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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Issue: March/April 2003
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Northern PlainFacts.Northern PlainFacts image extension.

Issue: March/April 2003


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:

 

Specialist Attends National Remote Sensing Workshops

Technician to Discuss Saltcedar at BLM Meeting

Entomologist Participates in Planning Meeting for Regional Saltcedar Biocontrol

Entomologist Participating in IPM Symposium

TEAM Leafy Spurge Program to be Distributed Nationally

Plant Pathologist to Participate in International Weed Symposium

 

 

 

Specialist Attends National Remote Sensing Workshops

Research Ecologist and Remote Sensing specialist, Dr. Gerry Anderson, is participating in the Joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Workshop on Agriculture Decision Support Systems being held in Denver, March 4-5. Dr. Anderson will also be attending a special ARS Remote Sensing Workshop at that same location on March 6-7. During the latter workshop, Dr. Anderson will present a poster entitled "Problems and Solutions in Using Aerial Hyperspectral Imagery for Agricultural Applications." The purpose of the ARS workshop is to further discuss the information gained from the NASA/USDA event and to explore new applications and collaborative research that will assist in the decision-making process and information sharing among ARS scientists.

(Gerald Anderson, 406.433.9416, ganderson[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

Technician to Discuss Saltcedar at BLM Meeting

Biological Science Technician Mary Mayer has been invited to speak at the 3rd annual Hi-Line Weeds Meeting in Malta, MT, March 19. Mayer will present an update on ARS research on saltcedar being conducted at the Sidney laboratory. The event is sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management but also includes speakers and participants from a variety of other agencies including the Nature Conservancy, NRCS, ARS and federal, state and county weed reps. Approximately 35-40 weed coordinators and related public and private agency representatives are expected to attend from the six-county region. Agenda items include discussions on the Nature Conservancy’s grass banking system, GIS happenings, biological control updates and overviews of existing weeds programs.

(Mary Mayer, 406-433-9426, mmayer[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

Entomologist Participates in Planning Meeting for Regional Saltcedar Biocontrol

Research Entomologist Dave Kazmer met with colleagues from Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and California April 7-8, 2003, in Denver, CO to discuss revisions in insect, vegetation and wildlife monitoring protocols for the group’s saltcedar biocontrol program. Dr. Kazmer and his fellow scientists all do research at the program’s 10 approved, experimental release sites for saltcedar. In addition to monitoring changes, the group also began development of a biocontrol implementation plan as the next step in the saltcedar research effort. Agencies represented include ARS and the Bureau of Reclamation. University participants include representatives from University of Nevada-Reno, UC-Davis, Texas A&M, and New Mexico State University. The Nevada State Department of Agriculture was also represented.

(Dave Kazmer, 406.433.9440, dkazmer[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

Entomologist Participating in IPM Symposium

Research Entomologist Stefan Jaronski will be participating in the 4th Integrated Pest Management Symposium, in Indianapolis IN, April 8-10, 2003. Dr. Jaronski will discuss EPA regulations and realities surrounding the ecological risk assessment of mycoinsecticides during one of the 60 breakout sessions planned at the symposium. His talk is based on the experience he gained in helping to register a Beauveria bassiana prior to joining USDA. In addition to that presentation, Dr. Jaronski will be a presenting a poster entitled "Development of a Biologically-based Pest and Disease Management System in Sugar Beets" coauthored with Barry Jacobsen, Nina Zidak and Ben Larson of Montana State University. The collaborative group is studying the deployment of insect pathogenic fungi such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae (Jaronski's specialty) to manage sugar beet root maggot and wireworm, and the integration of thosee fungi with bacterial agents developed by Montana State University for management of sugar beet pathogens. These agents are then being studied in combination with other IPM tools such as resistant/tolerant beet hybrids, various cultural practices, and moderate use of chemical pesticides.

(Stefan Jaronski, 406-433-9486, sjaronski[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

TEAM Leafy Spurge Program to be Distributed Nationally

TEAM Leafy Spurge’s recently released documentary entitled "Purging Spurge: Corralling an Ecological Bandit," is going national. Produced in partnership with North Dakota’s Prairie Public Broadcasting, Inc., the ND public television company has been asked to distribute the 30-minute documentary nationwide by the National Education Television Association. The documentary will be made available via satellite to any interested public television station beginning Sunday, April 13th. The documentary focuses on grassland health and the impact of invasive weeds like leafy spurge on the ecosystem. Its aim was, and is, to increase public awareness and to bring all segments of society on board to help control invasive weeds. The documentary debuted on North Dakota’s Prairie Public Television on Tuesday, June 25, 2002, and since then TEAM Leafy Surge has had requests from other public and independent cable stations to run the program. A VHS videotape of the documentary is also available free from TEAM Leafy Spurge by contacting the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory at P.O. Box 463, Sidney, MT 59270; or by phone at 406-433-2020; by fax at 406-433-5038; or by e-mail at teamls[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov.

Plant Pathologist to Participate in International Weed Symposium

Research Plant Pathologist Anthony Caesar will travel to Canberra, Australia April 27 through May 2 to p articipate in the XI International Symposium on the Biological Control of Weeds. The 2003 symposium, which is emphasizing the importance of ecology as the underpinning discipline for biological control, is being hosted by CSIRO Entomology. For his contribution, Dr. Caesar will be giving an invited presentation entitled "Synergistic interaction of plant pathogens and insects in classical biological control of exotic rangeland weeds" as part of that day’s general theme: "Evaluation - Population ecology in the measurement of biocontrol effectiveness."

(Anthony Caesar, 406.433.9412, caesara[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

 


Last Modified: 11/9/2004