Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Issue: July/August 2006
headline bar
Northern PlainFacts.

Issue: July/August 2006


The Northern PlainFacts electronic newsletter offers brief updates on research, personnel, and events from both the Agricultural Systems Research Unit and Pest Management Research Unit at NPARL, and includes contact names and information for those interested in further details. 
 

In This Month's Issue:
 

ARS lab hosts Senate Appropriations Subcommittee

ARS scientists to attend Microbial Ecology Symposium

Montana U.S. Senator visits ARS lab

ARS Lab To Participate in NPS's Event

Montana ARS Lab To Be Recognized by NWS

Iowa University Department Chair visits Montana ARS lab

Montana ARS lab hosts German scientists

State Agency Adopts ARS Lab’s E-waste Program Materials
ARS researcher to speak at Botanical Society Conference

1st International Cercospora Symposium

Researchers to discuss precision ag, research

ARS weed ecologist to speak at Swank Variety Tour

ARS ecologist, technician to participate in farm tour

Kazakhstan researcher meets with Montana ARS saltcedar scientists 
 
 

Montana ARS lab hosts Senate Appropriations Subcommittee field hearing

NPARL hosted a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies on Saturday, August 26th. U.S. Senator Conrad Burns conducted the hearing which focused on the future of renewable fuels with a special emphasis on ethanol and biodiesel. The panel of expert witnesses included: Thomas C. Dorr, Undersecretary for Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington DC and Dr. John Ashworth, Team Leader, Partnership Development with the National Bioenergy Center, Golden CO. A second five-member panel representing Montana interests included Dan Downs, board member Montana Farmers Union; Jon Stoner, president of the Montana Grain Growers Association; Dr. Jerald Bergman, director of Montana State University’s Eastern Agricultural Research Center; Garth Kallevig, representing Montana Independent Bankers, and Thad Willis, representing the Montana Farm Bureau Federation. Following the formal testimony, the hearing was adjourned and visitors allowed to question Sen. Burns and panel members.


 

ARS scientists to attend Symposium on Microbial Ecology
 

NPARL Research Microbiologist TheCan Caesar-TonThat and Research Plant Pathologist Anthony Caesar will participate in the 11th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology being held Aug. 20-25 in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Caesar-TonThat will give a presentation entitled “Aggregating ability and taxonomic diversity of predominant bacteria associated with microaggregates from two different habitats,” while Dr. Caesar will present a paper entitled “Rhizosphere bacterial communities associated with the invasive species Euphorbia esual/virgata subject to herbivory by Aphthona spp. flea beetles.” Dr. Caesar-TonTaht is a member of the ARS lab’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, while Dr. Caesar is a member of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit. In addition to his presentation, Dr. Caesar will also collect seed from Centaurea maculosa while in Austria to supplement previous collections done for an ongoing study. The biennial International Symposium on Microbial Ecology is sponsored by the International Society for Microbial Ecology, formed in Michigan in 1998, and now headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s Symposium theme is “The Hidden Powers – Microbial Communities in Action.”

(TheCan Caesar-TonThat, 406.433.9415, caesart@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

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

Montana U.S. Senator visits ARS lab

 

NPARL hosted U.S. Senator Max Baucus Wednesday, August 9th. The Montana senator held a public listening session at the lab to gather producer and industry opinions on the new farm bill and other ag issues. Discussion topics ranged from sugar to research to trade agreements during the session. Baucus is a member of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee charged with drafting a new farm bill in 2007.



