(S6:E30) Understanding life cycle assessments with Dr. Rosentrater

Matt and Erin have a special guest on this podcast to help understand life cycle assessments. Dr. Kurt Rosentrater is an engineer and associate professor at Iowa State. Kurt explained the basics of conducting a life cycle assessment, including assumptions and resulting complications that come with this tool. They focused on a recent example looking at environmental impacts in four major crops. Here is the link to the paper so you can follow along with figures: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iop/erl/2015/00000010/00000009/art.... The assessment showed freshwater ecotoxicity impact in soybean increased 3-fold from 2002 to 2012. The authors claimed the insecticides used to control soybean aphid was an important factor. Corn, cotton and wheat did not have a significant increase of impact over the study duration. Learn more about Kurt's research and teaching program here: http://www.abe.iastate.edu/kurt-a-rosentrater-assistant-professor/.

(S6:E29) More pesticide regulations in the news

Today, Matt and Erin talk about EPA's review of a popular neonic called imidacloprid. This and other active neonic ingredients have been blamed for declines in honey bee health. They share their thoughts on implications for cancellation, bee health and non-target insects.

(S6:E28) Industry mergers and spinoffs

In this episode, Matt and Erin talk about the recent news of Dow AgroSciences and Dupont merging and possibly becoming three companies. Also, Erin talks about Crop Advantage Series, a reoccurring event for the ISU Crops Team. You can find more information, including dates, locations, speakers and more here: http://www.aep.iastate.edu/cas/.

(S6:E27) Are soybean aphids becoming resistant?

Matt and Erin recap a presentation made at ICM Conference this week. Bob Koch (University of Minnesota) talked about bifenthrin failures to soybean aphid in southern Minnesota in 2015. He performed bioassays and detected resistance. The level of resistance was low, but provides the first example of this pest overcoming a pyrethroid in the field. Bob's ICM proceedings article summarizes highlights how resistance happens and strategies for prolonging insecticide efficacy. Find the proceedings free here: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/ (search for publication AEP 0302 - 2015, pages 75-76).

(S6:E26) We're back (and tired) from ESA

In this episode, Matt and Erin summarize a symposium they moderated at the national ESA meeting in Minneapolis. The topic was about the cost and benefits of neonic seed treatments from several different perspectives.

(S6:E25) Future of chlorpyrifos

Today, Matt and Erin talk about the recent EPA proposal to revoke all tolerances to chlorpyrifos. This insecticide is an option in corn and soybean in Iowa and restricting or removing the use could have potential implications for field crop pest management. Matt shares a paper that shows a decrease of chlorpyrifos in corn but relatively steady use in soybean (doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/094016). He isn't sure if revoking the use would have an immediate impact, but Erin offers a Coke analogy to say otherwise. To learn more about the EPA proposal and leave a comment, go here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-11-06/pdf/2015-28083.pdf.

(S6:E24) What do you call monarch butterflies in Australia?

Today, Matt and Erin talk about the upcoming ESA meeting (Entomological Society of America) in Minneapolis next month. It's not too late to register for the meeting:http://entsoc.org/entomology2015. Matt also highlights an upcoming seminar about monarch butterflies in the ISU entomology department. Dr. Meron Zalucki, University of Queensland, School of Biological Sciences, Australia, is presenting on November 9. Come to listen in person or watch at your convenience here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyJpsN5fR8Ia2WJNllyvB1Q.
The ISU Monarch Consortium is hosting Dr. Zalucki and have other research and outreach projects: http://monarch.ent.iastate.edu/.

(S6:23) Can natural enemies delay resistance to Bt crops?

Today, Matt breaks down a technical publication to Erin. This study evaluated the effect a lady beetle had on diamondback moth in Bt broccoli. Turns out, the presence of natural enemies can slow down the rate of Bt resistance. They talk about implications for this research in Iowa, specifically for corn rootworm in corn. Read the full article here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0090366.

(S6:E22) Nuisance pests and smear campaigns

In this episode, Matt starts by sharing some of the night life stops in Dubuque, Iowa. Erin talks about common nuisance invaders moving into homes during this extended fall weather. Learn more about how to manage these pests here: http://bit.ly/1P3KcX2. For most of the time, Matt and Erin talk about a recent editorial letter in Nature Biotechnology (October 2015). The author(s) share a story of a recent scientist that accepted funding from industry and the unexpected implications from the public. Read the letter here: http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v33/n10/full/nbt.3384.html.

(S6:E21) Too many damn bees?!

Today, Matt and Erin comment on a recent letter to the editor about too many "bees" on the ISU campus (see letter here: http://bit.ly/1LNbQGS). They talk about the real culprit, yellowjacket wasps, and why they may seem more abundant this year. Matt and Erin review the differences between bees and wasps, and why we probably don't have too many bees.