Field Day Teaches New Solutions for Weed Control
JACKSON, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture hosted their annual Weed Tour on Wednesday, June 21, at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center.
The guided tour featured field presentations of more than 40 weed management tests in cotton, corn and soybean, providing local farmers with an in-depth look into current UTIA pesticide research. Larry Steckel, UT Extension weed specialist, led the tour along with Lauren Lazaro, senior agronomist with Blue River Technology.
Steckel says that farmers across Tennessee are encountering weeds resistant to most common herbicides and pesticides, posing a threat to the agriculture industry in the region. “The main focus of the 2023 Weed Tour was to highlight our research on how to manage the increasing number of herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth, better known as pigweed, and other grasses currently withstanding chemical applications that would normally be effective. Management of these pests through affordable weed control methods available to local farmers is essential to ensure agriculture is able to continue. Thanks to the Weed Tour, we were able to connect farmers with research solutions that can help protect their harvest.”
The tour featured demonstrations of a tractor-mounted See & Spray™ test system from John Deere that uses visual recognition and machine learning to selectively spray herbicides and pesticides rather than broadcasting treatments over a large area. This advanced technology will improve accuracy during application, reducing chemical waste while saving farmers money and essential resources.
After the event, tour leaders were also available for consultation to discuss weed control issues and available options, helping attendees address threats to their crops to better ensure a profitable growing season.
Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.