The Central Issue: April 2020
Working Group and Critical Issues Grants Awarded

The North Central IPM Center is pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of its annual grant awards for Working Groups and Critical Issues grants. In total, the Center funded over $300,000 in projects. The Center wishes it could fund and support all projects, and encourages participation in the 2021 grant cycle. Congratulations to this year’s recipients. To view this year’s Working Groups, click here.

Three Critical Issues grant projects were also awarded. To view those groups, click here.

New Virtual Resources
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person trainings, programs, and resources have been suspended to help curb the outbreak and stop the spread of the virus. In their place, universities and organizations have been rolling out and improving their online and multimedia resources, such as the University of Missouri's IPM Town Halls, where farmers can connect with MU extension specialists as well as question-and-answer sessions about home gardens in these weekly virtual conferences. In addition, more information will be updated to the Missouri Produce Growers page with helpful IPM related articles on timely issues.  

If your university or organization has online and/or multimedia materials or resources to share and promote in the North Central region, please reach out to Ethan Stoetzer at 
In This Issue
NCIPM Working Group and Critical Issues grants announcement

New Virtual Resources


IPM Pests Research

Cover Crops Research

New IPM Resources
Events in the Region
Field Crops Virtual Breakfast

Iowa Learning Farms virtual field day
April 24

Have any events those in the region might be interested in? Send requests to
Look out: pests and disease this season 
Nematologist eager to study SCN-resistant bean
A new soybean variety – with resistance to soybean cyst nematode (SCN) derived from the breeding line PI 89772 – is being released by Syngenta in small quantities in 2020. Syngenta is sharing seed with university researchers and farm cooperators now, and full commercial launch is coming next year. Read the article to check out the ongoing research project.

Building a bean that resists leafhoppers
To combat the leafhopper threat, researchers are continuously trying to develop resistant varieties of crops. In a new study, researchers describe a new pinto bean, called TARS-LH1, which has increased resistance to leafhoppers, high yields, and drought tolerance.

Fungus thwarts major soybean pest
The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) sucks the nutrients out of soybean roots, causing more than $1 billion in soybean yield losses in the U.S. each year. A new study published in the journal Plant Disease finds that one type of fungi can cut the nematodes’ reproductive success by more than half.

Be on the lookout for a new pigweed species
Purple amaranth (Amaranthus blitum L.), also known as livid amaranth, was identified for the first time in March 2019 and has since then seen in two other greenhouse locations again in soilless media. Check out the article for more on the new weed species findings and what to potentially scout for. 

Common Mullein Control
Common mullein (Verbascim thapsus) is a biennial weed species that reproduces by seeds. The taproot of this species can access soil moisture from a deeper profile at a much better rate than fibrous roots of pasture grasses, giving it a competitive advantage, especially in dry years. Read through this article for management recommendations through mechanical, biological, and chemical controls. 

Test fields for SCN and test your SCN IQ
Now is the perfect time to test for the No. 1 soybean disease in the U.S. and Canada – soybean cyst nematode (SCN). Check out this article for more information on SCN, management strategies, and testing for SCN. 

Learn how to identify and control invasive species
As the weather warms for spring, many of the plants that are emerging are beneficial, but some are also considered invasive and should be controlled. To help identify and control invasive plant species, the Natural Resource Stewardship program of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a collection of new articles, with photos and videos of at least eight different species.

Don't ignore the threat of Palmer amaranth
This aggressive weed has the potential to take up residence in fields in 2020 if not adequately prepared. The weed has made its way into northern climates and is even resistant to many herbicides including glyphosate. Check out this article for more information on scouting palmer amaranth and for resources to combat the weed.


Cover Crop Research

Managing mustard cover crops for biofumigation
Mustard cover crops are being grown as part of vegetable rotations in the hopes of providing biofumigation through the chemical glucosinolates in the mustard plant. Growing cover crops like mustards and managing them to release their compounds into the soil can help manage soil-borne pests. Check out the article and video for more related information.

Using the sorghum family as cover crops and forage
Forage sorghum, sudangrass, and sorghum-sudangrass hybrids are exceptionally heat and drought tolerant annual crops that are often used as cover crops. Dual purpose cover crops can help crop growers recoup the cost of planting a cover while providing much-needed feed for livestock. Check out the article and video for more insights.

New IPM Resources

Gopher Coffee Shop podcast

Growing Pulse Crops Podcast

Forestcast (USDA Forest Service)

MSU Cover Crop Page

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This work is/was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection and Pest Management Program through the North Central IPM Center (2018-70006-28883)

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