FEATURE ARTICLE

New Name, New Format, Expanded Scope, Same Objective

The paper version of Midwest Biological Control News (MBCN) has died. But sufficient folks indicated an interest in continuing to receive biological control information that we are continuing in this electronic version. As we are no longer getting any funding to produce the newsletter, it has been necessary to cut back to four issues per year. The good news is that, without needing to worry about a budget for printing, handling, and postage, we can make the newsletter as big as we have information to pass along. The bad news is that we will have less time to scour the literature and solicit articles and information, so, more than ever, we will rely on our readership to pass along information that will be of value to others. We will, however, continue to maintain editorial authority regarding content, and we will continue to define "biological control" in the traditional context.

I think it is appropriate here to restate our objective as developed with the inception of MBCN. The primary purpose of these newsletters is to provide practical information regarding beneficial organisms and their use in the control of pest organisms that include insects and mites, weeds, nematodes, and plant pathogens. Our target audience includes university (state and local) Extension personnel that are often called upon to make pest management recommendations. However, we welcome anyone interested in pest management to use our newsletters.

Throughout the five-year life of MBCN we frequently received requests for biological control information applicable to crops and regions outside of the Midwest. Because of funding constraints, we couldn't do that at the time. But without those constraints, we are now expanding coverage to include all geographical regions and all crops and other applications of biological control. For example, in this newsletter there is some information regarding cotton from Texas. This expanded scope has resulted in the dropping of "Midwest" from our name; now we are simply "Biological Control News" (BCN).

We need your help. First, if you have access to information or if you are generating new data on any aspect of applied biological control, we welcome your contributions. If you have questions regarding scope or content of articles, please contact our editor, Susan Mahr. Second, we would like to reach as large of an audience as possible, so if you know of anyone interested in biological control, please pass along our website address so that others may access this information. Those of you affiliated with state university extension services, we would appreciate it if you could broadcast the availability of BCN to appropriate researchers and extension specialists as well as county-based extension personnel who may have use for this information. And, as always, we appreciate hearing from you. Let us know how we are doing, and let us know how you are using our information.

Finally, we will continue to notify you by email when the latest version of BCN is posted on our website. Although our intent is to provide a fairly timely quarterly edition, chances are our "schedule" will vary a bit depending on our other obligations as well as how much material we have to provide. So, if your email address changes, please send us your new address. We hope that you find this new version of the newsletter as useful as its predecessor, MBCN.

Dan Mahr, Project Director Biological Control News, University of Wisconsin - Madison


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