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Key Mission Area News – Northern Plains Area


  • Sunflower Research Unit Scientists to Host International Conference: On August 29-September 2, seven scientists from the Sunflower Research Unit, Fargo, North Dakota will serve on the organizing committee of the 16th International Sunflower Conference to be held in Fargo, North Dakota. Jerry Miller, Research Geneticist, is the current president of the International Sunflower Association and chairman of the organizing committee. The conference is held every four years, and this is the first time since 1978 that it will convene in the U.S. The meeting will consist of three days of scientific presentations, followed by a field tour of the sunflower production region of central North Dakota and a visit to the Carrington Research and Extension Center of North Dakota State University. About 250 participants from over 25 countries are expected to attend the conference.


  • Montana ARS Lab Hosts Visiting Fellow Studying Sugarbeet Pest Control. Beginning August 26, Dr. Kerstin Jung of the German Federal Biological Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Darmstadt, will be visiting the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, Montana for 22 weeks. Her visit is being funded by the OECD Cooperative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems. Dr. Jung will be collaborating with Dr. Stefan Jaronski, and his postdoc, Dr. Cynthia Fuller, both with the Sidney, MT lab’s Pest Management Research Unit, in studying sugarbeet rhizosphere colonization by the insect pathogenic fungi, Beauveria and Metarhizum, and in related research concerning the microbial control of the sugarbeet root maggot. The OECD program seeks to promote international co-operation and networking among research scientists and institutions in priority areas of basic and applied agro-food research, through sponsorship of research fellowships such as Dr. Jung.

  • ARS Lab Participates In Commemorative Photo Event. Employees of the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, Montana, posed for pictures as part of a special photo commemoration of Captain William Clark’s journey down the Yellowstone River nearly 200 years ago. The pictures taken on Sunday, July 25, are intended to capture contemporary life on the Yellowstone during a single 24-hour period, the same day explorer William Clark carved his name onto Pompey’s Pillar in 1806. At the Sidney ARS lab, Entomologist Stefan Jaronski and assistant Chris Viets posed for a picture while doing their Sunday chores: feeding caged grasshoppers. Technician Rob Schlothauer did the same while recording daily observations of assorted grasshopper experiments at the lab. All three employees are with the lab’s Pest Management Research Unit. The pictures will be on display this fall at local art museums, with the best submitted for inclusion in a major exhibition entitled "A Day in the Life of the Yellowstone River Valley" to be held at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, MT in 2005.


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