talk presented research being conducted with Dr. Lance Vermeire at USDA-ARS-LARRL in Miles City, MT. Dr. Jaronski had two presentations, the first, "Beauveria and Metarhizium Fungi for Managing Mormon Cricket: Laboratory and Field Evaluations," reflected research conducted with R.N. Foster, C. Reuter, and L.R. Black all with USDA APHIS PPQ CPHST Decisions Support & Pest Management Systems Laboratory in Phoenix, AZ. In addition, Jaronski discussed "Measuring Metarhizium ("Green Guard" and "Green Muscle") Against North American Orthoptera, and Behavioral Fever." Drs. Branson and Jaronski are both members of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit.

 

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 


 

 

ARS Scientist Discusses Sugarbeet Root Maggot Research

 

NPARL Research Entomologist Stefan Jaronski participated in the 2006 Sugarbeet Research Reporting Sessions in Fargo ND on Jan 10. He gave a presentation entitled " Integration of a resistant sugarbeet hybrid with the insect pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae to manage the sugarbeet root maggot," discussing research he conducted jointly with Dr. L. G. Campbell of the USDA ARS Red River Valley Research Center in Fargo ND. Dr. Jaronski is a member of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit.

 

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 


 

 

ARS Scientists Speak at Irrigation Workshop

 

NPARL Agricultural Engineer Robert Evans, research leader with the Sidney, MT lab’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit (ASRU), and Soil Scientist Jed Waddell, also with ASRU, were invited to speak at the "Maximize Your Pivot Dollars" Irrigation Workshop hosted by North Dakota State University’s Williston Research Extension Center Jan. 4 in Williston, ND. At the event Dr. Evans spoke on nozzle sizing and utilizing variable frequency motors under irrigation management, while Dr. Waddell discussed his fertility research on malt barley.

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

(Bill Iversen, 406.433.9417, biversen@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

(Thomas Shanower, 406.433.9405, tshanower@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

(Bart Stevens, 406.433.9476, bstevens@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

(Jed Waddell, 406.433.9402, jwaddell@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 


Last Modified: 9/25/2008
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