More about TEAM Leafy Spurge:
Scientists Honored for Bringing Technology
Out of the Lab and Into the Marketplace By
Richard J. Brenner, (301)
February 13, 2003
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13Spreading the word about ways to
combat noxious weeds and developing more durable bermudagrass for athletic
fields and golf courses have garnered high honors for scientists with the
Agricultural Research Service, the chief
scientific research agency of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.
The winners of ARS Technology Transfer Awards for
Outstanding Effort include plant geneticist
Wayne Hanna of the
ARS Crop Genetics and Breeding
Research Unit at Tifton, Ga., and the
TEAM Leafy Spurge, which includes
Anderson, ecologist Chad Prosser, technical information specialist Bethany
Redlin, information aide Jill Miller and entomologist Robert Richard.
The scientists were recognized during the annual recognition
program ceremony Wednesday at ARS Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural
Research Center in Beltsville, Md., for their success in moving research
from the laboratory to the marketplace.
Leafy spurge is an exotic invasive species that infests at least
5 million acres in the United States and Canada and costs about $144 million
annually in production losses and control expenses. The Ecological Areawide
Management (TEAM) of Leafy Spurge program was formed in 1997 to develop
integrated pest management strategies to combat this prolific weed and
disseminate information about those strategies. Based at the ARS
Northern Plains Agricultural Research
Laboratory in Sidney, Mont., TEAM Leafy Spurge has developed effective and
affordable management strategies to control the species during the past six
The program has been extraordinarily successful in
accomplishing its mission, said Edward B. Knipling, acting ARS
Administrator. Team members have distributed more than 48 million flea beetles
for biological control of the weed and have produced more than 20 informational
products, including brochures, CD-ROMs and a documentary. These products have
reached a huge audience and educated ranchers and land managers throughout
North America about how to deal with spurge infestations. Researchers believe
that if the integrated management plans are carried out over larger areas,
leafy spurge could be reduced to an incidental weed.
More about Wayne Hanna:
While leafy spurge is an unwanted weed, another type of
groundcovergrassis increasingly sought after for lawns, athletic
fields, parks and golf courses. Plant geneticist Wayne Hanna, who retired in
December 2002, spent many years working to meet this growing need. Two of the
bermudagrasses he developed, TifSport and TifEagle, are so popular that demand
for them currently exceeds availability.
Dr. Hanna developed these varieties after years of
experiments and crosses, said Knipling. His work resulted in turf
cultivars that are more pest resistant, cold resistant, tolerant of high
traffic, tolerant of close mowing on golf greens and uniformly attractive to
the user than the grasses available previously.
Hanna has worked closely with the University of Georgia to
market the grasses, and they are now being grown on golf courses throughout the
southern United States, as well as in football stadiums for the Tennessee
Titans and Washington Redskins, among others.
Three other researchers and two other research teams were
honored for their technology transfer accomplishments at yesterdays
ceremony. They are:
- Thomas Beckman, research horticulturist, ARS Fruit and Nut
Research Unit, Byron, Ga. Beckman developed Guardian rootstock as a new and
effective tool for reducing losses to peach tree short life, the leading cause
of premature peach tree death in the southeastern United States. Since
Guardians release in 1993, nearly 8 million seeds have been supplied to
commercial nurseries serving the southeastern peach industry.
More aboutTri-State Potato Variety Development
- Tri-State Potato Variety Development Program, ARS Small
Grains and Potato Germplasm Unit, Aberdeen, Idaho, and ARS Vegetable and Forage
Crops Production Research Unit, Prosser, Wash. Partnering with university
breeders and potato commissions, this team created the worlds largest and
most productive potato-breeding program. Since its establishment in 1985, the
program has developed 17 new varieties of potatoes that are now being grown in
the Pacific Northwest and other states.
- James I. Davidson, Jr., mechanical engineer, ARS National
Peanut Research Laboratory, Dawson, Ga. Davidson incorporated a tremendous
quantity of research data and grower experience into an expert system that
helps producers make daily decisions about growing, harvesting and marketing
peanuts. The system helps growers minimize the risk of preharvest aflatoxin
contamination and reduce water and pesticide usage, and it has helped the
industry increase on-farm revenue by about $2 million.
More about Pina Fratamico:
- Pina M. Fratamico, microbiologist, ARS Microbial Food Safety
Research Unit, Wyndmoor, Pa. Fratamico developed fluorescent strains of the
food-borne pathogenic bacterium Escherichia coli O157:H7. The
fluorescent strains are used as controls in tests to detect the bacterium and
monitor its survival in food, and they help prevent false-positive results and
expensive recalls of large quantities of food.
Andrew Mitchell and Billy Griffin:
- Andrew J. Mitchell and Billy R. Griffin, ARS Harry K. Dupree
Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center, Stuttgart, Ark. Mitchell and
Griffin developed a pond shoreline treatment to control aquatic snails that
spread diseases to farm-raised catfish. Their treatment was adopted by the fish
industry in 2000, after approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.