Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Issue: September/October 2004
headline bar
Northern PlainFacts.Northern PlainFacts image extension.

Current Issue: September/October 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:
 

ARS irrigation specialist to participate in agricultural water security listening session
Montana ARS lab participates in “Outdoor Classroom” education effort

ARS lab lends a hand to wind energy study

ARS lab to host students learning about science careers

ARS plant pathologist to speak at W1185 meeting
ARS entomologist to speak at W1185 meeting
ARS entomologist to speak at Canada pest meeting

ARS Safety Officer among NOAA honorees for grassroots effort

Redlin Receives National Award

ARS entomologist discusses impact of fire on grasshopper populations

ARS researchers to participate in international crop and soil meeting

ARS remote sensing specialist gives joint tutorial at Vienna sensor conference

ARS grasshopper research featured by Western news publications

ARS plant pathologist invited to speak to university entomologists

 

 

 

ARS irrigation specialist to participate in agricultural water security listening session

Dr. Robert Evans, research leader for the Sidney, MT lab’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit, has been invited to participate in a joint USDA Research, Education and Economics “Listening Session on Agricultural Water Security” to be held Sept. 9-10 in Park City, UT. An agricultural engineer and irrigation specialist, Dr. Evans has been asked to serve as a technical expert at the event which will include not only invited individuals from USDA agencies, but also representatives with extra departmental partners, university experts, the Western Governors Association, Ag Experiment Station Directors, private and public water-related associations and agencies, rural and urban utilities, water/education/extension NGOs, and regional, state and local government agencies. The group will discuss water availability and scarcity issues and use the information collected to develop a coordinated effort to conduct necessary research and education/extension programs on water supply, allocation and distribution issues.

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

Montana ARS lab participates in “Outdoor Classroom” education effort

NPARL biological Science Technician Kimberly Mann has been asked to participate in a two-county “Outdoor Classroom” program September 15-16 for eighth-grade students from rural and urban schools in eastern Montana. Mann, a member of the Sidney ARS lab’s Pest Management Research Unit, will be doing a presentation on range plants and noxious weeds, using the program’s outdoor meeting site as her laboratory to teach the students about maintaining a healthy range ecosystem. The two-day Outdoor Classroom event, now in its second year, is sponsored by the Richland and Roosevelt (MT) County Conservation Districts and targets 8th grade students in both counties. More than 300 students from nearly a dozen area schools located in surrounding rural communities and on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation are expected to participate. In addition to Mann’s presentation, the day-long program includes talks on weather, wildlife tracking, tree identification, archaeology and geology by representatives from the National Weather Service, Fish Wildlife and Parks, local schools and other agencies and organizations.

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

ARS lab lends a hand to wind energy study

The Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT is lending 10 anemometers for use in a two-year wind measurement project being coordinated by the Eastern Plains Resource, Conservation and Development office, also located in Sidney. The Eastern Plains RC&D office serves a 16-county region, and is using the instruments to help determine the potential for wind energy development in the region. The anemometers, used to continuously measure wind direction and speed, are being distributed to landowners in areas that have shown initial potential for development. Wind consistency, in addition to speed, is key to any future development, which is why the RC&D office is conducting the measurement study over a two-year period. RC&D’s were established by Congress over 40 years ago as a unique program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that empowered rural people to help themselves. The focus on local direction and control has made RC&D one of the most successful rural development programs of the Federal Government.

ARS lab to host students learning about science careers

The Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT will host about 50 fifth grade students interested in learning more about science careers “in their own backyard” on Thursday, September 23. The event, organized by NPARL staff and Sidney elementary school teacher Kathy Steinbeisser, will include a presentation by NPARL Botanist Dr. John Gaskin; displays/handouts on research conducted by the lab and ARS in general, and tours of the facility. Throughout, students will learn about the various types of science jobs found at the lab and the education needed to qualify for those positions. This is the second year for the Sidney school’s 5th grade “careers” tour at the ARS lab.

