Introducing and Surveying New Weed Problems

Kristine Schaefer, Extension Program Specialist II, Agronomy


Iowa State University (ISU) Extension is committed to providing education and training in pest and crop management.  There are a number of new, potentially invasive weed species that are becoming established or increasing their current infestation levels in Iowa.   Early detection and control implementation are critical to containing invasive weed species.  The sooner problem weeds are identified and management plans initiated, the less damage and costs incurred by Iowa producers and landowners.


This educational program involving Iowa producers and commercial pesticide applicators was designed to introduce new potentially invasive or problematic weed species in Iowa, learn more about their distribution, and survey participants as to which weeds are currently of most concern to them.  


A total of 15 meetings were held across Iowa that provided information on the characteristics and identification of five new, increasing, or potentially invasive weed species.  Weed species covered included leafy spurge, burcucumber, wild buckwheat, garlic mustard and Asiatic dayflower.   Surveys were distributed asking the participants what the most troublesome weed in their corn, soybean, and pasture and non-crop land was. The surveys also inquired as to whether they had any of the five introduced weed species on their land and, if so, how many acres were affected.  The final question on the survey asked if there was any particular weed species they would like to see more research on.  A total of 1,675 people attended the meetings.  Of the 1,675 surveys distributed, 1,002 were completed for a 59.8% response rate. 


From the survey responses, the top five weeds in each production situation (corn, soybean and pasture/non-crop areas) were tabulated and statewide distribution maps created.  Many respondents were not familiar with the new weed species introduced.  The meetings and surveys served to create an awareness of potential problem weeds and also introduced characteristics on how to identify them. Distribution maps of the presence of the five introduced weeds across Iowa, as reported in the surveys, were also developed.  Additional education material outlining identification characteristics and control tactics for target weed species will be developed in the future.  More survey work is planned to further capture the distribution and create more awareness of some potential weed problems in Iowa. 


142 -- Integrated Pest and Crop Management

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
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