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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Issue: July/August 2004
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Northern PlainFacts.Northern PlainFacts image extension.

Issue: July/August 2004


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:

 

OIRP program leader to speak at NPARL
NPARL irrigation specialist to give talk on strip tillage and LEPA irrigation in sugar beets

ARS representatives to participate in leafy spurge weed tour
ARS laboratory featured on ag processor’s tour

Lab participates in commemorative photo event
Biological control, pest management outreach focus of ARS lab
Sidney, MT ARS lab hosts Busch Ag Barley Malt Advisory Committee
ARS plant pathologists participate in APS meeting
ARS botanist invited to speak on saltcedar at ESA meeting
ARS insect pest specialists to speak at international meeting
ARS soil scientist aids range modeling effort
Montana ARS lab hosts visiting scientist studying sugar beet pest control

 

 


OIRP program leader to speak at NPARL

Dr. Chuck Quimby, the former Director of the USDA-ARS European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) in France, and currently International Program Leader in the ARS Office of International Research Programs (OIRP) will visit the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT on Friday, July 9th. Dr. Quimby will be giving an informal seminar on EBCL and OIRP during his visit, as well as touring the Sidney ARS facility and meeting with researchers in the lab’s Pest Management Research Unit.

NPARL irrigation specialist to give talk on strip tillage and LEPA irrigation in sugar beets

NPARL Agricultural Engineer Dr. Robert Evans has been invited to speak at the Montana State University Eastern Agricultural Research Center’s Field Day July 13th in Sidney, MT. Dr. Evans, Research Leader of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Unit, will discuss his research on strip tilling for sugar beets under self-propelled center pivot or linear move irrigation systems, as well as his work on LEPA (low energy precision application) irrigation systems for the same types of crops. Strip tilling reduces the number of passes producers will need to prepare a sugar beet field for planting, while LEPA systems help to prevent moisture loss due to evaporation by applying water at ground level under the canopy, which also helps reduce foliar disease.

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS representatives to participate in leafy spurge weed tour

NPARL Biological Science Technician Kimberly Mann has been invited to speak at the 2004 Tri-County Leafy Spurge Tour Thursday, July 22, in Wibaux County, MT. Mann, who works with the Sidney, MT ARS lab’s Pest Management Research Unit, will speak at the day’s second tour stop providing “An update on Biological Control of Leafy Spurge” at the TEAM Leafy Spurge biological control site in the area. Also participating in the event is Weed Ecologist Matt Rinella from Montana’s Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, MT, who is featured at the third stop. He will discuss ongoing leafy spurge research on a Keltner Ranch plot. Kicking off the tour is a presentation by Prairie County Weed Supervisor Ray Dolatta, who will discuss “Mapping Weed Infestations Using GPS” and provide a hands-on session for participants.

(Kimberly Mann, 406.433.9428, kmann[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS laboratory featured on ag processor’s tour

The USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT is once again participating in the Annual MonDak Ag Open, Aug. 3-5. The annual three-day event, now in its seventh year, brings together agricultural industry representatives including food processors, researchers, growers and financiers from across the nation to tour ag operations and facilities in the Montana Dakota region. The Sidney, MT ARS lab is one of the featured stops in a series of tours which showcase the agricultural potential of the region and highlights opportunities for growth and development through expanded irrigation and production of value added and high value crops. Research Leader Dr. Robert Evans of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit will discuss the work conducted at the Sidney lab and how that effort further solidifies ARS's contributions to the MonDak "research triangle." This "research triangle," consisting of NPARL, Montana State University's Eastern Agricultural Research Center in Sidney, MT and North Dakota State University's Williston Research Extension Center, can deliver applied and basic research on any crop grown in the region, as well as offer support to producers looking at new crops for the area. Nearly 300 people participate in the MonDak Ag Open event each year, including more than 200 invited guests.

