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 2012 Entomology News

Cliff Sadof and Annemarie Nagle educate communities about EAB
Keith Robinson
Published in the April 23, 2012 issue of
Purdue University News Service
Date Added: 4/24/2012
An adult emerald ash borer feeds off a leaf. (Purdue University Department of Entomology photo/John Obermeyer)

The tree-killing emerald ash borer is emerging about a month ahead of schedule in Indiana because of the early warm weather, leading a Purdue Extension entomologist to urge homeowners to take steps now to protect their trees.

Homeowners who want to protect their ash trees with insecticides need to start applying them as soon as possible, Cliff Sadof said. That is because adult borers typically take flight about the same time that black locust trees bloom - a process which has started as a result of favorable temperatures for both.

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Early spring, lawn mowing and insects
Tom Turpin
From "On Six Legs"
April 12, 2012
Date Added: 4/24/2012
Ladybird Beetle

This year I mowed the lawn for the first time on March 24th. Most of us who live in the northern and central areas of the U.S. aren't accustomed to mowing the lawn at such an early date. As a general rule, we haven't even put away the snow shovels, much less sharpened the mower blades by the end of March.

Now don't get me wrong; I have nothing against mowing grass. In fact, I rather enjoy the process. You know, the hum of the engine, the whir of the blades, the smell of the new-mown grass. The words of James Whitcomb Riley describe the feeling very well: "O, it's then the time a feller is a feelin' at his best, With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest."

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A/P staff members Melissa Shepson and Vishal Lodha promoted
From April 20, 2012 issue of Purdue Today
Date Added: 4/20/2012
Vishal Lodha >Melissa Shepson

A number of administrative and professional staff members in the College of Agriculture have been advanced in rank beginning the next fiscal year on July 1, based on exceptional effort.

All of those who have advanced in rank are listed below:

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Kathy Heinsohn (PhD '98) presents at the Food Safety Summit in DC
Kaycie Goddard
4/13/12 issue of American Pest
Date Added: 4/18/2012
Dr. Kathy Heinsohn outside her American Pest Control business

American Pest entomologist Kathy Heinsohn, Ph.D., B.C.E., will present in depth pest control information at the Food Safety Summit in Washington DC on Tuesday, April 17. Dr. Kathy will address pest control issues specific to the food industry to teach about Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The extensive summit is “designed to meet the educational and information needs of the food industry including growers, processors, retailers, distributors, foodservice operators, regulators and academia,” according to the Food Safety Summit.

IPM is a combined approach to pest control. In practice, it prevents pests from entering a property, resolves pest activity already present inside, and monitors any activity for future deterrence. “An insect is only a pest when it comes inside,” says Dr. Kathy, “My job is to teach people to keep them out for good.”

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Jon Eifler (BS '97) receives Golden Apple award
From jconline.com
April 17, 2012
Date Added: 4/17/2012
Jonathan Eifler, Purdue University Alum

For 25 years, the Golden Apple awards have been given out to teachers exemplifying their profession.

At a banquet Monday, this year's crop of five local teachers was honored at the 25th annual Golden Apple banquet.

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Jeff Grabowski awarded funding
Letter from Jon Story, PhD
Senior Associate Dean of
The Graduate School
Date Added: 4/16/2012
Jeffrey Grabowski

Jeff Grabowski has been accepted for a year of CTSI (Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute) predoctoral funding for 2012-2013 through Indiana University.

Their notification latter stated: "It was an extremely competitive process this year with 31 predoctoral applications. In addition to the merit review process which was the predominant criterion, we also had to balance other factors such as diverse research within different disciplines and schools, representation from all four campuses, and some balance between T1 (bench to the clinical setting) and T2 (clinical studies to the community applications) types of translational research."

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Matt Ginzel promoted to Associate Professor
From Purdue University News Service
April 13, 2012
Date Added: 4/13/2012
Dr. Matthew Ginzel of Purdue University

Purdue University's board of trustees on Friday (April 13) approved faculty promotions. The following promotions are effective with the 2012-13 academic year:


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Link between pesticide use and effects on honeybees covered in Krupke-Hunt Webinar
Steve Yaninek, Head
Department of Entomology
Date Added: 4/11/2012
Dr. Christian KrupkeDr. Greg Hunt

Drs. Christian Krupke and Greg Hunt hosted a webinar on Monday, April 9th. Following are comments from Jim Mintert, as well as a link to the site.

