Developing an Educational Program on Preventing Noxious Weed Invasion on Farms and Ranches in Nevada and Utah
U.S. agricultural producers spend billions of dollars each year on weed control tactics such as herbicides, grazing, burning, and tillage. Despite management efforts to date, noxious weeds continue to spread rapidly and are an increasing threat to the sustainability of agricultural operations. It is widely accepted among weed management professionals that preventing weed invasion is the most effective method of weed management. However, there is no reliable, accessible, and practical source of information regarding weed prevention. The objective of this project is to develop an educational program on preventing weed invasion on farms and ranches.
The objectives for this project are to: 1) collect, review, and summarize current knowledge about weed prevention on agricultural lands, 2) develop an educational program to present and distribute this information to CE, NRCS, and others, and 3) evaluate program impact.
The project objectives will be accomplished by using the following methods: 1) the current knowledge base regarding noxious weed prevention will be generated through an in-depth literature review and surveys of weed management professionals and agricultural producers, 2) the information will be presented in a single, user-friendly reference manual (paper and CD formats) with text and color photos and illustrations, 3) workshops (each in collaboration with an agricultural producer) will be developed and conducted at 3 locations in both Utah and Nevada for CE, NRCS, and other interested parties, 4) 1,500 manuals will be produced and distributed to attendees at workshops, to every CE and NRCS office in the Utah and Nevada, and to other entities, 5) an interactive website will be created featuring the manual, a Webcast of the workshop, and other relevant information, 6) the project will be presented at national and regional meetings and a paper will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Evaluation of the project’s impact will consist of two surveys involving attendees at workshops, number of visits to the project website, and information requests.
To date, a survey of weed management professionals and agricultural producers has been completed to assess current perceptions and practices regarding weed prevention. An in-depth literature review on weed prevention has also been completed. Production of the reference manual is in progress. The majority of the text and photographs have been assembled and our goal is for the publication to go out for layout/design by the end of February 2010. The manual, in both paper and electronic formats, will be printed in the shortly thereafter. Workshops will be held in summer 2010 at 3 locations in both Utah and Nevada. Preliminary discussions are underway regarding workshop format, content, and how to best utilize the on-farm assessment component. A webcast of the workshop will be created and posted on the internet to allow for greater access to the information. A journal article will be written about weed prevention and the project will be presentation at national, regional, and state weed meetings. Program evaluation will then occur.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
The impacts of the program will be measured after the workshops have been completed. Expected outcomes of this project include: 1) CE, NRCS, and their constituents will be more aware and knowledgeable about weed invasion, 2) methods that prevent weed invasion will be more frequently practiced on farms and ranches, and 3) the environmental and economic impact of invasive weeds on agricultural operations will be reduced because of more widespread use of weed prevention.
Area Forage and Alternative Crops Specialist
University of Nevava Cooperative Extension
111 Sheckler Road
Fallon, NV 89406
Office Phone: 7754235121
Extension Weed Specialist
Utah State University
4820 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322
Office Phone: 4357978252