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

Lab participates in commemorative photo event

Employees of the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney Montana posed for pictures as part of a special photo commemoration of Captain William Clark’s journey down the Yellowstone River nearly 200 years ago. The pictures taken on Sunday, July 25, are intended to capture contemporary life on the Yellowstone during a single 24-hour period, the same day explorer William Clark carved his name onto Pompey’s Pillar in 1806. At the Sidney ARS lab, Entomologist Stefan Jaronski and assistant Chris Viets posed for a picture while doing their Sunday chores: feeding caged grasshoppers. Technician Rob Schlothauer did the same while recording daily observations of assorted grasshopper experiments at the lab. All three employees are with the lab’s Pest Management Research Unit. The pictures will be on display this fall at local art museums, with the best submitted for inclusion in a major exhibition entitled “A Day in the Life of the Yellowstone River Valley” to be held at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, MT in 2005.

(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486, sjaronski[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Rob Schlothauer, 406.433.9495, rschlothauer[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Chris Viets, 406.433.2020, cviets[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

Biological control, pest management outreach focus of ARS lab

NPARL scientists, technicians and summer personnel will help staff the Sidney, MT ARS lab’s annual outreach display booth at the Richland County Fair and Rodeo to be held in Sidney Aug. 4-7. The booth includes information on research conducted at the facility, this year highlighting the lab’s biological control research work by scientists with its Pest Management Research Unit and studies in “Sustainable Pest Management in Wheat” being conducted in its Agricultural Systems Research Unit. In addition, youth exhibits featuring information on “The Amazing World of Plants,” and another on ARS’s 50th anniversary will also featured. The fair attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Sidney, MT ARS lab hosts Busch Ag Barley Malt Advisory Committee

Members of the Barley Malt Advisory Committee of Busch Ag Resources Inc. (BARI) visited NPARL and the MonDak region July 29th as part of a three-day tour of Montana and North Dakota to visit irrigation districts and view area barley crops. Committee members included company officials from Montana, North Dakota, Idaho, Colorado, and the firm’s home office in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Robert Evans, a water management specialist and research leader of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, provided the group with an overview of research conducted by the lab, with particular emphasis on malting barley water management and related irrigation projects. NPARL Soil Scientist Jed Waddell also met with the group to discuss the Malt Barley Nitrogen and Irrigation study that ARS is conducting jointly with BARI and Montana State University’s Eastern Agricultural Research Center (EARC). Also addressing the committee were local growers Don Steinbeisser, Sr. and Buzz Mattelin and Dr. Jerry Bergman, EARC director, who led a tour of MSU barley plots in addition to discussing area malt barley research initiatives. Busch Ag Resources, Inc. built a malt barely loading facility in Sidney in 2003.

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Jed Waddell, 406.433.9402, jwaddell[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS plant pathologists participate in APS meeting

ARS plant pathologist Robert T. Lartey was invited to participate in the 2004 American Phytophathological Society meeting in Anaheim, CA, July 31-Aug. 4. Dr. Lartey, a member of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, presented a poster entitled “Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius): A potential alternate host of Cercospora beticola.” Also attending the meeting was fellow NPARL plant pathologist Anthony Caesar, with the Montana lab’s Pest Management Research Unit. Caesar is a co-author with Dr. Lartey on the poster, along with NPARL Microbiologist TheCan Caesar(-TonThat) and NPARL Biological Science Technician Neoma Sol. Also contributing was ARS Research Chemist. Weilin Shelver of the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center, Fargo, ND. The APS is an international scientific organization of nearly 5,000 members. Topics at its annual session included the latest information on emerging plant diseases, plant disease controls and new biosecurity initiatives.

