Episode 19: Farm Sci-Ed Season Wrap-Up

Join Emily as she walks through the topics covered over the season to close out the program.

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

0:20 Emily: Hi everyone, and welcome to the final episode of Farm Sci-Ed, the show where we go into the science and education behind farming. I’m Dr. Emily Stine, and today, you heard it right, this is the last episode. Over the course of the last year, we’ve talked to three researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska about their projects looking at integrated pest management and crops grown out here.

We’ve talked to Dr. Jeff Bradshaw about the wheat and dry edible bean relay study looking at entomology and the impacts different cropping systems have on the biological controls within the field. We’ve talked to Dr. Nevin Lawrence about palmer amaranth and the impact it has on dry edible bean yield. And we’ve talked to Dr. Bob Harveson about cercospora and sugar beets and the impact it has on sugar beet production.

Over the course of all three of these projects, we’ve discussed integrated pest management tactics ranging from biological control in the entomology study to chemical control and mechanical control in the palmer amaranth dry edible bean studies and chemical and cultural control with cercospora in sugar beets. We checked in with each of these researchers over the course of the year, multiple times, seeing how things like elevated temperatures, strange weather patterns, and sometimes equipment failure impacted their research projects.

We wrapped this season up talking to all three of them about integrated pest management and what it means to each of their disciplines and how each of their disciplines collaborate together in integrated pest management practices. Finally we discuss whether or not integrated pest management is sustainable, which is a complicated topic to discuss and started thinking about the ways that we can make integrated pest management more likely to be used in the future.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this season, and if you’d like to see more from us in the future, well who knows? There’s the possibility we may come back another year. Until then, sit back, relax, and keep learning. Have a good one!


Episode 18: End of Season Research Update

Join Emily as she checks in with Jeff, Nevin, and Bob to see how their seasons wrapped up and what they’re noticing from their observations.

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

0:21 Emily: Hi everyone and welcome to Farm Sci-Ed, the show where we go into the science and education behind farming. I’m Emily Stine and today we’re checking in with Jeff, Nevin, and Bob at the conclusion of their seasons to see how things went and where they’re at. So sit back, relax, and let’s go find out what they’ve been up to.

0:42 So Jeff, how did harvest in the end of your season go?

Jeff: uh It was a rough season. We did finish harvest without too many hiccups, and we see the same challenges um that we’ve generally seen before with a reduction in dry bean yield in the in the wheat bean relay.

Emily: Can you make any preliminary statements about your observations this year?

Jeff: So some of the trends from this year: one of the challenges we’ve seen I should say, this year is what we’ve mentioned before. Because of the hot summer that we had, we had some challenges in using herbicide management for for weeds. This would have been a really good year to be able to cultivate the dry bean crop obviously if in the winter wheat dry bean relay cultivation isn’t an option so without that tool, became a bit more challenging this year particularly again because of the hot summer to manage weeds really well and that clearly had an impact on on dry bean yield particularly in all the crops that had in the treatment plots that had the wheat relay treatment present. General trends that we’ve seen even in years like last year that didn’t have the same herbicide management struggles that we had this year, we saw a reduction in in dry bean yields in the wheat bean relay so we continue to look to the future to find ways to modify that treatment, motivate modify that strategy for to improve being yield. That said, we have seen a trend in improved seed quality in the wheat bean relay and what I mean by that is in in the dry beans in the wheat bean relay treatment we see a reduction of western bean cutworm damage. So that adds clear value to that treatment but again we’re still suffering from this yield drag um in that in the particular arrangement that we have in our wheat bean relay.

Emily: What are your next steps going forward?

Jeff: So right now with the project we’ve got a an ocean of samples that we’re going through we’re making progress on going through this year’s sub-samples of dry beans, scoring both the pods and the beans for western bean cutworm damage again to assess that important bean quality characteristic, as well as taking yields on those plots and sub samples and 100 seed weights to evaluate that. And then we still have quite a few samples although they’re sorted, we have a lot of insect samples from our various sampling techniques from sticky cards to pitfall traps to sweep samples and vacuum samples. They’re all sorted but we’re working on identifying individual species and doing counts again to ultimately come back to say whether or not these different treatments varied in the number of pests or the number of beneficial insects that are present. So we anticipate being through those samples probably around toward the end of February, the beginning of March uh before we have all of those data from from this field season uh fully uh fully sorted through and calculated and analyzed.

4:09 Emily: And Nevin, how is the end of your season progressing?