ARS Lab To Participate In NPS’s Lewis & Clark Corps II Event

Two NPARL representatives will be speaking in the Tent of Many Voices as part of Sidney, MT’s "Last, Best Stop" showing of the National Park Service’s Corps of Discovery II mobile exhibit August 8-12. Biological Science Technicians Kimberly Mann of Fairview and Deb Waters of Sidney will discuss "The plants of Lewis & Clark and what they might find today." The women, both with the lab’s Pest Management Research Unit, will discuss the plants identified as new to Western Science by Lewis and Clark as they passed through the Yellowstone and Missouri River Confluence area 200 years ago. Mann and Waters will have several live samples of those native plants available, along with some of the "new" plants the pioneering naturalists would find today: noxious weeds. The technicians will also draw on materials provided by the Helena National Forest in their special "Montana Native Plants and Lewis & Clark" traveling trunk. In addition to the presentations, NPARL will also have an informational booth at the local Corps II event entitled "A New Corps of Discovery: Following in the Legacy of Lewis & Clark." T he booth will feature posters describing some of the scientific discoveries of Lewis & Clark and comparing them with contemporary research efforts underway today at the local ARS research lab.

(Kimberly Mann, 406.433.9428, kmann@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Deb Waters, 406.433.9491, dwaters@sidney.ars.usda.gov) 
 
 

Montana ARS Lab To Be Recognized As NWS StormReady Supporter

Storm Ready logo.NPARL is being recognized August 10th as a "StormReady Supporter by the National Weather Service (NWS). In announcing the award, Tanja Fransen of the Glasgow, MT weather forecast office noted: "The USDA station in Sidney has been extremely pro-active over the last few years in being prepared, not just for hazards within the facility but also to help with preparedness activities within the community. USDA safety officer Jackie Couture is the chair of the Richland County Local Emergency Planning Committee and actively involved with the Community Emergency Response Team. This is just a natural extension of all the great work they have been doing to help with preparedness in their workplace and the community." The Sidney, MT ARS lab regularly hosts severe weather training courses and winter weather safety programs for both its employees and the community at large. Fifteen NPARL employees have been certified as NWS weather spotters. NPARL completed a series of rigorous warning criteria necessary to earn the distinction of being the first Storm Ready Supporter in Montana and only the 17th in the nation. The Sidney, MT research facility is also the only ARS facility in the nation to be so recognized.

(Jackie Couture, 406.433.9422, jcouture@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 
 

Iowa University Department Chair visits Montana ARS lab

NPARL hosted a seminar entitled "Molecular dissection of cyst nematode parasitism" by Dr. Thomas Baum, chair of the Department of Plant Pathology at Iowa State University, on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Dr. Baum was a guest of NPARL Plant Pathologist Robert Lartey, a member of the lab’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit. Dr. Baum’s visit to the lab coincided with that of several former colleagues from Germany. Dr. Baum recently received the Ruth Allen Award at the 2006 APS meeting, which is awarded to scientists who have "made outstanding innovative contributions to research that has changed or has the potential to change the direction of research” in their field. Dr. Baum's research effort focuses on identification and characterization of nematode parasitism genes and dissection of the host plant response on molecular and genetic levels. He's also worked on eyespot disease in wheat; species interactions, molecular identifications and phylogeny of root-knot nematodes and the use of "plantibodies" as a potential nematode control mechanism.

(Robert Lartey, 406.433.9490, rlartey@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 
 

Montana ARS lab hosts German scientists

NPARL hosted four German scientists studying cercospora leaf spot of sugar beet Aug. 6-8. The scientists were guests of NPARL Plant Pathologist Robert Lartey, a member of the lab’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit who is also studying biocontrol options for cercospora in sugar beet and net blotch of barley. While here the visitors toured the ARS lab, area fields and related sites, including the Busch Agricultural Resources malt barley loading facility and the Sidney Sugars beet processing plant. In addition Dr. Joseph-Alexander Verreet and Dr. Peter Wolf gave a public presentation on their research Monday evening, Aug. 7. They discussed new disease control models they’ve developed for sugar beet and barley, including an Integrated Pest Management Sugar Beet Model for improved control of cercospora leaf spot that defines thresholds for the most important epidemic phases and thresholds which characterize tolerable disease levels. The latter model has been in use in Germany since 1997 and is now being widely used by extension services, sugar beet manufacturers and farmers. Dr. Verreet heads the Institute for Plant Pathology at Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel Germany. Dr Wolf is a professor of plant pathology at Munich Technical University. Also participating in the tour was Dr. Holger Klink, a faculty member at Christian-Albrechts-University, and graduate student Melanie Klix, a student of Dr. Verreet’s.

