(Picture of Tim Reed with Henry Fadamiro to his right and Joseph LaForest of the University of Georgia to his left.)
Dr. Tim Reed, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologist, recently received the 2013 Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Center’s Friends of Southern IPM Educator Award. The award recognized Reed’s high- quality Extension programs and their strong impact on producers statewide. He was presented the award in Baton Rouge at the southeastern branch meeting of the Entomological Society of America.
“This is a big award,” says Dr. Henry Fadamiro, alumni professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Auburn University and associate director of the Southern Region IPM Center.
“The award recognizes an individual who has done so much to promote IPM implementation in the southern region of United States. Dr. Reed’s nomination was one of several nominations received for this award. The nominations were reviewed by a panel of seven renowned IPM specialists in the region and the panel selected him for the award.”
Reed was recognized for the impact of the Soybean Pest Management Program. For the past five years he has worked to develop and implement optimum IPM practices for row crop producers. Although he served as an Extension entomologist for home lawns and commercial turf, his primary efforts were focused on research to improve the knowledge base about the economic consequences of different soybean and cotton insect control practices and on delivery of this information to farmers.
Reed conducted an insect pest survey in several Alabama counties as an IPM planning tool. Knowing which pests were most prevalent in the state would allow him and his colleagues to better alert growers of what to watch for. Results indicated that soybean looper was the most abundant pest being found in every county sampled. It was followed by alfalfa hopper. Kudzu bug and podworms, which were serious pests in surrounding states, were not as problematic for Alabama farmers.
The survey not only told specialists and consultants the relative abundance of various pests but also each pest’s biology and usual movements. Specialists could then use this information to predict where pests would move over the course of the season. The ability to track pests allowed farmers to be proactive in their IPM programs and use insecticide sprays judiciously.
“Reed‘s effort has resulted in tremendous success for the program with significant economic impact in Alabama. In short, without his leadership, the program will not be a success,” says Fadamiro.
“The award recognizes Dr. Reed’s contribution to sustainable insect management in Alabama cotton and soybean production,” says Dr. Gary Lemme, ACES director.
According to Lemme, Reed’s efforts have resulted in increasing profitability for farmers while minimizing ecological impacts.
“He has successfully combined his knowledge of insect and crop biology to determine economic thresholds that prevent unnecessary pesticide applications and to advise farmers when a pest control application will return an economic benefit. Dr. Reed brings his full commitment to helping Alabama farmers understand the constantly changing spectrum of cotton and soybean insect pests,” adds Lemme.
Reed helped train regional Extension agronomists to recognize insect pests of row crops, to enhance their scouting skills for these insects and to provide more assistance to the row crop producers statewide.
Several of his IPM research efforts have resulted in increased yields to cotton and soybean producers. He successfully tested the efficacy of using insecticides at different stages of insect development that resulted in reduced damage and better crop yields. Thanks to the pest survey, growers now have an advantage in managing kudzu bug and now know specifically what pests they will most likely be facing each season.
In August 2012, his monitoring and treatment effort during the historic statewide soybean looper infestation that began on the Gulf Coast and spread to the Tennessee Valley helped producers save nearly 80 percent of the total soybean acreage. Crop loss prevented by IPM at $15 per bushel market value amounted to nearly $9.9 million
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