Dr. A. Morrie Craig was recently invited to present seminars in the Middle East by Dr. Tareq Al Sabbagh, a scientist at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Investigation (KISR), and Dr. Ghaleb ali Alhadrami, Dean of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, United Arab Emirates (UAE) University – Al Ain. His presentations addressed two major concerns in the Middle East.
The Northwest now ships hay and straw to the Middle East to feed their camels, goats and sheep. The Royal family in Kuwait has experienced some reproductive problems due to endophyte toxicosis in their racing camels. As a consequence, there are 76,000 tons of Northwest product in receivership in the Middle East. Dr. Craig’s presentations reported on endophyte research on threshold levels for clinical disease from tall fescue and perennial ryegrass and described how OSU has established a quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedure between the OSU Endophyte Laboratory importing Japanese testing laboratories to ensure ‘safe feed’ for livestock in Japan. Members of the U.S. National Hay Association and several West Coast grass straw exporters were also in attendance. Dr. ali Alhadrami will visit Oregon State this summer and begin the ground-work for a similar process for QA/QC endophyte testing in the Middle East.
Phyto-Ruminal — reclamation of the desert
The January Popular Science article ‘Baa. Baa, Blammo’ (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-01/sheep-help-scientists-clean-explosives-resiude) reporting on Dr. Craig’s phyto-ruminal-bioremediation of muntions residues idea using cool season grasses and sheep has also caused interest abroad. Under the United Nations Development Program/Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP), monies have been allocated to reclaim the desert following the 1990 Persian Gulf War, also known as Operation Desert Storm. Dr. Craig gave a presentation to Minister Faisal Al Sidiqi of Kuwait and a large audience on “Phyto-Ruminal-Bioremediation: from grass to sheep an ‘agricultural solution.’” Kuwait is interested in conducting similar research to test the efficiency of their warm season grasses and fat tail sheep to clear munitions residues from their lands. The presentation in Kuwait was given front page press in the Kuwait newspaper.