Cotton entomologist responsible for boll weevil pheromone trap dies

In Delta Farm Press

D.D. “Dick” Hardee, the USDA Agricultural Research Services research entomologist who led the team that developed the boll weevil pheromone trap which helped eradicate the pest from the U.S. Cotton Belt, has died in Greenville, Miss. He was 77.

Dr. Hardee, a native of Snyder, Texas, spent most of his career working in cotton, first as a research entomologist at the USDA-ARS Boll Weevil Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University, then as a crop consultant and as the leader of the Southern Insect Management Research Unit at USDA-ARS’ Jamie Whitten Research facility at Stoneville, Miss.

He graduated from Snyder High School in 1956 and received a B.S. degree with honors in agronomy from Texas Tech University. He earned a M.S. degree and a Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in 1964.

He began his career at the Boll Weevil Research Laboratory in 1964, working with a team of scientists who were trying to replicate the sex attractant for the boll weevil. The research involved sifting through pounds of boll weevil excrement to find the attractant or pheromone.

Dr. Hardee later called the material they synthesized Grandlure. Placed in a pheromone trap, which he also helped design, the material would draw boll weevils in from surrounding fields, helping eradication program specialists determine when to spray for the pest.

Read the rest of the story in Delta Farm Press.

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