Today, Matt and Erin ask our 2015 Gunderson Memorial Lecture speaker, Dr. Dominic Reisig, a few questions about his research and extension program. Dominic is a field crop entomologist at North Carolina State University and has a wide range of responsibilities, for pest management including corn, soybean, cotton and wheat. Topics include stink bugs, kudzu bug, caterpillars (like Old World bollworm and corn earworm), and even soybean aphid.
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/art094016. 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/.