Nevin: uh Well the season’s still ending, we’ve got most of our crops harvested. So our potatoes, dry beans, soybeans, sugar beets, sunflowers, alfalfa, even corn, corn still to go uh but for for dry edible beans, which we’re talking about today, uh that that was harvested uh about a month ago – no um maybe a little less than that. And so we have to pull those crops off the ground and then we usually dry for a couple days or until the moisture gets ready to thresh and then we we use a combine but rather than actually combine in the field we just kind of have it running on on a cement pad and we throw a bunch of beans in there at a time from each plot and use it more of a stationary thresher. But it, that’s gone well we just have our corn to do and that’s not too big of a rush because it’s a crop that has a little bit of wiggle room for when you can when you harvest it.

Emily: Are you analyzing any data yet?

Nevin: Yeah, we’ve got most of our data analyzed. uh Well I should say the royal “we” has most data analyzed. So uh a number of the projects that we have in dry edible beans beans I still need to go through there kind of with the the fine-tooth comb we call statistics, uh but for the the ones the projects I’ve been talking about most this year has been graduate work from Joshua Miranda and he needs to graduate this semester, so he’s already got everything analyzed. So that’s been good with with several of those studies, so we have the results ready to go and that’s good to go.

Emily: Can you share some of those results with us?

Nevin: They’re not even preliminary, yeah we’re we’re starting to prepare them actually for publication right now. uh so um But they’re they’re looking good yeah uh this
dry edible bean palmer amaranth interference work kind of – as we expected – the more palmer you have, the more the dry edible bean yield goes down. We’ve found that dry edible beans are more susceptible to palmer interference than most other crops, so this sort of palmer interference work is a pretty standard type of research that occurs and it’s it’s happened in a number of different types of crops: corn, soybeans, cotton, sweet potatoes, you know you name it it’s been done already. It hasn’t been done in dry beans and dry beans appear to be more susceptible than other crops are to the palmer interference and so that’s been that’s been nice to have that in there that kind of gives farmers sort of a metric for what they can expect if they if they aren’t able to control palmer amaranth what their yield impacts can be and just to kind of put that in perspective I think we’ve seen four plants in about a thousand square yards, which is kind of a weird way of of describing that, but that that’s enough to cause a noticeable yield impact on your dry edible bean production. So not a lot of palmer to reduce dry bean yield and those plants you know each one at that low of density, each each palmer plant is going to be producing – if they’re a female, so about half of those would be female so you’re looking at about 300,000 seeds per female at that at that level of density.

So that that works been done um the other work that that we have analyzed that Josh was working on is is looking at using Outlook which is currently the only chloroacetamide or group 15 herbicide labeled in dry beans for post-emergent application. He’s been looking at using that in a sequential pre-post program where you apply it pre-emergent with Prowl usually and then before the herbicide wears off, you try to put out a second application to extend that uh period of weed suppression from from the soil soil active herbicide and we’ve been looking at two different timings sort of: a really early application, and then one that’s more in tune when growers will generally put out their post emergence herbicide and one out of three years, the data we needed to have that earlier application but the the other two years uh the timing wasn’t a factor. And what we found is having that Outlook put out as a post and even the only post herbicide or as a lay by in this case we’re getting equivalent we uh palmer amaranth control as if we were to use the herbicide Reflex or fomosaphen which is labeled in our area it’s great on palmer it’s the best palmer herbicide we have in dry beans but because of rotation restrictions, most growers in our area cannot use it so the um use of outlook seem to be equivalent and that’s good news. That’s going to be the best recommendation moving forward for growers is if they’re concerned about palmer is to use Outlook in their their post-emergent herbicide techniques.

um The third study that Joshua finished up is although Outlook is the only group 15 herbicide, the very long chain fatty acid inhibiting herbicides labeled for post-emergent application in dry edible beans, that that may change in the future so Dual Magnum is another one that Syngenta may be expanding the label on to allow applications and another one that BASF is looking into is uh Zidua or peroxisulfone and so in addition to looking at Outlook we also screened both of those herbicides to see if they provided as good control of Outlook or even better or worse, and then we threw in Warrant as well which is probably not going to be labeled in dry edible beans but we wanted to see uh if it could be and what we found is Zidua, Dual Magnum, all provided equivalent control of palmer amaranth as a in a sequential pre-post system as Outlook and that was as good as using a Reflex post-emergence. the the Warrant or acetylchloride was a bit worse but that probably wouldn’t be the best fit for the system anyways. And for both the Outlook and Dual Magnum, you could use those um uh pre-emergent and post emergent uh if the future label allows that in Dual where you could have uh use the same herbicide for both applications while the peroxisophone residual, that’s likely going to be a post only option. It’s not going to have a pre-emergent label because we did see some injury when applied pre, but you could easily just throw that in after Outlook or Dual.

