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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Issue: May/June 2006
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Current Issue: May/June 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 researchers to speak at annual dryland field day
ARS, APHIS partner in Mormon cricket fungal research

Plant pathologist to discuss new safflower disease
Soil compaction seminar hosted by ARS Montana lab
ARS soil scientist participates in ag air quality workshop

You’re never too young to learn at ARS

 

 


 

ARS researchers to speak at annual dryland field day

NPARL Weed Ecologist Andy Lenssen and Soil Scientists Jed Waddell and Upendra Sainju, all with the lab’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, are among the featured speakers at the annual Froid (MT) Research Farm Tour on June 21. The tour includes two-sessions, first the off-farm portion will tour the Dry Prairie Rural Water Construction site, a camelina field, and organic farm fields in the area, while the on-farm portion will include four stops beginning with the "Sustainable Pest Management in Dryland Wheat" study conducted by Dr. Lenssen. Now in its final year, that study looked at the interaction of crop rotation and tillage on soil properties, weed species composition, plant pathogens and beneficial pest insects to determine the economic and environmental benefits of the diversified cropping systems. The next stop features Dr. Sainju and his work with "Cover crops and nitrogen application rate experiments in malt barley." New cover crops this year include cowpea, soybean, lablab and switchgrass. The third stop features Dr. Waddell and his study on the "Impact of Phosphorous Fertility on Dryland Legume Nitrogen production." This study, also in its final year, looked at the impact of four different phosphorous rates on field pea nitrogen accumulation in a wheat-pea rotation under no-till and conventional tillage systems. The final on-farm stop features the newest study at the site, the "Alternate and Stacked Crop Rotation Trial." Drs. Lenssen and Waddell will present the latest information on this study, in particular, looking at weed management issues and nitrogen and water use efficiencies. The tour will conclude with a barbecue steak supper sponsored by Roosevelt and Sheridan County Conservation Districts. Also cosponsoring the event is the Montana State University Extension Service.

(Andy Lenssen, 406.433.9471, alenssen@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Upendra Sainju, 406.433.9408, usainju@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Jed Waddell, 406.433.9402, jwaddell@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 

ARS, APHIS partner in Mormon cricket fungal research

USDA APHIS and ARS NPARL are jointly evaluating fungal biocontrol agents of Mormon crickets at Sidney MT in June. R. Nelson Foster, of the APHIS PPQ Decision Support and Pest Management Systems Laboratory, Phoenix AZ, and his staff are visiting Dr. Stefan Jaronski, ARS grasshopper pathologist at the Sidney lab, to conduct a cooperative field trial evaluating two microbial control agents against Mormon crickets at Sidney. They are studying the efficacy of two US-registered fungi, Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae, as affected by field and Mormon cricket body temperatures. Because the insect is not very numerous at Sidney, where a trial can be closely monitored for the required three-week observation period, APHIS is collecting Mormon crickets elsewhere in Montana and bringing them to the field trial, which is being conducted in enclosures near the ARS location. Jaronski and his staff will be monitoring the trial for efficacy and conducting parallel microbiological experiments in the laboratory. Foster and Jaronski have been working closely since 2003 on understanding how microbial agents can be better utilized to manage grasshopper and Mormon cricket populations. In parallel work APHIS is jointly sponsoring a student intern at Sidney, Mr. Justin Harper, Montana State University - Billings, to work with Dr. Jaronski in evaluating novel UV protectants that could prolong the persistence of these microbial agents on rangeland. DSPMSL works with universities, private industry, and ARS, to develop biologically based pest management tools. One mission of the ARS NPARL lab in Sidney is to develop microbial control agents for grasshopper and Mormon crickets.

(Justin Harper, 406.433.2020)
(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486, sjaronski@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 

ARS plant pathologist to discuss new safflower disease at APS regional meeting

NPARL Research Plant Pathologist Robert Lartey has been invited to give a presentation June 14th at the annual meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Phytopathological Society in Boise, ID June 13-16. Dr. Lartey’s presentation is entitled "Leaf spot of Cercospora beticola: A new disease of safflower" and is part of a symposium on "New and Emerging Diseases in the Pacific Division Region." Co-authors on the research effort include NPARL colleagues, Microbiologist TheCan Caesar, Weed Ecologist Andy Lenssen and Agricultural Engineer and Agricultural Systems Research Unit Leader Robert Evans, and Dr. S. Ghoshroy, of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM. The Pacific Division is the regional representation of the American Phytopathological Society for members who live in the geographical region of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and contiguous provinces in Canada (British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan).

(TheCan Caesar, 406.433.9415, caesart@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Robert T. Lartey, 406.433.9490, rlartey@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Andy Lenssen, 406.433.9471, alenssen@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 

Soil compaction seminar hosted by ARS Montana lab

Dr. Pedro Andrade, a Research Associate with Washington State University, Prosser, will give a seminar Wednesday, June 14 th , at the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory (NPARL) in Sidney, Montana. Dr. Andrade will discuss "On-the-go soil compaction measurement with an instrumented shank." He is visiting the Montana ARS research facility as part of a collaborative effort to upgrade the lab’s current weather station technology.

 

ARS soil scientist participates in ag air quality workshop

NPARL Soil Scientist Upendra Sainju participated in a workshop on "Agricultural Air Quality: State of the Science" held in Washington, D.C. June 5-8. Dr. Sainju presented a poster entitled "Soil carbon dioxide flux as influenced by irrigation, tillage, cropping system, and nitrogen fertilization" at that workshop, which was sponsored by the Ecological Society of America. Goals of the meeting included assessing the state of science regarding agricultural air quality; build ing on existing knowledge; and fostering multidisciplinary communication and partnerships with the ultimate aim of recommend ing changes and improvements in measurement technologies and monitoring methodologies, modeling, and best management and production practices to mitigate air pollutant emissions from agricultural sources. Dr. Sainju is a member of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit (ASRU). Coauthors with him on the poster were fellow ASRU researchers Jay Jabro and Bart Stevens.

(Jay Jabro, 406.433.9442, jjabro@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Upendra Sainju, 406.433.9408, usainju@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Bart Stevens, 406.433.9476, bstevens@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 

You’re never too young to learn at ARS

NPARL hosted 20 plus Sidney, MT preschool students, ages 3 to 6, at the Sidney, MT ARS facility on May 2. The youngsters came to learn more about insects through colorful displays and fun exercises set up in the lab’s tech transfer room. In addition to viewing displays of pinned insects, the youngsters learned about: insect body parts, what insects eat, what eats insects, how insects eat, insect sounds and how insects make sounds. The youngsters then learned about good and bad insects and how good insects can be used to help control noxious weeds through biological control, a major focus of the lab’s Pest Management Research Unit. Helping with the presentations were Technical Information Specialist Beth Redlin and PMRU Biological Science Technician Kimberly Mann. This is the second year the preschoolers have visited the Sidney, MT lab.

(Kimberly Mann, 406.433.9428, kmann@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Beth Redlin, 406.433.9427, bredlin@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 


Last Modified: 9/24/2008
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