This new video from AgBioResearch highlights the importance of facilities, like the Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center in Frankenmuth for improving Michigan agriculture. Keep an eye out for some of your favorite weed scientists in the video.
As the field season is winding down we are moving back into the greenhouses. These Weed Wonder of the Week photos come from undergraduate student David Reif who is studying the host specificity and control of the parasitic weed dodder (Cuscuta spp.). He is having much better luck getting the dodder to attach to his sugarbeets and weeds this fall, likely because we have a new seed source. David will be presenting his research findings this December at the North Central Weed Science Society meeting in Milwaukee, WI.
Sampling and field days have kept us busy over the past several weeks, so there has not been much time to spend at the keyboard, but after a long hiatus from blogging I’m back with lots of pictures and video to share.
Below I have embedded a short video clip of a double rotary hoe in action at one of my on-farm trial sites in Caro, MI. Rotary hoes can be useful tools for “crust busting” before a crop emerges, but they are most frequently used as a means of controlling small weeds in organically produced field crops. The rotary hoe, or in this case double rotary hoe (2 tool bars), is run at speeds ranging from 8-11 mph when the crops are small. It pulls out weeds both in and between the rows. The quick developing roots systems of the crops allow them to remain anchored as the rotary hoe passes. Once crops get larger (e.g. V2-3 for beans), farmers usually switch to some type of cultivator which focuses only on weeds between the crop rows.
MSU Weed Science was featured on AgDay today for the Weed Warriors series, a collaborative effort of AgDay and the Farm Journal. Dr. Christy Sprague was interviewed regarding Palmer amaranth, a member of the pigweed family. Typically this is a weed found in the Southern U.S., but it has recently been found in Michigan and we are investigating the possibility that the Michigan population is resistant to glyphosate. Below is the MSU video segment. The entire AgDay recording for Monday, April 11, 2011 can be viewed at http://www.agweb.com/agday/. Stay tuned to the Weed Warrior series through out the week on AgDay for more reports from around the country and visit Weed Warrior News on the Farm Journal site.