(John Gaskin, 406.433.9444, jgaskin[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS plant pathologist to speak at W1185 meeting

NPARL Plant Pathologist Anthony Caesar has been invited to speak at the W1185 Western Regional Biological Control meeting to be held in Alta, Utah, Oct. 5-7. Dr. Caesar will speak at the Microbes in Biological Control Symposium being held at the meeting. His presentation is entitled “Soilborne microbes and classical biological control: or multitrophic effects, with negative feedback, on non-indigenous plants.” W1185 is a five-year, multi-state and international research effort focused on “Biological Control in Pest Management Systems of Plants.” Weeds targeted by the research effort include cape ivy, gorse, purple loosestrife, knapweeds, saltcedars, spurges and thistles among others. Participating institutions include USDA-APHIS, CABI-Bioscience, seven ARS research facilities (including NPARL) in five states and two foreign countries; 14 universities in 12 states, plus two in American Samoa and Guam.

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

ARS entomologist to speak at W1185 meeting

NPARL Entomologist Stefan Jaronski has been invited to speak at the W1185 Western Regional Biological Control meeting to be held in Alta, Utah, Oct. 5-7. Dr. Jaronski, a member of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit, will speak at the Microbes in Biological Control Symposium being held at the meeting. His presentation is entitled “Biocontrol of sugarbeet root maggot with a fungus: Opportunities, constraints, challenges, and potentials." W1185 is a five-year, multi-state and international research effort focused on “Biological Control in Pest Management Systems of Plants” and targeting weed and arthropod pests. Participating institutions include USDA-APHIS, CABI-Bioscience, seven ARS research facilities (including NPARL) in five states and two foreign countries; and 14 universities in 12 states, plus two in American Samoa and Guam.

(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486, sjaronski[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS entomologist to speak at Canada pest meeting

NPARL Entomologist Tom Shanower has been invited to speak at the 2004 annual meeting of the Western Forum on Pest Management in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada October 12-14. Dr. Shanower’s presentation will feature an overview of his research on biological control of wheat stem sawfly and other pest management work being done at NPARL, along with an overview of research findings presented at the recent wheat stem sawfly symposium held in Bozeman, MT last June. Dr. Shanower, who heads up NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit, was asked to speak as part of the Western Committee on Crop Pests meeting, a component of Canada's Western Forum on Pest Management. The committee consists of a widely-based group of pest management experts and researches who meet annually to share information from across the region on pest and disease incidences/losses, control practices, regulatory and marketing issues, and new pest/disease occurrence. The group encompasses the four Western Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The goal of the WCCP is to identify IPM methods that are cost-effective and that do not adversely affect the health of individuals, livestock, wildlife or the environment.

(Tom Shanower, 406.433.9405, tshanower[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS Safety Officer among NOAA honorees for grassroots effort

NPARL’s Safety and Health Officer Jackie Couture was among the honorees at a National Weather Service (NWS) “Stormready” designation ceremony held in Sidney, Montana October 4th. Stormready is a grassroots program developed by National Weather Service offices to recognize counties and communities across the nation who have worked to improve their warning dissemination systems and bring safety awareness to the people they serve. Couture, who chairs the Richland County Local Emergency Preparedness Committee (LEPC) in Sidney, took part in the ceremony which recognized that committee’s and the county’s efforts in the following areas: 1) development of a detailed Emergency Operations Plan that covers weather hazards and routinely conducts both severe weather and winter weather safety training for both emergency personnel and the general public; 2) inclusion of severe weather training in the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, and 3) the placement of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration All-Hazards radios in critical facilities of all incorporated towns in the county. Presentations by NWS Western Region Director Vickie Nadolski, NWS Glasgow Meteorologist in Charge Julie Adolphson and the Montana State Disaster and Emergency Services Office were included in the formal ceremony. In addition to her work with the LEPC, Couture, along with NPARL’s Location Administrative Officer Mellissa Brockes, joined with other area emergency and disaster officials to bring the first CERT training to the Sidney area, after both NPARL reps participated in the first training conducted in the state of Montana as the selected representatives from Richland County.