(Robert Lartey, 406.433.9490, rlartey@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 
 

State Agency Adopts Montana ARS Lab’s E-waste Program Materials

State agency adopts Montana ARS lab’s e-waste program materials. (USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, Sidney, MT) In a July 19th meeting with NPARL and community representatives organizing their second “e-rase your e-waste” event, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality announced that it was adopting the group’s slogan and logo for a series of statewide e-cycling pilot programs. In announcing the decision, Montana DEQ Recycling and Marketing Development Specialist; Sandra Boggs, noted that the “e-rase your e-waste” materials from ARS provided a “catchy title and graphics (that) are easily remembered and quickly become recognizable by the public. We appreciate your development of these items and especially your willingness to share them with Montana communities. We believe the consistent use of a uniform name and logo for these events are an important part of DEQ's educational campaign regarding electronic waste. Once again - thank you for all your hard work promoting electronic waste recycling!” NPARL Technical Information Specialist Bethany Redlin developed the original logo and slogan with aid from NPARL Occupational Health and Safety Officer Jackie Couture. The materials were designed to promote a community-wide e-cycling event initiated and co-organized by Couture and several community groups at the Sidney, MT ARS lab last summer. The event collected more than 4.2 tons of e-waste and a host of calls from other communities, businesses and individuals interested in putting together similar e-cycling programs. In response, NPARL representatives developed templates of the promotional materials and posted them on the lab’s website at http://www.ars.usda.gov/npa/nparl/ewaste for anyone to use, along with tips on how to organize an "e-rase your e-waste" campaign. Since then, several entities have adapted the materials for their e-cycling efforts including neighboring Williston, ND; East Contra Costa County, CA and most recently Montana DEQ.

(Jackie Couture, 406.433.9422, jcouture@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Bethany Redlin, 406.433.9427, bredlin@sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 


 ARS researcher to speak at Botanical Society centennial conference

NPARL Botanist John Gaskin will be attending the Botanical Society of America annual conference July 29-Aug. 2 at Chico, CA. Dr. Gaskin will be presenting a paper Aug. 2 on "Novel hybrids produced since the introduction of saltcedar and the influence of garden plantings on nearby invasions." Additional authors of the presentation include Dr. David Kazmer, also with USDA-ARS in Sidney, MT, and Pat Shafroth (USGS, Ft. Collins, CO). Dr. Gaskin is a member of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit. More than 1000 participants will present over 700 scientific contributions including papers, posters, special lectures and 15 symposia at the conference, which marks the Society’s 100th year.

(John Gaskin, 406.433.9444, jgaskin@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(David Kazmer, 406.433.9440, dkazmer@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 
 

1st International Cercospora Symposium

NPARL Plant Pathologist Robert Lartey is among five organizers putting together the 1st International Symposium on Cercospora Leaf Spot of Sugar Beet to be held Aug. 2 during the joint meeting of the American and Canadian Phytopathological Societies and the Mycological Society of America to be held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada July 29-Aug. 2. Two other ARS researchers are also helping coordinate this first-ever event. They include Drs. Lee Panella (USDA-ARS, Ft. Collin, CO) and John Weiland (USDA-ARS Fargo, ND). Nearly two dozen researchers from North America and Europe are participating in the day-long symposium Aug. 2 which is the first to bring together researchers from around the world studying this very serious and destructive fungal disease in sugar beet. For his part, Dr. Lartey will present a paper entitled "Biological Relations of Cercospora beticola with Host Plants and Fungal Antagonists." Additional authors on that paper include Soumitra Ghoshroy of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, and TheCan Caesar-TonThat, Andy Lenssen and Robert Evans, all with USDA-ARS in Sidney, MT. Dr. Lartey is a member of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit.

