The Roundup -

Final ARS BrownBagger Looks At Weeds And Wheat Stem Sawfly


Wheat stem sawfly has been on the rise in recent years and USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Sidney are looking at a variety of impacts arising from the pest presence. Those impacts and new weed biocontrol research also underway at Sidney’s USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory are the subjects of this year’s final BrownBagger session on Friday.

ARS Entomologist Kevin Delaney will give the final one-hour talk beginning at noon on Friday, April 6th. His presentation is entitled Wheat stem sawfly – wheat interactions with spring wheat, and classical biocontrol of weeds and will include discussion of his earlier research in wheat stem sawfly as well as current studies in the biocontrol of several problem weeds in the Western U.S.

For the first portion of his talk, Dr. Delaney will discuss how the environment and different wheat varieties, both solid and hollow-stem, affect wheat stem sawfly development and how sawfly larvae impact grain mass when feeding inside the wheat stem.

“We’re looking at both how the wheat plant affects the sawfly and how the sawfly affects the wheat plant,” Delaney noted.

For the second portion of his talk, Delaney will address his ongoing research in the classical biocontrol of weeds, focusing in particular on research underway in Sidney for saltcedar, whitetop and knapweeds. He will also discuss the difficulties and intricacies involved in developing a biocontrol program for Russian olive, considered a beneficial species in this area, but a problem species in other states, such as Wyoming where it has been declared a noxious weed. How do you balance the two?

So bring your lunch and join us Friday for this informative presentation open to the public. Coffee and cookies will be provided. The lab is located at 1500 N. Central in Sidney and all presentations run from noon to 1 pm. For more information, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-9427.


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