March 29, 2006
Juliuson, Sorenson, Myrdal elected to NHB Board
In district director elections held during 2006 Bean Day, Alan Juliuson, Hope, N.D., was reelected to represent District 4 (Steele and Traill Counties); Mark Myrdal, Edinburg, N.D., was reelected to represent District 1 (Pembina and Walsh Counties); and Todd Sorenson, Fisher, Minn., was elected to represent District 7 (northern Minnesota). Terms on the NHB board are for three years, with a limit of three terms.
Meeting Highlights Sclerotinia Research Efforts
A genomic map, disease-resistant beans and other research achievements were presented recently during the sixth annual meeting of the National Sclerotinia Initiative, hosted by the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Bloomington, Minn.
Sclerotinia is a fungal disease, caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, affecting more than 400 species of broadleaf plants. Since 2002, ARS has led a multistate, multiorganization effort to counterattack the fungus on three fronts: epidemiology; development of resistance in germplasm; and chemical, biological or cultural control.
The initiative aims to protect seven crops that growers across the country are increasingly including in their rotation schemes: sunflowers, soybeans, canola, dry edible beans, chickpeas, lentils and dry peas. Poor genetic resistance to Sclerotinia in these crops costs up to $280 million annually in degraded quality and reduced yields, notes Larry Chandler, associate director for the ARS Northern Plains Area headquarters in Fort Collins, Colo.
During the meeting, participants from more than 14 universities and 11 trade groups, ranging from the American Soybean Association to the U.S. Dry Bean Council, discussed progress to date, as well as identified future research plans and needs through 2009, according to Chandler, the Sclerotinia Initiatives ARS coordinator.
Accomplishments to date include development of Sclerotinia risk-assessment maps that dry bean and canola producers can use to implement disease-management strategies; development of dry bean and lentil germplasm lines or cultivars that resist Sclerotinia; uses for the beneficial fungus Coniothyrium minitans as a biological pesticide product; genetically modified soybeans that produce an antifungal peptide against Sclerotinia; and the public release of the sequence for 14,552 of the fungus genes. The database enables Sclerotinia researchers to search for genes by name, genomic location, their associated proteins and other information.
For more details, as well as recent research abstracts, visit the National Sclerotinia Initiative web site, www.whitemoldresearch.com.
Tulbek Named Crop Quality Specialist at Northern Crops Institute
Mehmet Tulbek recently began his duties as crop quality specialist at the Northern Crops Institute in Fargo. Tulbek will provide technical assistance to processors and end-users of non-cereal crops, such as soybeans, corn, lentils, dry peas, flax, chickpeas, and dry edible beans. He will also develop and conduct educational programs that identify market opportunities to promote the sales of non-cereal crops.
The new position was developed in response to the increasing diversity of crops produced in the four-state region, says Pat Berglund, NCI Director. Several regional commodity organizations, as well as the state of North Dakota, committed funds for this position, Berglund notes.
Tulbeks research includes evaluation of N.D. chickpea quality, and the characterization of fermented chickpea for dough and bread. He has a B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Ankara, Turkey, an M.S. degree in food engineering from Istanbul Technical University, and will complete requirements for his Ph.D. degree in cereal science at NDSU this spring. He is a member of the American Association of Cereal Chemists and the Institute of Food Technologists.
Favorite Food for Recovering Sago Mine survivor
USA Today in early February did a feature on the recovery of Randy McCloy, the only survivor of the tragedy in West Virginia in January that claimed the lives of a dozen coal miners in the Sago Mine.
Doctors say its a miracle McCloy survived he spent more than 42 hours in the mine polluted with toxic carbon monoxide, and when rescued, was unresponsive. Family members and doctors say his progress since has been remarkable. The key to Randys long-term prognosis is communication. He is undergoing two hours of physical therapy and one hour of speech therapy daily. Once McCloy is able to speak or otherwise express himself, doctors and his family will have a better sense of his cognitive abilities.
He is making progress in communicating, and even expresses food preferences. Although McCloy still has a feeding tube for his medicine and for those days when he doesnt eat enough by mouth, wife Anna tries to hand-feed him meals as much as possible. His favorite: soft tacos with pinto beans and cheese from Taco Bell.
PARK RIVER Grower wins AgCountry FCS Door Prize
In the 2006 Bean Day door prize drawing, Dwight Johnson (right) Park River, ND, won a $200 gift certificate sponsored by AgCountry Farm Credit Services, represented here by Scot Manthe, senior loan officer, Fargo.