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Cullen Receives 2010 Pound Extension Award
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/29/2010

A University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor and Extension specialist has been awarded the 2010 Pound Award for her work at the school's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Eileen Cullen was recognized for her work with integrated pest management implementation. Her research detected a Wisconsin population of the western corn rootworm behavioral variant that lays eggs in soybeans to hatch out in corn the following year, rendering crop rotation ineffective as a control tactic.

On the basis of her field research, Cullen obtained grower funded check-off and federal extramural competitive funding to form an on-farm IPM demonstration network for variant WCR with county agents and growers across 11 southeastern Wisconsin counties. Her current work, in collaboration with an Extension colleague in Agricultural & Applied Economics, analyzes the farm-level economic impact of IPM implementation, recognizing that economic incentive will be the ultimate deciding factor for adoption of scouting to guide treatment decisions.

The soybean aphid is a key pest for Wisconsin soybean growers. Cullen's participation in collaborative research in the North Central Region helped establish an economic threshold and recommendations for optimal insecticide timing for soybean aphid. Economists estimate a $1.3 billion net benefit to U.S. consumers and soybean growers over 15 years (2003-2017) from this multi-state research/extension project.

Professor Cullen has also developed an entirely new program that seeks to strengthen the IPM paradigm in organic agriculture. Cullen formed an organic farmer advisory board that meets annually to focus on grain and forage crop entomology IPM research relevant to organic systems.

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