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Agronomy and Pest Management Committee Minutes

Minutes from 2015-2019

2019 Minutes

Agronomy and pest management committee meeting held via skype at 9:30 am on 10/14/19.

Members Present via Skype at 9:30 am: Anitha Chirumamilla (chair), Alicia Harstad (Vice-Chair), and Duaine Marxen

Election of Officers: Since Vice-Chairman Samantha Lahman is no longer with NDSU the position is up for election. Also, Anitha has finished her 2 year term as Chairman and this position is also up for election. Since there is no quorum, the election process has been postponed to be carried out during a pre-gathering before our Annual NDAAEA meeting. Anitha will send out an e-mail to all the members to gather 10 minutes before the annual meeting to finish the election.

Business:

Anitha Chirumamilla proposed that the plant diagnostic lab should save a tissue sample if they think that further testing may be needed which is not covered under free testing. Also, Alicia Harstad mentioned that the lab should clarify the test charges upfront before testing and that they should send a reminder to all agents every year with the list of tests and charges associated.

Seed Increase program was discussed. Duaine Marxen shared that there is a great need for a new wheat variety from NDSU. The previous wheat variety ND Vitpro was good with rich color but it was very hard to combine and there is no big market for color. ND Riveland and Grano Durum did really well. ND 17009 GT soybeans are great because of early maturity and good yields.

Alicia made a comment that the protocol of Palmer Amaranth needs to be revised/updated including the reviews of past two years of our battle with Palmer. It was discussed that molecular testing is still needed to confirm the presence of Palmer in a county. Alicia shared information about a genetic lab in Fargo which tests for Palmer and provides results in less than 2 days.  

Action Steps:

Anitha will relay our concerns to:

  • Plant diagnostic lab regarding samples and sampling charges;
  • NDCIA regarding new wheat variety and
  • Weed Specialists on updating the protocol of Palmer identification

2018 Minutes

October 9th, 2018 11:00 a.m.

Committee Members in Attendance:  Anitha Chirumamilla, Greg Endres, Gregory Benz, Calla Jarboe, Alicia Harstad, Samantha Lahman, Daniel Folske, and Craig Askim

Nominations were taken for Vice-Chairman: Samantha Lahman nominated Alicia Harstad, Greg Endres nominated Samantha Lahman. Alicia Harstad withdrew and Samantha Lahman was elected unanimously.

Greg Endres proposed that the plant diagnostic lab look into resources for potentially being able to identify Palmer Amaranth without us needing to send samples out-of -state. This would drastically reduce the time waiting for a molecular test. Discussion was held regarding the potential cost for offering this service, potential cost sharing availabilities and requirements for molecular testing. Greg Endres spoke to the nature of identifying Palmer Amaranth and the importance of having molecularly testing.

The discussion then transitioned to the need for County Weed Boards, Extension Agents, Game and Fish and the Department of Ag to all be on the same page in the fight against Palmer Amaranth.

Seed Increase Program was mentioned for discussion. The Seed Increase Program Director has been named Chad Anderson. Toni Muffenbier is still in the department, but is now focused on administrative. Craig Askim noted that the Ag Agent representatives that were elected last year will again be attending the fall meeting. Samantha Lahman requested that an update from that meeting be sent out to agents like they were in years past. Side discussion was held in regards to the releasing of potential new varieties. Greg Endres and Daniel Folske addressed some of the complications and frustrations with releasing new varieties. Craig Askim relayed that the board is aware and addressing these concerns.

In discussing the Pesticide Program, Craig Askim has reviewed minutes from other committees who would like to see more consistency in the Pesticide Program while having the flexibility to tailor needs to our individual counties. Alicia Harstad noted the importance for agents to share ideas and hands on activities with each other.

Topics for potential Specialist / Agent programs and resources were discussed. Anitha Chirumamilla suggested additional programing for a more advanced weed identification session for agents. Greg Endres shared that a new publication could be coming that will address pigweed identification. Anitha Chirumamilla also suggested fertilizer recommendation resources. It was suggested that if you see that a specialist is presenting at Fall Conference that you contact them with questions and suggestions for discussion during their presentation.

It was asked of Alicia what the process for sharing committee reports would be. Alicia Harstad, President Elect suggested that the meeting minutes be sent prior to the meeting.

