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Survey Results on Environmental Issues and Weed Science Research Priorities within the Corn Belt

  • Edward W. Stoller (a1), Loyd M. Wax (a1) and David M. Alm (a1)

Abstract

A survey determined the views of individuals in seven groups comprising the weed science community in the corn belt (primarily in Illinois) for importance of 8 environmental and 14 crop production issues and 16 weed species in setting weed science research priorities for the next 3 to 5 yr. The survey also considered if funding of research to solve these environmental and production issues should be from the private or public sector. Velvetleaf, foxtail species, and common lambsquarters were considered the top three weed species by all respondents, and each of these weeds was among the five most important weeds within each of the seven survey groups. Improving ground and surface water quality were the foremost environmental issues for all respondents, but soybean growers listed herbicide carryover as their top environmental concern. Reducing herbicide residues in food and developing sustainable practices were given low preference by all groups. Sustainable growers rated reducing herbicide carryover and minimizing applicator exposure as their lowest priorities. Among all respondents, the top three production issues were improved weed control in conservation tillage, more economical weed control, and improved integrated control strategies. Studying the biology/life cycles of weeds was the third highest production priority of University and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) weed scientists, but was the last choice when averaged over the aggregate survey group. Developing strategies for resistant weeds and herbicide-resistant crops were chemical dealers top two priorities. Industry representatives gave the former subject their highest rating and the latter their lowest rating. Crop consultants seemed to want decision aids, as they chose assessing weed loss/thresholds and developing weed control/economic models among their top three production issues. Both corn and soybean growers desired more economical weed control as a first choice, while sustainable growers wanted improved cultural control strategies. Corn and soybean growers ranked developing new herbicides among their top three choices, but this issue was the lowest choice of the sustainable growers. University, USDA, and industrial weed scientists suggested that their own organizations conduct the research on their highest priorities issues.

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References

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1. McWhorter, C. G. and Barrentine, W. L. 1988. Research priorities in weed science. Weed Technol. 2:211.
2. Bull, L. 1990. Tillage systems. in Ag. Resources: Inputs Situation and Outlook Report. Econ. Res. Serv., U. S. Dep. Agric. Washington, DC. AR-17.
3. Bull, L. 1991. Tillage systems. in Ag. Resources: Inputs Situation and Outlook Report. Econ. Res. Serv., U. S. Dep. Agric. Washington, DC. AR-21.
4. Bull, L. 1992. Tillage systems. in Ag. Resources: Inputs Situation and Outlook Report. Econ. Res. Serv., U. S. Dep. Agric. Washington, DC. AR-25.

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