Development of the Iowa Weed Identification Field Guide

Name:
Kristine Schaefer, Daren Mueller, Bob Hartzler, Clarke McGrath, Adam Sisson, and Greg Tylka

Position:
Extension Program Specialist (Schaefer), Interim Director of the Corn and Soybean Initiative and Director of the Integrated Pest Management Program (Mueller),Professor of Agronomy (Hartzler), Corn and Soybean Initiative Partner Program Manager (McGrath), Program Assistant II(Sisson), and Professor of Plant Pathology (Tylka)

Department:
Agronomy, Entomology, Plant Pathology, the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) team, the Pest Management and the Environment (PME) team, and the Corn and Soybean Initiative

Date Submitted:
2011

Supports Plan of Work Number:
101—Corn and Soybean Production
102—Crop Protection

Title of Success Story:
Development of the Iowa Weed IdentificationField Guide

Situation:
Corn and soybean producers face multiple pest and plant health challenges that can often be effectively managed with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Weed management is vital for maximizing crop production and is an important component of IPM. Accurate weed identification is the first step to successfully managing weeds. Because weed species vary in their response to different management strategies, proper identification is essential to develop effective management plans. For Iowa corn and soybean producers and their service providers, there was not a good reference that provided information on weed identification that could be carried to the field. Thus, faculty and staff at Iowa State University worked together to develop a field guide that provided valuable information and high quality photos to help with identification of weeds.  

Objective:
The objective was to develop a field reference that provides descriptions and images of the more common weeds in Iowa. The guide is printed on water-resistant paper, and is sized to fit in a pocket or on the dashboard of a vehicle to facilitate its utility for field use.

Activities/Output:
During the fall of 2009 and spring of 2010, ISU faculty and staff (alphabetically: Bob Hartzler, Tamsyn Jones, Clarke McGrath, Daren Mueller, Rich Pope, Kristine Schaefer, Adam Sisson, and Greg Tylka) provided input (copy, images, editing) for the field guide. In addition, several Biological and Pre-Medical Illustration students developed drawings of some weeds. The guide was published in July of 2010. Over $145,000 was collected to print more than 40,000 copies of the field guide.

The Weed ID Guide was handed out at the 2010 Farm Progress Show. Currently, copies are availableto the public at a cost through the ISU Extension Online Store. Since September of 2010, the ISU Extension Online Store has shipped Weed ID Guides to 16 U.S. States and to Canada and Italy.

Outcome Statement:   
The series of field guides (CSI 001, CSI 0003, CSI 010, CSI 011, and CSI 012) remains one of the most popular extension publications since their printing. Targeted mailings of guides in this series have gone to Corn and Soybean Initiative partners and the CCA board. Response to guides in this series from private sector agronomists has been remarkable. Currently, two of the previously released guides are undergoing edits and will be reprinted with new information.

For Iowa corn and soybean producers and their service providers, there was not a good reference that provided information on weed identification that could be carried to the field. With the release of the Weed ID Field Guide, crop producers and service providers now have access to a field guide that provides valuable information and high quality photos to help with identification of weeds.

Copies of the Weed ID Field Guide were sent out as part of a package containing an IPM curriculum and other materials to over 230 agricultural educators in Iowa. One of the responses to this mailing focused on the Weed ID Field Guide and is as follows:

“Thank you for sending me some copies of the Weed ID Field Guide. This is the best resource I have viewed for weeds in Iowa. I work with high school students and they have trouble putting a name to a weed. I work with this each year with students and this will be a valuable resource for us to use.”

Doug Martin
MFL MarMac High School
Monona, Iowa

Page last updated: July 19, 2011
Page maintained by Julie Honeick, jhoneick@iastate.edu