AMES, Iowa — A new staff member at Iowa State University will coordinate day-to-day activities of a statewide effort to help Iowa farmers address pest resistance in their fields.
Evan Sivesind recently joined the Department of Entomology at Iowa State to manage the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan. Sivesind will support communities as they develop and implement local resistance management plans and will coordinate these efforts with partners across the agriculture industry.
Sivesind, who grew up in Ames, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Iowa and master’s and doctorate degrees in plant science from McGill University in Montréal. After receiving his doctorate, Sivesind joined the Department of Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he studied weed community dynamics. Most recently, Sivesind worked with the Olympic Peninsula’s invasive plant management program in the state of Washington.
“I’m excited to be back in Iowa and working in an area that’s so critical to farmers and the state. Resistance is an issue many farmers are already facing and will become increasingly problematic if we don’t start slowing its development,” Sivesind said.
The Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan, developed through the efforts of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State, and 11 partnering organizations from the agricultural industry, seeks to delay the development of resistance in insects, weeds, and diseases and to preserve management tools and profitability for farmers.
“Because many pests are so mobile, resistance issues can easily spread farm to farm. By working together, the agricultural community can quickly identify and address issues before they become difficult to manage,” Sivesind said.
From farmers to advisers and bankers, community teams are working to establish four pilot projects to address pest issues that threaten crop productivity and profitability:
- The pilot project in Harrison County will focus on Palmer amaranth, an invasive weed threat, along with waterhemp, marestail and giant ragweed
- The project in northeast and north central Iowa will focus on avoidance of Bt resistance in western corn rootworm
- The project in northwest Iowa will explore identification and management of pyrethroid resistance in soybean aphid and
- The project in Story County will explore options for managing resistant waterhemp, a state-wide issue.
These teams will share knowledge, experience and pest status to address threats quickly and effectively.
Collaboration to create the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan began in 2015, and the plan was launched in January of 2017. Partnering organizations include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee, Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Independent Crop Consultants Association, Iowa Institute for Cooperatives, Iowa Soybean Association, Pesticide Resistance Action Committees, Practical Farmers of Iowa, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Learn more about the plan at protectiowacrops.org.