11:03 Emily: Bob, how has your season progressed?

Bob: Overall I guess it it we haven’t got the results back from the sugar beets

you know the tonnage in in pounds per sugar and all pounds of sugar per acre that sort of thing yet.

But overall it was very hot and very dry and so we had trouble kind of keeping them keeping them wet. I think the yields are still going to be very good, we haven’t seen that yet but at the same time, there just was not any or very much cercospora. We did see it some in the plots, but based on our different methods of like the alert system, the spornado thing, we just didn’t see any need to make any applications. We went ahead and did just so we could say we did something about it but we never in our plots never did see the values that are required for making applications. Emily: Did you hear much about cercospora being an issue this season?

Bob: I did not, no. I mean I didn’t – nobody contacted us about it, and I didn’t hear through the grapevine. I’m sure it was there in some you know localized spots but it just it it just was not as problematic this year as it often is and I think that is just due to the to the heat. A lot of it is is due to uh requirements for it is at night, say from midnight to seven and I could, you know tell you that it was still up in the 80s in in our house uh you know at midnight and so that is part of the reason why it just wasn’t as problematic problem – is that you know we weren’t able to evaluate the different treatments that we were trying to use and then so there’s that’s kind of a wash this year in terms of that.

Emily: So do you plan on repeating this study again next year?

Bob: I will plan on it, but it also will depend on Western Sugar and their desire to do it. But I am going to propose to try to do something at least something similar to this again using the alert system and using that spornado sport catching device. I want it to go well for the growers but we still need to try to do a little bit better job maybe of producing disease in our plots so we can evaluate the treatments properly.

13:17 Emily: Well folks, there you have it. With all three research projects wrapped up for the year, the researchers are on to their data crunching. We got to see some of the preliminary thoughts that they’re having but for the most part it’s wait and see until after all the data comes in. Be sure to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more episodes. Find us on twitter @TheFarmSciEd and visit our website at farmsci-ed.com for transcripts and more information. Have a good one!


Episode 17: Integrated Pest Management Chat Part 2

Jeff, Nevin, and Bob continue their conversation about Integrated Pest Management and whether or not it is sustainable long-term.

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

0:20 Emily: Hi everyone, and welcome back to Farm Sci-Ed,
the show where we go into the science and education behind farming. I’m Emily Stine, and today we’re continuing our discussion about integrated pest management within entomology, weed science, and plant pathology. And today Jeff, Nevin, and Bob are answering the question of “Is IPM sustainable?”

0:39 Bob: I think it has to.

Jeff: I have a short answer, and the answer is yes.

Bob: I think it has to or agriculture will not be.

0:50 Nevin: I think the first thing you do is define sustainability and there’s a lot of ways uh you know, you look at economically. Does it uh is it going to keep making money for the farmer? Does it work you know biologically? And then also does it have any negative impacts that over the long term are going to cause problems environmentally or socially? and and so basically will this practice – can we continue using it um in the future indefinitely? um and I think that’s uh that’s the question and so I’ll let I’ll let everyone answer whether or not IPM is is something that we can keep on doing.

Jeff: um well you know, there’s maybe uh gradations of that depending on the pest species that you’re looking at, and how and the system that you’re working in, so um you know from its beginning from its origin at least for uh insect integrated pest management you know, the focus has always been on um a lot of the origin was based on biological control and trying to integrate biological control and other control tools, tactics, and strategies and then incorporating economics into that. So you know for certain pests you can you can design management systems that you you might use things like conservation bio control or different strategies you might use in the field that result in possibly more land conservation, less fuel use, reduction in pesticide or herbicide in the case of weeds, that would achieve some of those what might be considered environmental sustainable goals. But then also simultaneously achieve you know reduction in input is a reduction in cost um which makes it more sustainable from an economic standpoint. That’s not possible for every pest and every weed and every pathogen. um

2:50 So the question is “is IPM sustainable?” It can be, um when optimized, when everything can be optimized and you know also kind of pulling back some of the previous episode comments i had about you know once we do the science, you get the foundations of a pest species, ecologically, biologically, you’ve got a suite of tools that you can have diverse modes of actions or compile that or add that to different strategies at the same time so integrating all those together.

Bob: Growers do that anyway.

Jeff: so you can do all the research and then ultimately the end of the day, is if the tool, the scouting tool, or uh method of sampling or determining whether or not you have a problem, if it isn’t convenient it’s not going to be adopted. It’s not going to be used

Bob: but every year they decide what which field they’re going to use for this, or the which variety they’re going to use. To me that’s – they are doing integrated pest management that way because of what it works. yes right so yes I think it’s sustainable and will continue to be.