"Dr. Christian Krupke and Dr. Greg Hunt, Purdue Extension Entomology, will host a webinar on Monday, April 9th from 10 a.m. (EDT) until approximately 11 a.m. that will provide an overview of current research at Purdue and elsewhere on the impact of neonicotinoid treated seed on honeybees.

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Kris Wyckhuys (PhD '05) Helps Overcome Barriers to Passion Fruit Exports
Taken from the CIAT Annual Report 2011
Pages 10-11
Date Added: 4/5/2012
Kris Wyckhuys PhD '05

New research demonstrating that Colombia’s most widely grown passion fruit species are entirely free of quarantine insect pests could open the way for thousands of Colombia’s smallholder farmers to increase fruit exports under the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement approved in 2011 by the US Congress.

Currently, Colombian passion fruits are subject to rigorous quarantines applied by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture to prevent the introduction of foreign pests. Fruit flies classified by scientists as members of the family Tephritidae – including the dreaded Mediterranean fruit fly – are among the world’s most damaging insect pests, causing billions of dollars in losses on a wide variety of agricultural products. “US trade quarantines pose a significant barrier to Colombian exports of fresh passion fruit,” said Kris Wyckhuys, an entomologist at CIAT and lead author of the new study. “The ban is based on the mere suspicion that Med fly affects these species in Colombia, stemming from reports of infestation in other South American countries.” In a meticulous field study of fruit flies on passion fruits – published in the journal Crop Protection – Wyckhuys and his co-authors detected no harmful species on more than 15,000 samples of passion fruit gathered from 231 farms over a 2-year period from all of Colombia’s main production areas.

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Purdue contributions to 2012 ESA Symposia Program
Steve Yaninek
From the ESA 60th Annual Meeting
Entomology 2012 announcement
sent 4/5/2012
Date Added: 4/5/2012
Logo of the Entomological Society of America

Purdue will be well represented at the next ESA annual meeting in Knoxville, TN from November 11-14th. We will have staff leading the following symposia at the meeting:

Symposia for Entomology 2012

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Jeff Grabowski, Catherine Hill and Tom Turpin recognized for zipTrips Team effort
Purdue Department of Agriculture Announcement
April 2, 2012
Date Added: 4/3/2012
Alternate text to describe the picture goes here

Since 2007 the Purdue zipTrips team has developed, delivered, and researched electronic field trips (EFTs) in PK-12 science education. zipTrips have connected thousands of middle school students throughout Indiana, across the country, and overseas with Purdue scientists in real time. The team-developed lesson plans, online videos, and three EFTs meet state and national science standards in comparative biology. Assessment results show zipTrips effectively increase students' interest in science and science careers. Findings have been presented at numerous science education conferences and in peer-review journals. The project was partially funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Purdue Agriculture 2012 TEAM Award zipTrips Team consists of:

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Christian Krupke consults in bee-pesticide debate
Eryn Brown
Los Angeles Times
March 29, 2012
Date Added: 4/2/2012
Alternate text to describe the picture goes here

Two studies show that a class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids created disorientation among bees and caused colonies to lose weight, which may have contributed to a mysterious die-off.

Scientists have identified a new suspect in the mysterious die-off of bees in recent years — a class of pesticides that appear to be lethal in indirect ways.

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Cate Hill Among Researchers Striving to Create Life-Saving Insecticides
From the March 29, 2012 edition of
Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick
Date Added: 3/30/2012
Tsetse fly

A team of Purdue University researchers is developing what it calls the "next generation" of insecticides to control disease-carrying insects such as mosquitos, ticks and tsetse flies, which are developing resistance to traditional insecticides. While most Hoosiers likely view the pests as a nuisance, the insects are a critical human health threat in underdeveloped regions. The researchers believe they have the building blocks to make a new class of insecticides that is more effective, healthier for humans and better for the environment.

Catherine Hill, one of the researchers leading the project and Purdue College of Agriculture associate professor, says there hasn't been much industry effort to develop new insecticides, mostly because the pests harm third world populations, spreading diseases such as malaria and Lyme disease.

