Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla has been promoted to extension specialist in cropping systems at the Langdon Research Extension Center (LREC). The promotion was effective October 1, 2021. Filling the position will be a benefit to area growers, the NDSU extension system, and the Ag industry.
“As a cropping systems specialist,” said Chirumamilla, “I will develop extension programs to disseminate research results of the various experiments conducted at the REC to update the knowledge base of the extension professionals, growers, crop consultants, and agronomists.”
The extension specialist in cropping systems position was previously held by Lesley Lubenow and has been vacant since she moved to the position of extension district director/east.
“This specialist position has actually been open for the past two years,” said LREC Director Randy Mehlhoff. “The governor’s request for NDSU to submit an 85 percent budget last session put the position on hold. No cuts in the budget occurred last session, and authority was given to fill the position.”
Chirumamilla will be a member of a statewide Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources team. The team is responsible for providing leadership to create and deliver innovative learning experiences that empower North Dakotans to improve their lives and communities. Programming will focus primarily on production agriculture issues and providing expertise and continuing education to Extension professionals, producers, industry, and others regarding crop production practices.
Chirumamilla will work closely with extension agents and build collaborative relationships with commodity groups, the ag industry, private enterprise, and others to identify production issues and develop programming to provide problem solving information. She will also provide leadership on conducting the IPM survey in northeast ND. She knows the challenges ahead for growers and lists her priorities when it comes to weeds, disease, and insects.
“Palmer amaranth spreading into more parts of ND,” said Chirumamilla, “and increased concerns of herbicide resistance in weeds such as waterhemp, wild oats, kochia; diseases such as clubroot spreading into newer fields and identification of sudden death syndrome in soybeans in Cavalier County pose challenges to canola and soybean crop production; and insect issues such as effect of seed treatments on canola flea beetles, pyrethroid resistance in soybean aphids, and potential resistance issues in diamondback moth continue to be a concern.”
The LREC, area growers, and the NDSU Extension system are fortunate to have the expertise of Chirumamilla domiciled at the Langdon location.
“Dr. Chirumamilla is highly qualified for this position based on her PhD in entomology and the fact that she has been serving as the Cavalier County Ag and Natural Resources Extension Agent for several years,” said Mehlhoff. “Her knowledge and experience of the crops that are grown in northeast ND will allow her to hit the ground running.”