Weeds Have a Field Day

PSM Scientists and Students engage with attendees on all things weeds

PSM Weed scientists engaged a large crowd of attendees at this summer’s Weed Tour held June 28 at the agronomy farm on MSU’s South Campus.  The crowd—comprised of producers, seed companies, insurance representatives, among others—is invited to observe field trials of hundreds of treatments to keep current on pesticide applications. The annual tour provides ample opportunity to look at research plots and interact with weed science faculty, staff, and graduate students. Participants easily compare their favorite corn and soybean herbicide programs to other commercial programs and get an early look at a few new products that soon will be on the market.

Graduate student Claudia Walz (Christy Sprague) practices her knowledge and outreach skills at the MSUE Weed Tour 2023.


In-field stops featured presentations by Drs Erin Burns and Christy Sprague, who outlined this years’ trials and directed attendees to specific crops and treatments. 


Dr. Erin Hill was on site to answer questions. “This year I tried something new,” Erin says. “I offered a prize for guessing the number of seeds in a vial, which brought in more than 40 visitors to my table. I was able to interact with a lot more people this way.”

Dr. Erin Hill presenting at a Weed Tour 


Another group was working in the fields that day–studying sustainable weed control in forage crops. Here, master’s student John King (Kim Cassida) examines the effects of intercropping on weed control. “We’re sampling the soil to do a nutrient analysis to see if the structure has changed at all with the current cropping regime,” John says. This is John’s third year with the project, and he anticipates graduating soon. 

John King examines forage crops at the Agronomy Farm

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