Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AREAWIDE PEST MANAGEMENT PROGRAM FOR RUSSIAN WHEAT APHID AND GREENBUG

Location: Wheat, Peanut and Other Field Crops Research

Title: Collaborating with wheat producers in demonstrating areawide integrated pest management

Authors
item Keenan, Sean - OKLAHOMA STATE UNIV
item Giles, Kristopher - OKLAHOMA STATE UNIV
item Burgener, Paul - UNIV OF NEBRASKA
item Christian, David - UNIV OF NEBRASKA
item Elliott, Norman

Submitted to: Journal of Extension
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2006
Publication Date: February 15, 2007
Citation: Keenan, S.P., Giles, K.L., Burgener, P.A., Christian, D.A., Elliott, N.C. 2007. Collaborating with wheat producers in demonstrating areawide integrated pest management. Journal of Extension. 45(1):1FEA7.

Interpretive Summary: In the fall of 2001, the USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) initiated a five-year areawide demonstration program for suppression of two significant pests of winter wheat, the Russian wheat aphid and greenbug. A cooperative research team was assembled from five universities—the University of Nebraska, Colorado State University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, and Texas A&M University, and USDA-ARS. Focus groups were initiated, which are a way to initiate relationships with producers while learning about their farming history and decision-making. The focus groups showed that producers were less confident in evaluating insect management problems compared to weed management. Focus groups revealed that producers were broadly familiar with aphid species, diseases transmitted by aphids, and natural enemies of aphids. However, only a few producers seemed comfortable with scouting for insects and determining the effectiveness of natural enemies. This was particularly true in contrast to their familiarity and comfort level in managing weeds and diseases in winter wheat. Cooperative Extension Service (CES) educators are relied upon by producers for information needed to manage insect problems. CES educators play an important role in increasing producer's knowledge of field scouting and insect identification technology. Producers would like to know how to scout fields and identify insects (pest and beneficial), but they need to be shown how to do it correctly. Producers have benefited from aphid-resistant wheat varieties; however, they need to be reminded not to rely on this technology to the exclusion of other IPM methods. To help reach nontraditional users of CES, the Areawide program initiated a press release effort in the fifth year of the program. An effort is also underway to develop a video training program and printed IPM Handbook for wider distribution. The focus group study highlights the importance of robust and ongoing technology transfer programs if pest management tools and programs developed by state and federal researchers are to reach a high level of adoption and utility by producers.

Technical Abstract: In the fall of 2001, the USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) initiated a five-year areawide demonstration program for suppression of two significant pests of winter wheat, the Russian wheat aphid and greenbug. A cooperative research team was assembled from five universities—the University of Nebraska, Colorado State University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, and Texas A&M University. The research team worked with USDA-ARS to establish cooperative relationships with wheat producers and field demonstration sites. Focus groups were a way to initiate relationships with producers while learning about their farming history and decision-making. Using software for textual analysis, we explored focus group discussion regarding wheat pests and management. The analysis illustrates that producers were relatively less confident in evaluating insect management problems compared to weed management. Focus groups revealed that producers were broadly familiar with aphid species, diseases transmitted by aphids, and natural enemies of aphids. However, only a few producers seemed comfortable with scouting for insects and determining the effectiveness of natural enemies. This was particularly noticeable in contrast to their familiarity and comfort level in managing weeds and diseases in winter wheat. Wheat producers do rely on Cooperative Extension Service (CES) to manage insect problems. CES educators play an important role in increasing producer's knowledge of field scouting and insect identification. In focus groups, producers illustrated curiosity about insect identification that went beyond simple concern about economic crop losses. Producers would like to know how to scout fields and identify insects (pest and beneficial), but they need to be shown how to do it correctly. Producers have benefited from aphid-resistant wheat varieties; however, they need to be reminded not to rely on this technology to the exclusion of other IPM methods. To help reach nontraditional users of Cooperative Extension, the Areawide program initiated a press release effort in the fifth year of the program. An effort is also underway to develop a video training program and printed IPM Handbook for wider distribution.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page