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Old Books and Bugs
Tom Turpin, Professor of Entomology
From the March 22, 2012 issue of On Six Legs
Photo credit, Pat Jones
Date Added: 3/26/2012
Cover of the book

That rite of the post-winter season - spring break - has come and gone. Again! This year we visited Arizona. We didn't attend a spring training baseball game but did do some other things.

We toured a copper mine at Bisbee. We stayed overnight at the Shady Dell. Our accommodation was a restored 1950s vintage travel trailer, complete with '50s music on the radio. We walked a bit in the Saguaro National Park, west of Tucson. We stopped at Patagonia Lake State Park, an area frequented by Geronimo some years back.

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Can An Early Spring Confuse Nature's Clock?
NPR Transcript Copyright 2012
Aired March 9, 2012
Date Added: 3/23/2012
Dr. F. Tom Turpin, Purdue University

It's been an unusually warm winter in some parts of the country, with springtime temperatures and very little snow. How is nature responding? Purdue entomologist Tom Turpin and horticulturalist Kristin Schleiter of the New York Botanical Garden discuss how an early spring affects flower buds, beetles and bees.

IRA FLATOW, HOST: You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. It's been a pretty warm winter out here in the east, hasn't it? Well, actually all over the country. And, you know, it turns out all the lower 48, January was the third-least snowy on record, the fourth-warmest winter on record. Only New Mexico had a colder winter than record, and all four of these have been within the last 20 years.

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Tim Gibb talks about early spring pests
Jo Ellen Myers Sharp
From Indystar.com
March 16, 2012 Issue
Date Added: 3/20/2012
Professor Timothy Gibb of Purdue University

Because the winter has been incredibly mild, many people are asking if there will be more insects this year.

Purdue University entomologist Tim Gibb said Indiana's 11th warmest winter probably didn't hurt or help insects.

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Congratulations to Larry Murdock and the PICS Team!
Submitted by Steve Yaninek
Entomology Department Head
March 19, 2012
Date Added: 3/19/2012
Larry L. Murdock, PhD, Purdue University - Member of the PICS Team

Congratulations to Larry Murdock and the PICS Team who will be recognized next week with an International Award of Excellence at the 7th International IPM Symposium in Memphis. The award is in recognition of the hermetic storage technology they developed and implemented across the major cowpea growing region of West and Central Africa. Below is a statement about the award posted on the symposium website.

International Awards of Excellence - “Cowpeas are rich in protein, and many small farming operations in West/Central Africa use it as a principle food grain, and Bruchid weevils eat them in storage. Responding to annual losses in the millions, the Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage Team developed effective storage bags that stop the weevils cold. With support from the Gates Foundation and international colleagues, the new bags have improved food security and economic conditions for millions of cowpea farmers. Demonstrations have been held in 30,000 villages in 10 countries.”

Catherine Hill a Recipient of Purdue Innovation Fund Award
From Purdue Today
March 19, 2012 Issue
Date Added: 3/19/2012
Catherine Hill, Associate Professor of Entomology

Purdue researchers studying diabetes treatments, concussion-mitigation, cancer therapies and seven other discoveries received nearly $500,000 in the most recent rounds of awards through the Trask Innovation Fund.

The Purdue Research Foundation-managed Trask Innovation Fund is a development program to assist faculty who have disclosed a discovery to the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization and are close to commercializing the discovery.

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Insects: Could They Be What's for Dinner?
Dr. Tom Turpin
from On Six Legs
March 8, 2012 Issue
Date Added: 3/12/2012
Silkworm pupae

Back in biblical times John the Baptist was a participant. Long before European settlers showed up in the so-called New World, so were Native Americans. Ditto the ancient people living in the Orient. We're talking about entomophagy - eating insects.

Yes, according to Old Testament biblical accounts, John the Baptist wandered in the wilderness and chowed down on locusts and wild honey. I suppose one could argue that John didn't have much in the way of food choices available so he had to make do. Locusts, called grasshoppers here in the U.S., would have been plentiful. These insects were so common and numerous as to constitute one of the biblical plagues inflicted on the Egyptians of the time.

