Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Mitigating Herbicide Resistance in the Northern Great Plains–Educational Tools for Agricultural Professionals

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2016: $68,871.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2018
Grant Recipient: Montana State University
Region: Western
State: Montana
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Prashant Jha
Montana State University, Southern Agricultural Research Center, Huntley, MT

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, canola, corn, safflower, soybeans, sugarbeets, sunflower, wheat


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, display, extension, networking, participatory research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: risk management, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Pest Management: chemical control, competition, cultural control, economic threshold, eradication, field monitoring/scouting, genetic resistance, integrated pest management, physical control, cultivation, precision herbicide use, prevention, row covers (for pests), weed ecology
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: public participation, community services

    Proposal abstract:

    Herbicide resistance (HR) in weeds is a threat to the sustainability and profitability of the Northern Great Plains (NGP) agriculture. Growers and ranchers need awareness/training on mitigating HR issues on their farm through adoption of Best Management Practices (BMPs). The main goal of this project is to enhance the knowledge of agricultural professionals on HR weed evolution, dynamics, socio-economic impacts, and mitigation through incorporation of BMPs. This educational project will take place in 3 different phases. Phase 1 (Course Development) will focus on developing educational materials on the major HR weed species of this region (kochia, Russian thistle, prickly lettuce, wild oat, green foxtail, and downy brome) and BMPs. Information on weed biology, HR evolution, distribution maps, photographs, videos, economic impacts of HR weeds, and BMPs for mitigation will be compiled into an extension bulletin: Herbicide Resistance in the NGP-Frequency, Distribution, and Socio-Economic Impacts; a fact sheet: Implications of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Managing HR; and oral and poster presentations. For 6 months (240 hours), Phase 2 (Instruction) will emphasize on education of 25 Ag professionals on HR weed management and BMPs using publications developed in phase 1. The educational programs will take place in the form of workshops, CCA seminars, and field days. Phase 3 (Evaluation) will evaluate the acquired change in knowledge, outreach to growers and ranchers, and long-term gains on the awareness of HR and BMPs through group discussions and seminars, and will be assessed by the principal investigator and project coordinators.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Objective 1: Course Development

    The first objective will focus on developing course/educational materials highlighting the evolutionary biology, distribution and spread, socio-economic impacts, and mitigation of HR weeds through adoption of BMPs. Educational materials including extension bulletin, fact sheet, videos, oral and poster presentations will be prepared from all the past and current research on HR weeds conducted at MSU Southern Ag Research Center and other published information across the NGP region. A web-based tool will also be developed for the Ag professionals.

    1. Major activities: Photographs and details on major HR weeds of NGP, HR weed infestations on farm fields, frequency and distribution maps at the State/County level, and related research results on HR weed surveys will be compiled into extension bulletin, fact sheets, oral/poster presentations (October 2016 to September 2017).
    2. Sustainable BMPs for managing HR kochia through past and current research projects at the MSU Southern Ag Research Center and other published work in the region will be utilized for the development of a fact sheet and oral and poster presentations (October 2016 to September 2017).
    3. Printing these educational materials and development of web-based training modules (October 2017 to January 2018).

    Objective 2: Instruction

    The second objective will be focused on education and training of Ag professionals based on the materials developed in objective 1. The training will take place in the form of workshops, certified crop advisor (CCA) seminars, online training, and Agricultural Experiment Station field days. The acquired knowledge from these workshops, seminars and field tours will translate into grower-based educational programs via the trained Ag professionals.

    1. Major activities: Classroom instruction and workshops for Ag Professionals (February 2018 to April 2018)
    2. CCA seminars, on-site, and on-line programs (February 2018 to Aril 2018)
    3. Field instruction (May 2018 to July 2018)

    Objective 3: Evaluation

    The final objective will focus on evaluating the impact of the educational programs on the adoption of the recommended BMPs among growers and landowners. The impact of this project will be evaluated by conducting farm surveys before and after training the Ag professionals. The PIs and other participants involved in this project will also gauge the impact by directly contacting growers and through online surveys and field tours. For further evaluation, Ag professional trainees will be tested against non-participants on understanding of HR weed problem and pros and cons of adopting BMPs for HR mitigation.

    1. Main activities: Field days (July 2018 to August 2018)
    2. Follow-up farm and online surveys (August 2018 to September 2018)
    3. Evaluation of Ag Professionals (August 2018 to September 2018)    
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.