Action Steps:

1. Resources for molecular testing of Palmer samples at NDSU diagnostic lab

2. NDSU Extension leading the conversation of bringing County Weed Boards, Extension Agents, Game and Fish and Department of Ag all on the same page in the fight against Palmer Amaranth

3. Need more consistency in pesticide programming while having the flexibility to tailor to the needs of individual counties and more hands-on-activities.

4. Additional Programming for a more advanced weed identification session for agents

2017 Minutes

The NDAAEA Agronomy & Pest Management Committee skype meeting was held at 10:00 A. M., Friday, October 13, 2017. 

Participants were Joel Lemer, Anitha Chirumamilla, Lindy Berg, Rick Schmidt, Sam Haugen, Alicia Harstad, Chandra Langseth, Katelyn Hain, and Duaine Marxen.  Chairman Joel Lemer presided over the call.

The NDAAEA Agronomy & Pest Management Committee chairman and vice-chairman are selected/

appointed on even number years, so Joel Lemer will serve one more year as chairman, while Anitha Chirumamilla will serve a second year as vice-chairman, before assuming the chairman position.

Joel proceeded to review the major objectives of the Agronomy & Pest Management Committee:

                *Work closely with Departments at NDSU that do research and develop informational materials  on agronomy and                     pest management.

                *Review the performance of the Plant Diagnostic Lab.

                *Review the county seed increase program annually.

                *Work closely with the Pesticide Program.

                *Work with Specialists and members to provide training to NDAAE members in the field of                                                          agronomy and pest management.

The committee will ask Andrew Thostenson to provide ANR agents with an update on EPA’s proposed changes to the pesticide applicator’s training process.  If there are changes coming to the applicator training process, what might that time table look like?  There is information/material on grain bin safety in the fumigation training, can we add that information to the list of materials used for the private applicator’s training?  The committee will ask Ken Hellevang to provide ANR agents with an updated list of materials his department can provide related to grain bin safety.

Craig Askim is the NDAAEA agent representative on the North Dakota Crop Improvement Association.  Randy Grueneich is the NDAAEA agent representative on the North Dakota Foundation Seed Committee. Greg Endres is the NDAAEA representative on the NDSU Variety Release Committee. 

Several concerns were expressed over the line of communications throughout the county seed increase program, the actual procedures that are to be followed by county agents and the time lapse between the new seed variety releases and the contracting with producers.  The process is confusing and frustrating, especially to new/younger agents.  It was reported by Alicia Harstad that Dr. Charlie Stoltenow has asked Louie Voigt to head up a committee to explore developing a core extension program that would address the county seed increase program.  The committee met by skype call and will be surveying ANR agents to determine their needs in the area of the county seed increase program. 

There is a meeting on Wednesday, October 25 at the Ag Agents Meeting from 10:00 – 11:30 A. M. at the Fall Extension Conference.  It was suggested that each North Dakota Crop Improvement Association should have an ANR agent respresentative.

In reviewing the NDSU Diagnostic Lab, it was suggested that the lab provide an estimated time line as to when results could be expected.  It was also suggested that Extension Agents receive diagnosis on the first 3 to 5 samples each year free of charge.

Several committee members reported that the Nebraska tour to explore the challenges of palmer amaranth was great.  A tour of such nature should be planned every summer.

The committee’s action plan for 2018 included:

                 *Continuing efforts to make the county seed increase program operate smoothly.

                 *To explore possible training programs for ANR agents related to herbicide applications                                                                 procedures, drift/volatility/inversion, weed/disease identification, etc.  It was suggested that agents look at                               options for such trainings that may not only be extension  programs, but chemical rep programs, regional                               weed board meetings, etc.

                 *To provide training on the State Crop Progress and Condition reports in the area of staging crops, NASS                                     definition of related terms, etc.

                *Ensure that ANR agents are aware of all of the materials that are available through the NDSU Extension Service                        related to grain bin safety.

                *Ensure that ANR agents are aware of any changes to the pesticide training program that may be forthcoming.

The committee felt the use of skype calls was a good method for the committees to use for the annual committee meetings.  Use of skype calls prevented the committee from feeling rushed.   Also the use of skype calls allows NDAAEA members more opportunities to be on more than one committee.

2016 Minutes

The NDAAEA Agronomy & Pest Management Committee skype meeting was held at 11:00 A. M., Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

Participants were Joel Lemer, Shana Forster, Hans Kandel, Lindy Berg, Anitha Chirumamilla, Katie Wirt, Rick Schmidt, and Greg Endres. Chairman Greg Endres presided over the call.

