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Weed Science Society of America Honors Outstanding Student Weed Scientists

Weed Science Society of America - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 5:38am

WESTMINSTER, Colorado – May 13, 2019 – Today the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) announced it has recognized nearly four dozen graduate and undergraduate students from 27 universities for outstanding research-related presentations and proposals.

“It’s so exciting to see the work of a new generation of weed scientists,” says Pratap Devkota of the University of California, chair of the WSSA awards committee. “We can’t wait to see what they accomplish as their careers unfold.”

Winners in both the graduate and undergraduate categories are listed below.

Graduate Student Awards

During its recent 2019 annual meeting, WSSA evaluated 136 posters and oral presentations by graduate students – recognizing groups of winners at both the Master’s and Ph.D. levels. Those honored include:  

  • Auburn University
    • Frances Browne, first place, Ph.D. oral presentation 
  • Colorado State University
    • Olivia Todd, first place, Ph.D. oral presentation
    • Mirella Ortiz, third place, Ph.D. oral presentation
    • Hudson Takano, third place, Ph.D. oral presentation 
  • Louisiana State University
    • Samer Rustom, first place, Ph.D. oral presentation
    • David Walker, third place, Ph.D. oral presentation
  • Montana State University
    • Ramawatar Yadav, first place, Ph.D. poster presentation
  • Mississippi State University
    • Lucas Franca, first place, Ph.D. poster presentation
    • Savana Davis, third place, Master’s poster presentation 
  • North Carolina State University
    • Joseph Hunter, first place, Master’s poster presentation
    • Eric Jones, second place, D. poster presentation
    • Denis Mahoney, second place, D. oral presentation 
  • Pennsylvania State University
    • Haleigh Summers, first place, Master’s oral presentation
    • Jess Bunchek, third place, Master’s oral presentation 
  • Purdue University
    • Nicholas Steppig, third place, Ph.D. poster presentation
  • Southern Illinois University
    • Casey Bryan, first place, Master’s oral presentation 
  • Texas A&M University
    • Seth Abugho, second place, D. oral presentation
    • Bishwa Sapkota, second place, D. poster presentation
    • Cynthia Sias, third place, Master’s oral presentation 
  • Texas Tech University
    • Grace Ogden, second place, Master’s poster presentation
    • Kyle Russell, second place, Master’s oral presentation 
  • The Ohio State University
    • Zachary Beres, second place, Ph.D. oral presentation
    • Andrew Osburn, third place, Master’s poster presentation 
  • University of Arkansas
    • Zachary Lancaster, second place, D. oral presentation 
  • University of California, Davis
    • Katie Driver, third place, D. poster presentation 
  • University of Florida
    • Mackenzie Bell, second place, Master’s oral presentation 
  • University of Georgia
    • Kayla Eason, first place, Master’s poster presentation
    • Nick Hurdle, second place, Master’s poster presentation
    • Taylor Randell, second place, Master’s oral presentation
    • Lavesta Hand, third place, D. oral presentation 
  • University of Idaho
    • Damilola Raiyemo, third place, Master’s poster presentation 
  • University of Illinois
    • Kathryn Lillie, third place, Master’s oral presentation 
  • University of Missouri
    • Eric Oseland, first place, Master’s oral presentation
    • William Tubbs, second place, Master’s poster presentation 
  • University of Nebraska
    • Adam Striegel, first place, Master’s poster presentation 
  • University of Wyoming
    • Elizabeth G. Mosqueda, first place, Ph.D. oral presentation 

A complete list of oral and poster presentation topics is available at http://wssa.net/wp-content/uploads/2019-Program-January-9-2019.pdf.

 Undergraduate Research Grants

Ten students were chosen to receive John Jachetta Undergraduate Research Awards that will fund their proposed research projects. Winners and their faculty sponsors are below:   

  • Cornell University
    • Aleah Butler-Jones will study the impact of deer browsing on the seed bank of abandoned agricultural fields. Sponsor: Antonio DiTommaso, Ph.D.
  • Mississippi State University
    • Auriana Tucker plans to investigate the root system architecture and genes associated with allelopathy in weedy rice. Sponsor: Te-Ming Paul Tseng, Ph.D.
  • Missouri State University
    • Darian Decker will study the mechanisms involved in cover crop suppression of two summer annual weed species. Sponsor: Sarah Lancaster, Ph.D. 
  • Penn State University
    • Jared Adam will explore horseweed management through integrated herbicide and cover cropping tactics. Sponsors: Barbara Baraibar, Ph.D., and John Wallace, Ph.D. 
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • Danielle McCormick will investigate the comparative resistance of three gene mutations to PPO-inhibiting herbicides. Sponsor: Patrick J. Tranel, Ph.D.
    • Emily Eul will concentrate on fine mapping the gene responsible for 2,4-D resistance in waterhemp. Sponsor: Patrick J. Tranel, Ph.D.
  • University of New Hampshire
    • Benjamin Fehr will explore whether pesticide seed treatments influence emergence periodicity of annual weed species. Sponsor: Richard G. Smith, Ph.D. 
  • Virginia Tech
    • Korinne Wills will focus on identifying and testing specific parasitic plant-inducible gene promoters. Sponsor: James H. Westwood, Ph.D.
    • May Stevens will focus on identifying and testing the effect of killer mobile mRNA in parasitic plants. Sponsor: James H. Westwood, Ph.D.
    • Shannen Kelly will survey the photosynthetic capacity of Johnsongrass. Sponsor: Jacob Barney, Ph.D.