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Christian Krupke Says Mild Winter Gives Grain Pests a Head Start
From an Associated Press article
published in The New York Times
March 6, 2012
Date Added: 3/9/2012
Bean Leaf Beetle

The mild winter that has given many Northern farmers a break from shoveling and a welcome chance to catch up on maintenance could lead to a tough spring as many pests that would normally freeze have not.

Winters are usually what one agriculture specialist calls a "reset button" that gives farmer a fresh start come planting season. But with relatively mild temperatures and little snow, insects are surviving, growing and, in some areas, already munching on budding plants.

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Casey Butler (BS ’03, MS ’06), Starks Plant Resistance to Insects Graduate Student Research Award Research
This article appeared in the Winter 2012 Newsletter of the "The Entomological Foundation"
Date Added: 3/2/2012
Potato psyllid

Dr. Casey D. Butler recently received his PhD from the University of California-Riverside (UCR) and earned his BS (’03) and MS (’06) degrees from Purdue University. At UCR, Casey’s research focused on the development of management strategies for the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc), in southern California, a major pest of solanaceous crops. The goal of his research is to build the foundation of integrated pest management against this pest by first developing sampling plans in agricultural fields and then move toward more targeted chemical tools, biological control, and host plant resistance. His research regarding host plant resistance involved collaborators at the USDA-ARS and Texas A&M University. Twenty-two potato genotypes were tested on adult potato psyllids for possible antizenosis to determine if specific breeding clones or varieties can decrease transmission of Ca. L. psyllaurous. Five of the potato genotypes significantly decreased transmission compared to controls. The next step is to test these promising genotypes in the field before recommendations can be made for the most effective integration with a management program. Casey is a R&D scientist at Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc.

He said: This is a special honor and I am extremely grateful for receiving the Kenneth and Barbara Starks Plant Resistance to Insects Graduate Student Research Award. Being acknowledged with this award has further encouraged my interest in host plant resistance to insects in agricultire.

Kevin Steffey (BS ’72) – Part of ECB Team – wins IPM Team Award
This article appeared in the Winter 2012 Newsletter of the "The Entomological Foundation"
Date Added: 3/2/2012
Dr. Kevin Steffey

Kevin Steffey (BS ’72) was one of ten ECB team members and eight associate team members awarded the Integrative Pest Management Team Award (sponsored by Dow AgroSciences).

The European Corn Borer Team documented a 6.9 billion dollar cumulative benefit to U.S. corn producers resulting from 14 years of area-wide suppression of the pest Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner) following the adoption of transgenic corn, specifically corn hybrids expressing one or more insecticidal proteins of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. The team found a significant decline in ECB larval and moth populations for five major corn-growing states in the central U.S. Corn Belt. The team had access to, or collected, long-term (50+ years) larval and moth population data that allowed a quantitative analysis of population change before and after the introduction of Bt corn. In brief, the area-wide suppression occurs over time because Bt corn, as a form of host plant resistance, continues to be highly effective, providing virtually 100% control of the pest with no field-evolved resistance to Bt. The analysis confirmed that in addition to the direct benefits to Bt corn producers, nearly 63% of the savings ($4.9 billion) actually accrued to non-Bt corn growers. The team’s findings were reported by Science, NPR, the Associated Press, German Public Radio, and other news outlets.

Fighting Ants Fodder for Writers
Tom Turpin
From "On Six Legs"
February 23, 2012 issue
Date Added: 2/24/2012
Cartoon clip art of ant in army fighting gear

Ants, it seems, relish a good fight. If you take a moment to observe ants in nature, you will notice that battles between different species of ants are a common occurrence. Such hostile encounters within the ant world have inspired many a writer to take up pen and ink, or in modern times keyboard and screen, to capture the moment.

While he lived at Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau witnessed ants in the woodpile engaged in less-than-friendly activities. Based on his observations, he wrote "The Battle of the Ants," an excerpt from "Walden." In his essay, Thoreau described the ants as "the red republicans on the one hand, and the black imperialists on the other." Thoreau was amazed at the tenacity of the battling ants and wrote, "It was evident that their battle-cry was 'Conquer or die.'"