(Jackie Couture, 406.433.9422, jcouture[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

Redlin Receives National Award
The Roundup (http://www.esidney.com/) By Lois Kerr

Beth Redlin, Technical Information Specialist with the USDA/ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab (NPARL) in Sidney, has won the 2004 Excellence in Information Award. This national award, given annually by the ARS, honors the individual who has exhibited “exemplary service in information sharing that communicates ARS findings to customers and promotes NPARL, ARS, and USDA accomplishments throughout the region, nation, and internationally.”

Redlin’s nomination, based on a compilation of all the work she has done at the Sidney ARS lab, made it all the way to the top of the heap, winning out over information specialists from other ARS labs across the country. “This is definitely an honor and very unexpected, especially since we are a small lab,” Redlin says of her outstanding accomplishment.

Redlin began her duties as Technical Information Specialist with the local ARS in December 1999. As the Technical Information Specialist, Redlin fulfills a variety of responsibilities, including public relations efforts, graphic design, writing, editing, and performing electronic publishing that includes the development of CD-ROMs, pamphlets, and web page design. The national ARS selection committee looked at the end result of these efforts when they awarded Redlin the Excellence in Information Award.

Redlin credits the entire local ARS staff with enabling her to achieve such success. “Basically my responsibility is to develop vehicles to get the research out to the public, co-workers, and other labs,” Redlin comments. “The support here at the lab is terrific. I am only a conduit, as I can shape information, but the staff has to give it to me first, and they do. The support I get here with people providing information, direction, and guidance is excellent, and it’s very much appreciated. This accounts in many respects for my receiving this award.”

Redlin also points out that this marks the second time the national ARS has recognized the Sidney ARS lab with a national award. The other instance occurred in 2002 when TEAM Leafy Spurge won a Technical Transfer Award. TEAM Leafy Spurge also won the Secretary’s Honor Award, a distinction awarded by the USDA. As well, the local ARS lab has distinguished itself by winning several honor awards from the Federal Lab Consortium.

“This lab has won a number of awards and this reflects the quality of work we do here, as well as the progressive attitude of this staff,” Redlin remarks. “Everyone is anxious to get information into the hands of people who can use it.”

Redlin will travel to Washington, D.C. to receive her award plaque at the annual ARS Recognition Program, scheduled for February 2005.

ARS entomologist discusses impact of fire on grasshopper populations

NPARL Research Entomologist David Branson has been asked to speak at the "Rough Creek Fire Rehabilitation Project Field Tour", October 29. The tour is being organized by the McKenzie Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service’s Dakota Prairie Grasslands and targets McKenzie County Grazing Association permittees and personnel from the Forest Service and NDSU Research and Extension, along with interested members of the general public. For his part, Dr. Branson will discuss results to date of research carried out under the project examining the effects of burning and grazing management treatments on grasshopper population dynamics. That research is being conducted jointly with NPARL Research Ecologist Greg Sword. Both Dr. Branson and Dr. Sword are with NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit.

(Dave Branson, 406.433.9406, dbranson[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS researchers to participate in international crop and soil meeting