The first order of business was the selection of a 2017 vice chairman for the committee. Anitha Chirumamilla volunteered to serve as the committee vice chairman for 2017. Joel Lemer will move from vice chairman to chairman for the upcoming year.

Greg proceeded to review the major objectives of the Agronomy & Pest Management Committee:
1. Work closely with Departments at NDSU that do research and develop informational material on agronomy and pest management.
2. Review the performance of the Plant Diagnostic Lab.
3. Review the county seed increase program annually.
4. Work closely with the Pesticide Program.
5. Work with Specialists and members to provide training to NDAAEA members in the field of agronomy and pest management.

Andrew Thostenson reported that he had sent written comments to the EPA concerning the proposed changes to the pesticide applicator’s training process. He noted that his comments were among over 800 comments received by the EPA nationwide. EPA is expected to release their final ruling in late October or early November. Andrew doesn’t see any major changes to North Dakota’s present pesticide applicator’s training process for four to five years. Any changes will be at the direction of the North Dakota Legislature. The legislature changes that would establish new pesticide applicator’s training guidelines would not likely happen until the 2021 legislative session.

Craig Askim is the NDAAEA agent representative on the North Dakota Crop Improvement Association. Randy Grueneich is the NDAAEA agent representative on the North Dakota Foundation Seed Committee. Greg Endres is NDAAEA representative on the NDSU Variety Release Committee. A concern expressed with the county seed increase program is the short window between new variety releases and the period to select county seed increase producers.

No concerns were expressed related to the NDSU diagnostic lab.

Suggestions for potential agent training by state specialist included:
1. Update on some of the newer diseases appearing in North Dakota crops.
2. Alternative crops production in North Dakota. Present commodity prices are very low. What
alternative crops may be productive in North Dakota?
3. Different herbicide application procedures, etc. by mode of action groups, etc.

It was noted that there was an agent in-service training on herbicide injury symptoms and herbicide resistant weed management conducted on March 29, 2016 at the Carrington REC. Also, field training on herbicide injury symptoms was conducted on June 16 during the Crop Management Field School at the CREC. In addition, field days were conducted at two locations in western ND in early July on weed ID and herbicide mode-of-action.

The committee’s action plan for 2017 included continuing efforts to make the county seed increase program work smoothly and to explore possible training programs for ANR agents.

There was discussion on whether to have the NDAAEA committee meetings by skype calls or by face-to-face at fall conference in the future. Maybe some type of hybrid between the two options may be the answer.

Additional discussion concentrated on how to encourage more agents to join and become active on the NDAAEA committees. More awareness may be needed to provide agents, especially newer agents, with the responsibilities of each of the committees and the direction they are following.

Submitted by: Joel Lemer, Vice Chairman, NDAAEA Agronomy & Pest Management Committee.

2015 Minutes

Present: Greg Endres (acting chair), Randy Grueneich, Tim Becker, Andrew Thostenson, Sheldon Gerhardt, Joel Lemer, Patrick Beauzay, and Janet Knodel (recorder)

Pesticide Certification: Andrew Thostenson

There are two new proposals from EPA regarding pesticide applicator certification:
1. EPA Worker Protection Standard is being revised and will require new stricter standards.
2. EPA Pesticide Certification Training will require additional training time

Andrew recommended committee send written comments to EPA about proposed changes.
Also, Andrew will offer In-service Training in November 2015.

Plant Diagnostic Lab
Communication with Diagnostic Laboratory is good and turnaround time is adequate.

There is ethanol vials coming to Fall Extension Conference for Ag Extension Agents to use for sending in insect samples.

NDSU Foundation Seed

Foundation Seed Pricing Committee needs new representative from NDAAEA.

Greg Endres serves as NDAAEA rep. on NDSU Variety Release Committee.

Craig Askim serves as NDAAEA rep. with ND Crop Improvement Assoc.

In-service training/general information

Extension ag staff in-service training is tentatively planned at Carrington REC on new herbicide-tolerant crops (2,4-D, dicamba, HTTP inhibitors).

Need to know what restrictions (e.g. saved seed) are going to be required for NDSU’s glyphosate-tolerant (RR1) soybean seed increase and commercial production (expected in 2017).

Elections

Greg Endres elected Chair and Joel Lemer elected Vice-Chair.

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