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Did You Know?: Purdue Entomological Research Collection
Reprinted from Purdue Today
February 23, 2012 issue
Date Added: 2/23/2012
Arwin Provonsha amid the vast Entomology Department insect collection

The Purdue Entomological Research Collection (PERC), whose specimens date back to the beginnings of the University, contains the largest, most complete insect reference collection in Indiana. It's basically a library of bugs. From the exotic (consider the Madagascar hissing cockroach) to the invasive (an Oriental beetle now represents a serious threat to Indiana plants), PERC offers more than 2 million insects representing more than 150,000 species. And they add approximately 15,000 new specimens each year.

Arwin Provonsha, the curator and scientific illustrator, though partially retired, maintains a full-time passion for insects. He's drawn thousands of them, illustrating a dozen books, and, since starting in 1971, he's been the point man for identifying and tagging the creatures as they've passed through PERC.

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Hermetic bags save African crop, but not how experts once thought
Brian Wallheimer
From the Purdue Newsroom February 21, 2012
Date Added: 2/22/2012
Alternate text to describe the picture goes here

To see a video of the PICS bag story, click here.

The hermetic grain storage bags that cut off oxygen to weevils and have saved West and Central African farmers hundreds of millions of dollars by putting the brakes on the insects' rapid multiplication don't merely suffocate them as once thought, a Purdue University study shows.

More than 25 years after introducing the Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) bags to farmers in Africa, Larry Murdock, a professor of insect physiology, discovered that weevils produce much of their water themselves through metabolic processes. When oxygen in the bags decreases, the weevils cannot use it to create water, and instead of suffocating, they eventually die of thirst.

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Mild winter likely to increase insect, weed pressures
Jennifer Stewart
From February 17, 2012
Purdue Today
Date Added: 2/17/2012
Bean leaf beetle on green leaf

Crop pests may be more abundant in Indiana farm fields this spring because of what continues to be a mild winter.

Some species of insects and weeds may have benefited from the warmer-than-normal temperatures and lack of snowfall in the state, two Purdue Extension specialists say.

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Local educator and friend of Entomology honored as teacher of the year
From WLFI-TV.com
February 13, 2012
Date Added: 2/15/2012
Joe Ruhl, biology teacher at Jefferson High School, Lafayette

The top science educator in the country has been named and he can be found right in Lafayette.

Joe Ruhl, a biology teacher at Lafayette Jeff, has been recognized by the National Science Teaching Association.

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Insect Scales Weigh on Plants
Tom Turpin
"On Six Legs"
February 10, 2012 Issue
Date Added: 2/14/2012
Tamarisk manna scale (manna)

There are many types of scales. Some are small plate-like structures that form the external covering of fish or reptiles. There are flakey scales, such as the rust that forms on metal. A system of ordered marks, such as a ruler with inches and centimeters, used for measurements is also called a scale. Another type of scale is a series of tones in music. Other scales, such as the one in your bathroom, are designed for weighing things.

There are also scales in the world of insects - a fact that almost anyone who raises plants for either fun or profit can attest. That's because scales of the insect kind are major plant pests.

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Paul A. Cammer (MS '74, PhD '85) and students featured on Cool Schools
From 9NewsNow Television News
Washington, D.C.
Date Added: 2/10/2012
Dr. Paul A. Cammer

Moving a wheel chair just by thinking about it? Students at Thomas Jefferson High School are doing some amazing research in neuroscience and they have figured out how to do exactly that!

To view video click here.

Dr. Cate Hill helps develop new method to control vector insects
As printed in January 30, 2012 edition of Purdue University News Service
Sources: Catherine A. Hill, Val J. Watts, Vicky Montenegro
Date Added: 1/31/2012
Val J. Watts and Catherine A. Hill, Purdue researchers, prepare a test on insect larvae

Purdue researchers are discovering the next generation of insecticides directed at disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes, ticks and tsetse flies, which could help professionals in the human health, veterinary and crop production sectors.

Catherine A. Hill, associate professor of entomology in the College of Agriculture, and Val J. Watts, professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology in the College of Pharmacy, say vector insects - which carry and transmit infectious pathogens or parasites to other living organisms - are developing resistance to insecticides sprayed in the air or embedded in bed nets. The increased resistance makes insecticides less effective.