(Anthony Caesar, 406.433.9412, caesara[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(TheCan Caesar(-TonThat), 406.433.9415, caesart[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)(Robert T. Lartey, 406.433.9490, rlartey[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Neoma Sol, 406.433.9492, nsol[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS botanist invited to speak on saltcedar at ESA meeting

NPARL Botanist John Gaskin has been invited to give a presentation at the Ecological Society of America's 2004 Annual Meeting held in Portland, Oregon, August 1-6, 2004. Dr. Gaskin’s presentation, entitled “Providing even more opportunities for the evolution of invasive saltcedars,” discusses molecular studies that show how rapid evolutionary events have influenced the genetic structure of the riparian weed. Participating in the study were Dr. Dave Kazmer, an entomologist with the Sidney, MT ARS lab, and Patrick Shafroth, with the U.S. Geological Survey in Fort Collins, CO. Both Gaskin and Kazmer are with ARS’s Pest Management Research Unit in Sidney, MT. The theme for this year’s ESA meeting is "Lessons of Lewis & Clark: Ecological Exploration of Inhabited Landscapes." Close to 4,000 scientists are expected to attend.

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

ARS insect pest specialists to speak at international meeting

Three NPARL researchers are participating as both invited speakers and symposium organizers in the 12th International Congress of Entomology to be held in Brisbane, Australia Aug. 15-21. Dr. Thomas Shanower, Research Leader of NPARL’s Pest Management Unit, will present a paper entitled “Advances in wheat stem sawfly management” and is a co-organizer of the symposium “Advances in managing wheat insect pests: A global perspective.” Also with NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit, Ecologist Gregory Sword will present a paper entitled “Host plant-associated genetic differentiation in the snakeweed grasshopper, Hesperotettix viridis,“ while Entomologist Dave Branson will address “Responses of grasshoppers to livestock grazing: Habitat manipulation by mammalian herbivores.” Drs. Branson and Sword are also co-organizing the symposium “Integrating insect-host plant interactions in a model system (Acridids).” The Sidney, Montana ARS researchers will join 2,000 other presenters for the meeting with discussions ranging from “Managing Insects on Plants” to “Medical and Veterinary Entomology” to “Biodiversity and Biogeography” and much more.

(Dave Branson, 406.433.9406, dbranson[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Thomas Shanower, 406.433.9405, tshanower[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Greg Sword, 406.433.9429, gsword[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS soil scientist aids range modeling effort

NPARL Soil Scientist Jed Waddell traveled Aug. 23-26 to the US Forest Service’s Desert Experimental Range in Millard Co., Utah to meet with other researchers developing a population modeling program targeting native and exotic plant species. Dr. Waddell, a member of NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, was asked to provide his expertise on soil, nutrient and water handling for incorporation of those elements into the existing INTASS model developed by Dr. John Emlen with the US Geological Survey in Seattle. Dr. Waddell met with Dr. Emlen, Dr. Carl Freeman of Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) and Dr. Matt Rinella of ARS (Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, Miles City, MT) in Utah to discuss the project and sample quadrats containing a variety of native and exotic plant species, surface cover, and soil types. The model determines the important parameters to establish the fitness of target species.

(Jed Waddell, 406.433.9402, jwaddell[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

Montana ARS lab hosts visiting scientist studying sugar beet pest control

Dr. Kerstin Jung of the German Federal Biological Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Darmstadt, will be visiting the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney Montana for 22 weeks, beginning August 26. Her visit is being funded by the OECD Cooperative Research Program on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems. Dr. Jung will be collaborating with Dr. Stefan Jaronski, and his postdoc, Dr. Cynthia Fuller, both with the Sidney, MT lab’s Pest Management Research Unit, in studying sugar beet rhizosphere colonization by the insect pathogenic fungi, Beauveria and Metarhizum, and in related research concerning the microbial control of the sugar beet root maggot. The OECD program seeks to promote international co-operation and networking among research scientists and institutions in priority areas of basic and applied agro-food research, through sponsorship of research fellowships such as Dr. Jung.

(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486, sjaronski[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Cynthia Fuller, 406.433.2020, cfuller[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)


Last Modified: 11/12/2004
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