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Daniel Kline inspects mosquitoes caught in a collection device: Link to photo information
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Scientists Honored for Transferring Technology to Marketplace

By Jim Core
February 14, 2002

Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service received Technology Transfer Awards for "Outstanding Effort" from the federal research agency on Wednesday for developing better attractants and trapping systems for bloodsucking insects, and for transferring computer modeling technology for managing water resources. ARS is the chief scientific research agency of USDA.

The award winners are entomologist Daniel L. Kline of Gainesville, Fla., and agricultural engineers Jeffrey G. Arnold and Kevin W. King and agronomist James R. Kiniry of Temple, Texas. The awards recognize the scientists’ success in moving their research from the laboratory to growers, educators and other users here and abroad. The winners received plaques during a ceremony at ARS’ Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Md.

Kline, with the Mosquito and Fly Research Unit of the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, developed more efficient insect-trapping devices and discovered attractant blends, based primarily on human skin emanations, that draw high numbers of female Aedes aegypti mosquitos. He worked with private industry to transfer the results of his research to commercial use, resulting in two patents and two patents pending.

Kline’s findings could help manage mosquito population at levels below the annoyance/disease thresholds of humans and livestock, while reducing reliance on chemical insecticides.

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Arnold, King, and Kiniry:

Arnold, King and Kiniry developed the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) at the Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory in Temple. SWAT is a computer-based evaluation tool that simulates climate and land management impact on water and pollutant loads from watersheds and river basins.

The SWAT computer model takes into account factors such as hydrology, soil erosion, plant growth and cycling of nutrients, as well as off-site activities including channel erosion, reservoir deposition, groundwater flow and climate variability to show the impact of land management practices in large, complex watersheds. The model, created from 30 years of ARS research, achieved widespread global use.

Four other researchers and two research teams were also honored by ARS for "Superior Effort" in technology transfer accomplishments. They are:

Devine with forage soybeans: Link to photo information

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Thomas E. Devine, plant geneticist, Sustainable Agriculture Systems Laboratory , Beltsville, Md.

Devine bred the first forage-type soybean cultivars to be used as high-quality, nutritious animal forage. He obtained plant variety protection for ARS and increased the knowledge of these cultivars.

More about Heatherly:
Research | Award

Larry G. Heatherly, research agronomist, Crop Genetics and Production Research Unit, Stoneville, Miss.

He developed and adapted the Early Soybean Production System (ESPS) for a large portion of the southern United States. ESPS is a new production concept designed to reduce exposure of the crop to the yield-limiting effects of drought that occurs during normal growing seasons. For the past five years, ESPS was used on about one-third of the 8 million soybean acres in the lower Mississippi River Valley. Use of the system, in a six-state area, has resulted in increased income estimated at $75 million.

More about Hunter and Kuykendall:
Research | Award

Microbiologists William J. Hunter, Soil, Plant, Nutrient Research Unit, Fort Collins, Colo., and David Kuykendall, Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, Beltsville, Md.

Hunter and Kuykendall developed a bacterial inoculant for soybean seeds that helps produce much bigger yields. Prior to development of this inoculant, only 5 percent of soybean farmers used an inoculant on their soybean seeds. Now, in some states, 30 to 40 percent of soybean farmers use inoculants, with many using the USDA strain.

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William R. Okie, research horticulturist, Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, Byron, Ga.

Okie developed peach varieties and rootstocks vital to the survival of the southeastern peach industry. Peach growers have struggled with obsolete varieties and reduced orchard life due to Peach Tree Short Life disease (PTSL). Producers must grow many varieties to maintain the peach supply from May to September and to adapt to the different climate zones, from coastal plains to mountains. Guardian rootstock, developed by Okie and other ARS scientists in cooperation with Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., has resistance to root-knot nematodes and greatly enhanced survival on sites that have had PTSL.

Dominic Wong: Link to photo information

More about Wong, Pavlath, Camirand:
Research | Award

Dominic W.S. Wong, Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering Research Unit, Albany, Calif., along with retired ARS chemists Atilla E. Pavlath and Wayne M. Camirand.

The scientists developed edible films that have a variety of potential uses. One calcium-based coating keeps cut apples, pears and other lightly processed produce fresh for up to 28 days in appropriate packaging. A commercial product was developed and is currently used by fresh-cut producers and food service industries. Another commercial product, a nontoxic coating to protect cows against mastitis caused by bacterial infection during the post-milking period, was also developed and marketed.

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Martinus T. van Genuchten, soil scientist, George E. Brown, Jr., Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, Calif.

He developed user-friendly software allowing agricultural engineers to design irrigation and drainage systems providing optimal water to crops while minimizing fertilizer and pesticide transport to groundwater. Van Genuchten was a lead author of HYDRUS, a state-of-the-art computer model used worldwide to improve water quality, reduce agricultural chemical runoff and manage industrial and municipal wastes. The software, which he helped commercialize, has also been distributed freely around the world.

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