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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Issue: November/December 2009
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Northern PlainFacts.

Issue: November/December 2009

The Northern PlainFacts electronic newsletter offers brief updates on research, personnel, and events from both the Agricultural Systems Research Unit and Pest Management Research Unit at NPARL, and includes contact names and information for those interested in further details. 

In This Month's Issue:

ARS scientists attend joint international meeting of crop and soil societies 

ARS scientist invited to speak at Colorado State University




ARS scientists attend joint international meeting of crop and soil societies

ARS research scientists, Drs. TheCan Caesar, Jay Jabro and Upendra Sainju, all participated in the 2009 Joint Annual Meeting of the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Crop Science Society of America November 1-5 in Pittsburgh, PA. This year's theme "Footprints in the Landscape: Sustainability through Plant and Soil Sciences" featured an extensive scientific program on topics such as climate change, food crops to alleviate human disease and enhance nutrition, biofuel/biomass production, soil-root growth interactions, nanoparticles, organic production systems, plant health, invasive species, precision farming, fertilizer use efficiency, water management, global agronomy, environmental quality, and carbon sequestration. Contributions from scientists at the Sidney, MT ARS lab included the following: ? NPARL Soil Scientist Upendra Sainju and Soil Physicist Jay Jabro presided over the "Management of Dryland Soils and Cropping Systems: I" session, where Dr. Sainju also gave a presentation entitled "Long-Term Tillage and Cropping Sequence Effect On Dryland Crop Yields and Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling." Also speaking was NPARL Microbiologist TheCan Caesar-TonThat who discussed "Effects of Dryland Continuous Spring Wheat Tillage Management on the Microbial Ecology of Soil Aggregates." In a separate session, Dr. Jabro gave a talk on "Calibration and Sensitivity Analyses of LEACHM Simulation Model." ? In addition to the oral presentations, NPARL scientists also had several posters on display, including one by Dr. Jabro entitled "Tillage Effects on Dryland Soil Physical Properties in Northeastern Montana;" one by Dr. Sainju entitled "Dryland Soil Carbon Dynamics Under Durum-Forage Sequences," and one by NPARL Weed Ecologist Andrew Lenssen entitled "Yield and Yield Components of Spring Wheat and Field Pea in Diversified Dryland Cropping Systems." Drs. Jabro, Sainju, Caesar-TonThat, and Lenssen are all members of NPARL's Agricultural Systems Research Unit.

(TheCan Caesar, 406.433.9415,
(Jay Jabro, 406.433.9442,

(Upendra Sainju, 406.433.9408,  



ARS scientist invited to speak at Colorado State University. NPARL Research Ecologist Erin Espeland was an invited speaker at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, at a departmental seminar series on October 28. Dr. Espeland's presentation to the entomology, plant pathology and weed science departments regarded conserving adaptive capacity in plant populations. The presentation benefited ARS in two ways: It increases awareness of the agency on important conservation problems and; it encouraged others to work on similar problems, which boosted the value of this research. Espeland is a member of NPARL's Pest Management Research Unit.


(Erin Espeland, 406.433-9416,



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