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These Insects Rob for Food, Not Money
Tom Turpin
From January 27, 2012 issue of "On Six Legs"
Date Added: 1/31/2012
Robber fly eating Japanese beetle on a green leaf

Human history has had its share of infamous robbers. In the United States, Jesse James, Bonnie and Clyde, and John Dillinger come to mind. England was home to Robin Hood and Dick Turpin; individuals who it is said sometimes helped themselves to the money of others.

In the interest of full disclosure, to my knowledge, the English outlaw Dick Turpin is not one of my ancestors. While being related to a legendary robber might not seem to be a good thing, in this case, it does have its perks. People with the surname Turpin are sometimes given a free drink at Dick Turpin British pubs!

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Michelle Lee - Study Abroad Student
Steve Yaninek
Date Added: 1/30/2012
Department Head Steve Yaninek with study abroad student Michelle Lee

Please welcome Michelle Lee, an entomology student currently studying at Purdue as an exchange student from the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan.

Michelle was born in Starkville, Mississippi where her father received his PhD in food science. Her father took a faculty position at Da-Yeh University in Taiwan after his studies and now works in the food industry.

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Larry Murdock Helps Develop PICS Project in Afghanistan
As published on the USAid web site
at http://idea.usaid.gov/div/purdue-grain-storage
Date Added: 1/26/2012
Logo of the Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage Project

THE NEED: Grain storage loss can cost farmers 25%-30% of their yield for the season. In Afghanistan, over 30 million people depend on stored grains for consumption.

THE SOLUTION: Jump start the supply chain for low-cost hermetic storage bags to help Afghan farmers avoid storage loss of grains.

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2012 PMC Offers Cutting Edge Information
Will Nepper
As abstraced from PMP Buzz Online eNewsletter
Used with Permission
Date Added: 1/20/2012
Gary Bennett

“We’re celebrating our Centennial. Beginning in 1912, this year marks 100 years of entomology here at Purdue University,” said Gary Bennett, professor of urban pest management for Purdue’s Entomology Department, at the kick-off of the Annual Purdue Pest Management Conference held January 9-11. “This is the 76th pest management conference we’ve held here, and every year, input from our attendees helps us to make each conference more enriching than the one before.”

The three-day conference offered more than 20 educational sessions, giving attendees the opportunity to step up to pest management’s cutting edge by learning about new technologies, techniques and business strategies. Highlights of this year’s conference included a Monday morning session by Hall of Famer Paul Hardy, senior technical director of Orkin Pest Control. He explored new technologies available to pest management professionals (PMPs) and some of the improved integrated pest management strategies changing the way many companies are conducting the technical side of their businesses.

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Entomology Staff Recognition
Steve Yaninek
Date Added: 1/19/2012
Charles Aaron, Vicki Cassens, Larry Bledsoe and Arwin Provonsha

Purdue University honored staff for their years of service at the Provost Recognition Luncheon on January 19, 2012 in the Purdue Memorial Union. Those recognized from Entomology included Charles Aaron (10 years), Lori Edwards (10 years), Vicki Cassens (25 years), Larry Bledsoe (30 years) and Arwin Provonsha (40 years).

Congratulations to the honorees for their dedication, service and contributions to the department and the university. Attached is a photo of the award winners who attended the ceremony.

Little Insects on the Prairie
Tom Turpin
"On Six Legs"
January 12, 2012
Date Added: 1/17/2012
Green grasshopper on green leaf

Almost everyone has read or heard a story that begins with, "Once upon a time." That phrase is often used to introduce a fable or a tale with its origins in bygone days. For example, "The Story of the Three Bears" begins, "Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks."

Once upon a time in the Midwestern United States there existed a major ecosystem - the tallgrass prairie. It covered some 142 million acres from western Indiana through Illinois and Iowa to the eastern parts of Nebraska and Kansas.

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Purdue Researchers Greg Hunt and Christian Krupke: Honeybee deaths linked to seed insecticide exposure
Brian Wallheimer
as published in Purdue Today
January 11, 2012
Date Added: 1/12/2012
Honey bee on large leaf

Honeybee populations have been in serious decline for years, and Purdue University scientists may have identified one of the factors that cause bee deaths around agricultural fields.

Analyses of bees found dead in and around hives from several apiaries over two years in Indiana showed the presence of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are commonly used to coat corn and soybean seeds before planting. The research showed that those insecticides were present at high concentrations in waste talc that is exhausted from farm machinery during planting.

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