Several scientists from NPARL’s Agricultural Systems Research Unit will be participating in the 2004 joint annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA)-Crop Science Society of America (CSSA)-Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) to be held in Seattle, WA, Oct. 31-Nov. 4. Entitled “Science to Secure Food and the Environment” this year’s meeting is also being held in conjunction with the Canadian Society of Soil Science. The scientists participating from NPARL and their poster topics are:
Microbiologist TheCan Caesar, “Isolation, identification, and characterization of soil aggregating bacteria in microaggregates from two agronomic sites.” Coauthors on the poster include NPARL Plant Pathologist Anthony Caesar and Soil Scientist Upendra Sainju.
Weed Ecologist Andy Lenssen, “Yield, Quality, Water Use, and Weeds in Annual Forage-Spring Durum Cropping Systems.” Co-author on the poster is G.D. Johnson from Montana State University – Bozeman.
Soil Scientist Upendra Sainju, “Tillage, Cover Crops, and Nitrogen Fertilization Effects on Cotton and Sorghum Yields and Nitrogen Uptake.” Coauthors on the poster include W.F. Whitehead, and B.P. Singh, of Fort Valley State University, Georgia.
Soil Scientist Jed Waddell, “National Pollutant Loads from Animal Feeding Operations.”
In addition to his poster presentation, Dr. Sainju will also do an oral presentation at the meeting on “Seasonal variations in rhizoma peanut and perennial weed biomass and soil carbon and nitrogen pools.” Coauthors of that paper include T.H. Terrill, S. Gelaye, and B.P. Singh, all of Fort Valley State University, Georgia. The yearly ASA-CSSA-SSSA meetings bring together more than 4,000 people from as many as 40 countries representing academia, government and private industry, including a large contingent of undergraduate and graduate students.

(Anthony Caesar, 406.433.9412, caesara[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(TheCan Caesar, 406.433.9415, caesart[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Andy Lenssen, 406.433.9471, alenssen[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Upendra Sainju, 406.433.9408, usainju[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)
(Jed Waddell, 406.433.9402, jwaddell[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS remote sensing specialist gives joint tutorial at Vienna sensor conference

NPARL’s Dr. Gerry Anderson helped conduct a tutorial on agricultural sensors at the Third IEEE Sensors Conference being held at the Vienna University of Technology in Vienna, Austria Oct. 24-27. Dr. Anderson, a remote sensing specialist and ecologist with the Sidney, MT ARS lab’s Pest Management Research unit, was invited by Dr. James S. Schepers of USDA-ARS in Lincoln, Nebraska, to join him in conducting the seminar which focused on sensors used in agricultural research and sensor needs in the future. For his part, Dr. Anderson discussed his work in sensor analysis, describing both what currently works and what needs to be improved. In addition to the tutorials, the conference included numerous sessions on the theory, design and application of sensor devices and systems; and exhibits.

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

ARS grasshopper research featured by Western news publications

A story in the October 2004 issue of “Agricultural Research” magazine on ARS studies examining the use of naturally occurring fungi to stem grasshopper outbreaks has attracted interest from regional news publications. Follow-up stories from publications as diverse as the Minot Daily News (Minot, ND), the Seattle Post Intelligencer (which ran an associated press article on the research in its Oct. 26th health and science section), and ag publications from around the region and on into Canada have kept NPARL Insect Pathologist Stefan Jaronski busy on the phone recently. Jaronski, a member of NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit, is heading up a study in the use of raw canola oil as an attractant to efficiently and economically deliver fatal fungal spores, among them Beauveria bassiana, to grasshoppers in the field. The study is being conducted in cooperation with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the University of Wyoming. In his story for the Minot Daily News, ag reporter Marvin Baker noted the potential benefits coming out of the research include not only new ways to stem grasshopper outbreaks, but also increased marketability for a popular oilseed in North Dakota.

(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486, sjaronski[at]sidney.ars.usda.gov)

ARS plant pathologist invited to speak to university entomologists

NPARL Plant Pathologist Anthony Caesar has been invited to speak to the North Dakota State University Entomology Department in Fargo on Thursday, October 28. His presentation is entitled “Soilborne microbes and classical biological control: Or multitrophic effects, with negative feedback, on non-indigenous plants.” Caesar, a researcher with NPARL’s Pest Management Research Unit, was invited to give the presentation by NDSU Entomology Department Chair Dr. Gary Brewer. The event is being cohosted by the Plant Science Unit of the USDA-ARS Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo.

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


Last Modified: 11/10/2004
Footer Content Back to Top of Page