4:02 Nevin: Depending on how you define uh IPM for weeds or integrated weed management, um the answer is no. um But it depends and the reason I talked about this in the weed science episode is um so integrated weed management is just doing a bunch of different things to control weeds and classically the definition is to reduce herbicide use. But what that’s led to is basically you do a bunch of stuff and then you rely on only a single herbicide or maybe two herbicides and that actually uh narrows the selection pressure for resistance to develop to those uh those those herbicides within the weed populations. And you you end up losing those herbicides and so uh if the goal of IPM is to reduce herbicide usage, I almost would say it’s not sustainable. uh The the related concept, which is depending on how you define it, the same thing is something called herbicide resistance management where you do a lot of practices including non-herbicide practices with the goal of not reducing herbicide use, but broadening that selection pressure to reduce the likelihood of future events of herbicide resistance from developing. So it depends what’s your goal – as a goal to not use herbicides or reduce number of herbicides then that might not be sustainable. But if your goal is to just have all the tools still be available in 20 years, then it it it likely is um as because it’s it’s a it’s a it’s a methodology, it’s not a definitive “this is what you do” and so it’s hard for a methodology I guess they’re good to go out of favor but it really depends on your goal for weeds at least.

5:42 Jeff: and yeah so I think you could say in some aspects, both for – well I think in all of our disciplines – when it comes to resistance management it’s a matter of conserving susceptible pest disease and weed traits.

Nevin: yes.

Bob: or the chemicals or the chemicals or whatever you’re trying to recover or keep those going too.

Nevin: And one of the – I guess other differences too, because a lot of this has to do with resistance is with um uh I know I – I can’t speak for the disciplines, but a lot of times whether or not that resistance trait is going to be a problem indefinitely has to do with fitness cost with it and at least for a lot of weed situations, there’s not a fitness cost. So if resistance develops it might be there forever within that population; it’s not going away.

Jeff: Yeah, whereas in some insect populations you know fitness – there are fitness costs related to to whether or not they can adapt to a certain um trait.

Bob: And they’re always going to be changing you know you can’t can’t mess with mother nature.

Jeff: yeah resistance happens, it’s just a matter of can you slow it down enough?

Bob: Right, right.

6:44 Nevin: In my mind, the whole idea of this this integrated management uh whether it’s for you know, reducing your pesticide use or just resistant costs, it’s basically just trying to you know from our standpoint we’re trying to figure out ways to help a farmer I guess be sustainable or manage that pest or be productive. But you know if if a farmer thinks in the concept of IPM, I think what they’re doing is they’re just thinking long term, they’re thinking more strategically, it’s not just decision to decision decision, it’s it’s trying to broaden out the the longevity of making decisions and I think that’s um probably the most beneficial thing.

Jeff: um yeah and I think you could say that really it’s more well at least in some cases depending on the commodity it’s more than the farmer that needs to have that long-term buy-in for IPM adoption or some of these practices whatever that might be to be executed in the practice you know whether it’s the the co-op, the agriculturalists, the farmer that’s growing it, um probably less of the consumer but we do make decisions. I mean farmers do have to make decisions depending on the commodity thinking about apples for and some of the diseases in apples and how the the look of an apple can determine its marketability, we’re driving – it’s driven by consumers

Nevin: or dry edible beans! uh hair uh nightshade can actually stain the beans pink and then you won’t buy them because who wants a pink great northern bean uh I’ll also say one thing problem with IPM is with each of us, is is we tend to research that in our own silos and so we’re only considering the disease of interest or the the pest of interest. And you know, with a farmer it’s much more difficult because they’re considering everything and so it, you know it’s we kind of do research in a silo and that doesn’t help farmers unless they’re literally managing a pest within a silo you know?

8:41 Jeff: Yeah, I was going to say it’s a good thing we have faculty with extension appointments.

Bob: yeah

Jeff: and it gives at least a little bit of playroom between us to share time and space together in terms of talking about different management concepts. At least when I present, I’m presenting with you guys many often

Nevin: yeah it’s one of us

Jeff: I do learn a little bit about weed science, maybe sometimes you learn a bit about entomology when we’re sharing our presentations together but there are opportunities at least uh in places like ours where we have shared workspaces, to come up with ideas maybe that are a little more integrated than than would otherwise be – break down some silos a little.

9:23 Emily: There’s a lot more discussion to be had about IPM and its sustainability. So to jump in on this conversation, subscribe to our channel, find us on twitter @TheFarmSciEd or visit our website at farmsci-ed.com for transcripts and other episodes. Have a good one!