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Weed Science Research, Teaching, and Extension at Land-Grant Institutions in the United States and its Territories

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Jeffrey F. Derr
Affiliation:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 1444 Diamond Springs Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Aman Rana
Affiliation:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 1444 Diamond Springs Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Weeds are one of the main limiting factors in crop production, causing billions of dollars in annual global losses through degraded agricultural and silvicultural productivity. Weeds also reduce access to land and water, impair aesthetics, and disrupt human activities and well-being. The number of positions devoted to weed science teaching, research, and extension at 76 land-grant institutions across the United States and its territories was determined and compared with that for plant pathology and entomology. The number of classes and graduate students in these disciplines at those institutions was also determined. There are more than four times as many entomologists and more than three times as many plant pathologists as weed scientists at land-grant institutions. There are approximately five times as many graduate students currently in entomology and almost three times as many in plant pathology compared with weed science. There are approximately five times as many entomology and two and a half times as many plant pathology undergraduate classes compared with weed science classes. These differences increase when graduate courses are considered. Most land-grant universities have either none or few graduate classes in weed science. There are more than six times as many graduate entomology courses and more than five times as many plant pathology courses compared with weed science graduate classes. There are no departments devoted solely to weed science, whereas entomology and plant pathology departments are both common. Most universities have little to no faculty assigned to ornamental, fruit, aquatic, or forestry weed control. Number of faculty assigned to vegetable, turf, non-crop, ecology, and basic/laboratory studies in weed science are also limited. Additional university resources are needed if weed science research, teaching, and extension efforts are to meet the priority needs for the management of weeds in the agricultural, natural resources, and urban ecosystems.

Las malezas son uno de los principales factores limitantes en la producción de los cultivos y anualmente causan billones de dólares en pérdidas globales, debido a la reducción de la productividad agrícola y silvícola. Las malezas también reducen el acceso a la tierra y el agua, deterioran la estética e interrumpen las actividades y el bienestar de los humanos. El número de posiciones dedicadas a la enseñanza, investigación y extensión en la ciencia de las malezas en las instituciones agrícolas de los Estados Unidos y sus territorios se determinó y se comparó con el número dedicado a fitopatología y entomología. Se determinó también el número de clases y de estudiantes de post-grado en estas disciplinas. En dichas instituciones hay más de cuatro veces el número de entomólogos y más de tres veces el número de fitopatólogos que científicos de las malezas. Actualmente, existen aproximadamente cinco veces más estudiantes de post-grado en entomología y casi tres veces más en fitopatología, comparados con los que estudian la ciencia de las malezas. Hay aproximadamente cinco veces el número de clases a nivel de licenciatura en entomología y dos y media veces más en fitopatología que el número de clases en la ciencia de las malezas. Estas diferencias se incrementan cuando los cursos de postgrado son considerados. La mayoría de las universidades agrícolas tienen pocas o ninguna clase a nivel de post-grado en la ciencia de las malezas. A nivel de post-grado, hay más de seis veces el número de cursos de entomología y más de cinco veces el número de cursos de fitopatología, en comparación con los de la ciencia de las malezas. No existen departamentos dedicados exclusivamente a la ciencia de las malezas, mientras que los de entomología y fitopatología son comunes. La mayoría de las universidades tienen pocos o ningún profesor asignado a la enseñanza del control de malezas en horticultura, sistemas acuáticos o forestales. También es muy limitado el número de profesores asignados a la enseñanza de la olericultura, céspedes, áreas no cultivadas, ecología y estudios básicos o de laboratorio en la ciencia de las malezas. Se necesita generar recursos adicionales en las universidades si la investigación, enseñanza y extensión de la ciencia de la malezas van a cubrir las necesidades prioritarias en el manejo de malezas en la agricultura, recursos naturales y ecosistemas urbanos.

Type
Education/Extension
Copyright
Copyright © Weed Science Society of America 

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