Wheat, Peanut and Other Field Crops Research
United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
1301 N. Western Rd.
Stillwater, OK 74075-2714
Phone: (405) 624-4141
Fax: (405) 624-4142
The Wheat, Peanut and Other Field Crops Research Unit is the primary ARS unit developing pest management technologies for aphid pests of wheat and other cereals, and for sclerotinia blight and other diseases of peanut in the western peanut growing region. These pests are currently the primary focus of the research unit. Together they account for average annual losses of over $100 million to agriculture in the western United States. The research unit consists of eight scientists, eight technicians, four administrative personnel, and several temporary appointments and students.
The mission of the USDA-ARS, Wheat, Peanut and Other Field Crops Research Unit, Stillwater, Oklahoma is to:
Develop cereal crop germplasm with inherent protection against insects and environmental growth stresses by using genetic techniques;
Define biological and cultural control methods, life histories, genetics, biochemical interactions, and economic importance and develop improved agroecosystem management systems;
Develop basic peanut germplasm for use in breeding programs to improve peanut cultivars in Southwest peanut-growing areas, with emphasis on host resistance to disease, environmental stress, and nutritional qualities;
Develop basic knowledge of mechanisms that convey resistance in peanut to diseases and environmental stress.
A team approach to research is used in the unit. Entomologists in collaboration with plant geneticists determine genetic mechanisms of host plant resistance and identify germplasm resistant to the target pests and diseases. This research is ongoing because the pests adapt over time to overcome previously effective sources of resistance. Researchers also elucidate the ecology and biology of pests to help determine ways to circumvent this process. Unit scientists conduct research to develop biological and cultural control methods for pests, pest monitoring tools, and management decision support systems in an effort to maximize the value of pest control technologies by providing an integrated package of pest management tools.