Test to Detect Grain Insects Tops List of Postdoc ProjectsBy Linda McGraw
WASHINGTON, Dec. 24--Coming up with improved tests to detect insects and insect fragments in stored-grain products with high technology sensors tops the list of 50 proposals selected by the Agricultural Research Service for its 1999 Postdoctoral Research Associate Program.
ARS, the U.S. Department of Agricultures chief scientific agency, has allocated $4 million to fund the 50 projects selected from more than 300 proposals from ARS scientists.
Each ARS scientist whose proposal was accepted will receive $80,000 to hire a postdoc for two years of high-priority research.
The postdoc proposals enable us to direct more of our limited funds to meet our most significant research needs. At the same time, we can provide postdocs an opportunity to do cutting-edge science alongside veteran researchers," said ARS Administrator Floyd P. Horn. Each year, the proposals submitted by scientists show remarkable quality.
This years top-ranked proposal was submitted by ARS entomologist James E. Throne for improved tests for early detection of stored-product insects in grain and grain products, such as wheat and wheat flour. Damage from larvae of the lesser grain borer, rice weevil and maize weevil costs the U.S. wheat industry about $500 million annually.
For submitting the top proposal, Throne will receive the agencys T. W. Edminster Award, which includes a plaque and a second year of postdoctoral research funding.
Cooperating with Throne are entomologist James E. Baker and agricultural engineer Floyd E. Dowell. All three scientists are with the agencys Grain Marketing and Production Research Center in Manhattan, Kan. The tests will use a technology called near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).
Thrones proposal was one of the top six of the 50 research proposals accepted for funding. The other five are from:
Scientific contact: Edward B. Knipling, associate administrator, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Washington, D.C., phone (202) 720-3656.