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Field Crops IPM Podcast: A retrospective on 38 years of corn entomology with Ken Ostlie

 Welcome to the IPM Podcast for Field Crops. Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode on your favorite platforms, such as iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

This Podcast is sponsored by UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM). In this week’s podcast, we feature: Dr. Ken Ostlie, Professor and Extension Entomologist with the University of Minnesota who just retired in January after 38 years at the U of M.

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In this episode, Dr. Ostlie looks back on his career as a corn entomologist ranging from starting off in the middle of the farming and fiscal crisis of the 1980s, how Extension has changed, the introduction of Bt corn, and of course, corn pests. He saw shifts in corn management between widespread outbreaks of European corn borer in the 80s and 90s as well as its decline as transgenic Bt traits were introduced. Meanwhile, corn rootworm became a concern as it overcame Bt resistance and posed additional challenges to growers.

Dr. Ken Ostlie at a field day display.

Ostlie grew up as a farm kid in Minnesota and received his B.S. at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, M.S. at Utah State University, and a PhD at Iowa State University. Much of his research directly works with farmers, and he stresses to always remember that farmers are the real people out in the environment that are the best resource for telling researchers and educators what farmers need the most. Dr. Ostlie will still be around from time to time working in corn entomology topics as an emeritus professor.

This podcast was hosted by Dr. Anthony Hanson (, an IPM Educator for Field Crops with University of Minnesota Extension based out of Morris, MN. The purpose of the IPM podcast is to alert Growers, Ag Professionals and Educators about emerging pest concerns on Minnesota field crops. We also review recent pest trends and research updates.  

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