Lana Koepke Johnson | Agronomy and Horticulture
Greg Kruger, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture and weed science and application technology specialist, received an Excellence in Extension Award in Engagement at the Nebraska Fall Conference and Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association Annual Conference in Kearney, Nebraska.
“Dr. Greg Kruger has pushed to explore under-served parts of the weed science field and has done so very effectively locally and globally as evident with his work with the Environmental Protection Agency, Nebraska producers and his commitment to training the next generation of weed scientists,” said Daran Rudnick, assistant professor of biological systems engineering and irrigation management specialist.
The Pesticide Application Technology Laboratory at the West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte was built by Kruger to conduct laboratory, greenhouse and field drift trials and to research how best to maximize efficacy from pesticides while minimizing unintended consequences.
Kruger delivers numerous talks and trainings on the topic of sustainability of herbicides and delaying the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds. Clientele learn how to reduce off target movement, tank mix and sprayer calibration errors, development of herbicide resistant weeds and the correct selection of nozzles, adjuvants and tank mix herbicides.
He is actively involved in the three largest University of Nebraska production agriculture programs: Nebraska Crop Management Conference, Crop Production Clinics and Crop Management Diagnostic Clinics.
Realizing a disconnect with regulators and actual producers, Kruger invited the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs in Washington D.C. and the Region 7 office in Kansas City on a tour of Nebraska and western Iowa fields and with stakeholders in June 2018.
The tour offered an understanding of how the two herbicides, dicamba and atrazine, are being used, where they are being applied and what unintended consequences have resulted from the use of the products. This tour created an open dialog with regulators in Washington about production agriculture in Nebraska and the challenges Nebraska producers face each day. The individuals that made the trip were better equipped to represent Nebraska’s diverse interests in agriculture in its reregistration decision making.
Kruger has also advised and trained many graduate students and interns from around the world. These students receive expertise and high-level skills in a niche area in production agriculture.
“Dr. Kruger has developed strong ties across the globe in the area of weed science and has built good relationships with research and Extension professionals in other universities,” Rudnick said. “With his engagement locally and worldwide, he is very deserving of this award.”