Anne Nielsen Receives Multi-Million Dollar USDA Award
Anne Nielsen, a new faculty member in the Department of Entomology at Rutgers University, has been awarded $2,672,327 by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture in support of a multi-regional, transdisciplinary effort to develop and disseminate whole-farm organic management of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).
The invasive stink bug is causing significant economic losses in the Mid-Atlantic states and is increasingly spreading to Southern and Mid-Western states.
Dr. Nielsen is a former Chair of the ESA Student Affairs Committee. She was also recently interviewed by a Knoxville TV news station at the 2012 ESA Annual Meeting.
According to Nielsen, this stink bug is highly mobile and feeds on diverse crops, which makes it especially challenging for organic farmers, requiring whole-farm management to implement effective organic controls.
Nielsen’s study will help growers select and plan trap crops, enhance natural enemies and implement cultural control. In addition, the study will examine cues and capacity for dispersal as well as identify movement patterns. Joining Rutgers in this collaborative research are 22 researchers from various institutions, two organic organizations in the U.S. and at least six organic farmers. These collaborators include eOrganic; Michigan State University; North Carolina State University; Ohio State University; Redbud Farm; Rodale Institute; University of Florida; University of Kentucky; University of Maryland; USDA-ARS; Virginia Tech; West Virginia University Research Corporation and University of Tennessee.
Nielsen, who received her doctoral degree from Rutgers in 2008, returned to the university as an assistant extension specialist in the NEw Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in 2012.
Research on this whole-farm organic management project began in the fall of 2012 and will conclude in the fall of 2015. The BMSB control-strategy research results will be tested by participating farmers as part of the process of developing outreach materials. Organic growers, in particular, will be supported with educational opportunities to initiate whole-farm habitat manipulation strategies identified by this project. Information will be disseminated via webinars, social media, on-site demonstrations and field days, and educational materials distributed via eOrganic and traditional extension channels.
The New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station is the research and outreach arm of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Rutgers Cooperative Extension agents and specialists deliver wide-ranging educational programs across New Jersey. For more information about Nielsen’s work and the work of the NJAES, visit http://njaes.rutgers.edu.