Love of agriculture brings Ochoa Cadena to Nebraska

Love of agriculture brings Ochoa Cadena to Nebraska

Luis Ochoa Cadena is working on pest management in commercial sunflowers for his M.S. thesis.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Luis Ochoa CadenaSpecial shout-out to Luis Ochoa Cadena, who was recently featured in the IANR Global Engagement Student Spotlight!

Ochoa Cadena is an MS student of Entomology from Villanueva, Nicaragua, and is currently working on a sunflower pest management project under the supervision of Drs. Gary Brewer, Jeff Bradshaw, and Autumn Smart.  He received his bachelor's of science degree in Agricultural Sciences and Production from Zamorano University, Nicaragua, in 2017.

Pest management in commercial sunflowers is tied to chemical control to suppress and reduce pest damage to the seeds, according to Ochoa Cadena. Growers want the highest yield possible. However, chemical control more than once during the same season also affects insect pollinators (native bees). It is known that native bees across the great plains can significantly increase yield. The trade-off between pest control and insect pollination is still unknown. Ochoa said that one of the goals of this study is to understand the interaction between insecticide application, pest control, and bee pollination in sunflowers. These results could help growers and pest managers reduce insecticide input and maximize yield while conserving native bee populations in Nebraska.

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