Current Critical Issues Projects

To learn about the details of our Working Group grant opportunities, and how to apply, click here.

Informing best management practices to reduce non-crop pesticide exposure for bees
Project Director: Rufus Isaacs, Michigan State University

Animal pollinated crops are particularly important in the north central region of the U.S., which is home to a large and diverse agricultural landscape. These crops rely on
pollination services provided by managed and wild bees to produce maximum yields. However, growers are facing increasing pest and disease pressures that have direct effects on crop yields, and some of which require management with pesticides during bloom, when managed bees are most likely to be exposed to pesticides. 
This project will focus on non-crop flowers’ impact on bee health. The project will examine management strategies that minimize pesticide exposure to bees in and near agricultural fields and provide recommendations for mitigating risk across production systems. 

IPM for soybean gall midge: understanding pest ecology and identifying management practices
Project Directors: Justin McMechan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Erin Hodgson, Iowa State University; Thomas Hunt, Univeristy of Nebraska-Lincoln; Adam Varenhorst, South Dakota State University; Robert Wright, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

In June of 2018, entomologists in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota received reports of
soybean fields with visible signs of dead or dying plants associated with soybean gall midge.
Surveys initiated in these states and neighboring Minnesota found that 65 counties had some
presence of soybean gall midge. The sudden widespread detection of soybean gall midge and its association with damaged or dying plants is of great concern to growers. Soybean gall midge is being considered as a new species, therefore, no ecological information is available on this pest. With limited knowledge, growers are likely to resort to calendar insecticide spray applications in an attempt to reduce pest pressure. 

PI’s will work growers to understand their needs and to provide them with the information they need to know when and what management practices might be necessary for the soybean gall midge. 

Past Critical Issues Projects