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Issue: September/October 2005
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Northern PlainFacts.

Issue: September/October 2005

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 lab hosts 5th and 6th grade students for DNA tour

Montana ARS lab participates in "Outdoor Classroom" educationeffort

ARS researchers to speak at Extension AgentCrop Training

ARS scientist to participate inbiopesticide meeting

Georgian scientist visiting Montana ARS lab to study insectmycology

Georgian scientist visiting Montana ARS lab to study insect mycology

Dr. Eleanora Abashidze of the Georgian Institute for Plant Protection and the Georgian State University, Tblisi, is visiting the lab of Dr. Stefan Jaronski, NPARL, Sidney MT for two weeks of training in insect mycology beginning Oct. 17. Her visit is being funded by a US Agency for International Development  grant to the Volcani Institute of Israel, University of Wyoming and Dr. Jaronski, entitled "Biological Control of Locusts in Georgia: Building Self-Sufficiency." The purpose of the 2-year program is to teach Georgian scientists how to select and develop a microbial control agent to the point of commercialization  and to help create the scientific infrastructure to do so in that country. Later in the year Dr. Jaronski and Dr. Alex Latchininsky (University of Wyoming) will travel to Tblisi to assist setting up the relevant laboratory facilities and initiate screening studies.

(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486, sjaronski[at]

ARS scientist to participate in biopesticide meeting

Dr. Stefan Jaronski, Sidney MT, has been invited to attend the annual meeting of the Biopesticide Industry Alliance, to be held in Sacramento CA, Oct 11 and 12, to represent ARS interests in the development of insect pathogens. The topic of the BPIA meeting is "Adoption of Biopesticides in IPM Programs." BPIA's first meeting was April 19, 2000. Its members include companies that have a substantial portion of their business dedicated to research, development and/or marketing of biopesticides. The mission of the BPIA is to improve the global market perception of biopesticides (microbials and biochemicals) as effective products and to facilitate the successful registration process of biopesticides. BPIA is developing industry standards for biopesticides that encompass quality, efficacy, and regulatory criteria. By developing what is essentially an industry "seal of approval," the BPIA aims to further demonstrate that biopesticides are effective and high quality alternatives to traditional crop protection products that can be used either alone or in integrated pest management programs. In addition, BPIA will serve as a sounding board for the EPA and other agencies, and act as a resource to BPIA members in disseminating information on regulatory policies and procedures.

(Stefan Jaronski, 406.433.9486, sjaronski[at]


ARS researchers to speak at Extension Agent Crop Training

Four NPARL scientists will speak at Montana State University's Extension Service Eastern Region Crop Training, to be held at the Sidney, MT, ARS lab Oct. 5. NPARL speakers and their topics include: Research Soil Scientist Jed Wadell discussing "Phosphorus Fertility in Dryland Legumes;" Research Weed Ecologist Andy Lenssen discussing "Cropping Strategies for Improved Weed Management: Research Results;" Supervisory Research Entomologist Tom Shanower discussing "Wheat Stem Sawfly Research," and Supervisory Agricultural Engineer Bob Evans discussing "Irrigation Systems and Strip Tillage." Drs. Waddell, Lenssen and Evans are with NPARL's Agricultural Systems Research Unit, which Dr. Evans heads, while Dr. Shanower heads up the lab's Pest Management Unit. Other speakers for the event include MSU Soil Fertility Specialist Clain Jones, MSU Plant Pathologist Jack Riesselman, and MSU Weed Scientist Fabian Menalled.

(Robert Evans, 406.433.9496, revans[at]
(Andy Lenssen, 406.433.9471, alenssen[at]
(Thomas Shanower, 406.433.9405, tshanower[at]
(Jed Waddell, 406.433.9402, jwaddell[at]


Montana ARS lab participates in "Outdoor Classroom" education effort

Click here to see more photos from the 2005 Outdoor Classroom program.NPARL Biological Science Technician Deb Waters participated in a two-county "Outdoor Classroom" program September 20-21 for eighth-grade students from rural and urban schools in eastern Montana. Waters, a member of the Sidney ARS lab's Pest Management Research Unit, did a hands on presentation on insect identification, using the program's outdoor meeting site as her laboratory. Students were given nets to sweep for insects which they then identified and learned more about their roles in the ecosystem. The two-day Outdoor Classroom event, now in its third year, is sponsored by the Richland and Roosevelt (MT) County Conservation Districts and targets 8th grade students in both counties. More than 200 students from a half dozen area schools located in surrounding rural communities and on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation participated in the 2005 event. In addition to Water's presentation, the day-long program includes talks on GPS, weather, soils and more by representatives from the Extension Service, the National Weather Service, the other agencies and organizations.

(Deb Waters, 406.433.9491, dwaters[at]


ARS lab hosts 5th and 6th grade students for DNA tour

NPARL Botanist John Gaskin and Biological Science Technician Laura Senior gave presentations to the 5th and 6th grade science classes from East Fairview School Sept. 8 on DNA, what it is and how it is used in the ARS lab's biological control of weeds program In his presentation, Dr. Gaskin discussed the use of DNA sequencing to determine an invasive species origins and its importance in identifying potential biological control agents for use against the pest plant. In addition to the presentations, students were able to view the research facility's molecular laboratory where technicians demonstrated some of the techniques used to prepare specimens for DNA analysis and discussed the equipment used. Gaskin and Senior are both members of NPARL 's Pest Management Research Unit.

(John Gaskin, 406.433.9444, jgaskin[at]
(Laura Senior, 406.433.9498, lsenior[at]

Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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