(TheCan Caesar-TonThat, 406.433.9415, caesart@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Robert Lartey, 406.433.9490, rlartey@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Andy Lenssen, 406.433.9471, alenssen@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 
 
 
Researchers to discuss precision ag, sugar beet research at field day

NPARL Research Agronomist Bart Stevens and Physical Scientist Bill Iversen have been invited to speak at Montana State University’s Eastern Agricultural Research Center (EARC) Field Day in Sidney, MT on July 20. The researchers, both with NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, will discuss "Precision irrigation and strip till sugar beet production" in their presentation. Other presenters at the event include university and industry representatives from MSU-Bozeman; North Dakota State University’s Williston Research and Extension Center, Williston, ND; Sidney Sugars, Inc. and Busch Agricultural Resources, Inc.. In addition, cooperative research between EARC and NPARL will also be discussed during the Montana Agricultural Research Centers’ summer conference hosted by EARC July 20-21, following the field day. The gathering brings together research staff from MSU’s seven outlying research centers to learn about research work at the host site and identify possible collaborative projects.

(Bill Iversen, 406.433.9417, biversen@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Bart Stevens, 406.433.9476, bstevens@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
 
 

ARS weed ecologist to speak at 26th annual Swank Variety Tour

NPARL Weed Ecologist Andy Lenssen has been invited to participate in the 26th annual Swank Variety Tour at the Swank farm in eastern Montana July 20. Dr. Lenssen’s presentation will address "Weed seed bank management." The tour is sponsored by area agricultural chemical representatives, the Culbertson and Poplar, MT Chambers of Commerce, Montana State University and Roosevelt County. Lenssen is a member of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit.

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


 
ARS ecologist, technician to participate in Montana farm tour

NPARL Weed Ecologist Andy Lenssen and Biological Science Technician Deb Waters are participating in the Daniels County Farm Tour in Scobey, MT, July 17. Waters, who works for NPARL Entomologist Tom Shanower (currently in China to collect parasites attacking the wheat stem sawfly) will join Research Agronomist Bill Berzonsky from North Dakota State University to discuss sawfly research efforts underway in Montana and North Dakota. Dr. Lennsen will discuss "Weed management in dryland cropping systems" during his presentation. Other university, government and industry reps will discuss topics ranging from pesticide record keeping, weed control in organic production and spring wheat and durum variety plots. Waters is with NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit, while Lenssen is with the lab’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit.

(Andy Lenssen, 406.433.9471, alenssen@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Tom Shanower, 406.433.9405, tshanower@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Deb Waters, 406.433.9491, dwaters@sidney.ars.usda.gov
)


 
Kazakhstan researcher meets with Montana ARS saltcedar scientists

Kazakhstan zoology senior researcher Roman Jashenko visited the Sidney, Montana ARS research laboratory as the guest of NPARL saltcedar researchers, Entomologist Dave Kazmer and Botanist John Gaskin July 8-11. Jashenko works with USDA to identify insects with the potential to serve as biological control agents for saltcedar and other noxious weeds that originated in Kazakhstan. Jashenko helped identify the Chinese leaf beetle, Diorhabda elongata, that has been successful in combating saltcedar at a Wyoming research site overseen by Dr. Kazmer, but which has been subject to severe predation at another site located near Fort Peck, Montana. Jashenko and Kazmer toured the Montana site July 10 and Jashenko will now turn his attention to identifying potential predator-resistant biocontrol insects for use in that area. Drs. Kazmer and Gaskin are both members of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit.

(John Gaskin, 406.433.9444, jgaskin@sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Dave Kazmer, 406.433.9440, dkazmer@sidney.ars.usda.gov
)
 


                             




Last Modified: 9/24/2008