About the Weed Science Society of America

The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Society promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world.  For more information, visit www.wssa.net.

Press Contact:

Lee Van Wychen

Executive Director of Science Policy

National & Regional Weed Science Societies

Lee.VanWychen@wssa.net

202-746-4686

Categories: Global News Feed

Fighting Back Against Pigweeds

Weed Science Society of America - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 1:10pm

Fighting Back Against Pigweed

WSSA highlights successful awareness initiative & best practices  

WESTMINSTER, Colorado – April 29, 2019 – Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth, both members of the pigweed family, have become significant threats to crop yields and farm incomes across the Americas. In the U.S., they compete with crops in the South and in parts of the Midwest. But according to the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), a new community-based awareness initiative is informing growers about the risks and teaching them how to fight back.

Weed scientists with The Ohio State University have worked with the United Soybean Board and the Ohio Soybean Council to launch a “No Pigweed Left Behind” campaign in their state, where problematic pigweeds (Amaranthus species) have been spotted in multiple counties. 

“Our goal is to hold the line against pigweed and avoid large-scale infestations,” says Mark Loux, Ph.D., of The Ohio State University. “We want growers to understand they can’t beat these weeds with herbicides alone.”

What makes pigweed (especially Palmer amaranth and waterhemp) so problematic? A single female plant will often produce hundreds of thousands of small seeds. The weed grows rapidly – as much as three inches a day under ideal conditions. That’s a problem since most post-emergence herbicides must be applied when the plants are less than three inches tall. To add to the complexity, pigweed plants can rapidly develop resistance to multiple herbicides.

The “No Pigweed Left Behind” campaign is designed to raise grower awareness and to provide specific tips and techniques for controlling the weed before it goes to seed. For years Loux and his colleagues have shared information on pigweed with crop advisors, but they wanted to raise visibility and broaden their reach. Now catchy and colorful “No Pigweed Left Behind” materials are being used to call attention to their cause.

Bumper stickers, brochures and other new campaign materials are being handed out at meetings, workshops and conferences and to agricultural dealer groups, extension agents and others likely to be working one-on-one with growers. 

“If an agronomist arrives at a local farm with one of our ‘No Pigweed Left Behind’ magnets on their truck, it’s a great conversation starter and gives them a chance to share what they know about pigweed and how it is best controlled,” Loux said.

Pigweed Best Practices

 So how do you battle pigweed if herbicides alone aren’t enough? The team at The Ohio State University recommends the following best practices:

  1. Know what pigweed looks like. There are a number of pigweed species with varying leaf shapes and characteristics, so it’s important to study up. This handy fact sheet can help you identify members of the pigweed family, including Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, spiny amaranth, smooth pigweed and redroot pigweed.
  2. Be careful of cross-contamination. If you purchase or lease equipment, know where it has been. Avoid combines, plows and custom harvesting equipment used in areas known to harbor pigweed. Avoid cotton feed products or hay that might contain pigweed, as well as manure from animals fed with cotton feed products.
  3. Scout for pigweed. Inspect fields continually throughout the growing season for pigweeds that might have escaped herbicide applications. Pay special attention to recently seeded cover crops, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) plots, field buffers, roadsides and natural areas where problem pigweeds might be lurking.
  4. Be smart about herbicide selection. Use residual herbicides to control early-emerging pigweed, but mix things up instead of relying on a single herbicidal site of action. Herbicide applications that include multiple sites of action still effective on the targeted pigweed population can slow the development of resistance.
  5. Avoid seed dispersal during harvest. If you spot patches of pigweed as crops are being harvested, make certain to avoid them. Running a combine over pigweed can disperse seeds and prove problematic for years to come.
  6. Use safe removal techniques. If you spot pigweed plants that have yet to produce mature seeds, pull them or cut them off just below the soil line. Plants with mature seeds should be bagged before being removed and destroyed. Either burn the plants or bury them under at least a foot of compost.

To learn more

Consult the following resources to learn more about pigweed and how it is best controlled:

About the Weed Science Society of America

The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Society promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world.  For more information, visit www.wssa.net.

Press Contact:                                                         
Lee Van Wychen
Executive Director of Science Policy
National & Regional Weed Science Societies
Lee.VanWychen@wssa.net
202-746-4686

Categories: Global News Feed