The proposed project, entitled ‘Integrated weed management of herbicide resistant kochia in North Dakota’ will develop and evaluate efficacy of a novel electrocution system in conjunction with single glyphosate application to control herbicide resistant kochia in North Dakota. Herbicide resistant kochia (Bassia scoparia (L.) A. J. Scott.) proliferation in North Dakota agricultural systems has raised concerns about potential crop yield losses and continued efficacy of chemical weed control. Addressing this issue requires the implementation of integrated weed management strategies for the control of kochia in soybean (Glycine max L.), a crop for which kochia control options are quickly dwindling. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel weed control strategy for managing herbicide-resistant kochia in soybean production systems. This approach involves a single application of glyphosate in conjunction with electrocution of kochia plants immediately after crop emergence but before the establishment of crop canopy. Previous electrocution systems have targeted weeds either before crop emergence or after the weeds have grown taller than the crop. Neither of these approaches target weeds at the stage when most damage occurs. In contrast, this study seeks to implement electrocution technology in between cropping rows shortly after crop emergence. This timing will ensure maximal efficacy for killing weeds before they cause yield loss while also minimizing crop injury from electric shock. The combination of electrocution and glyphosate is expected to yield a highly effective weed management strategy, enhancing the overall control efficacy of the approach. This technology will benefit organic farmers as well as conventional farmers seeking to reduce herbicide use. The outcomes of this study are expected to increase the yield and quality of soybean crops. Additionally, this approach could reduce the need for multiple applications of glyphosate and other herbicides, contributing to an overall improvement in environmental quality. The results of this project are expected to reduce the burden on growers by increasing the efficacy of herbicide-resistant kochia control and enabling them to focus on other critical agricultural management practices and their families. Moreover, this study will offer valuable training opportunities for graduate students in the field of weed science.
Project objectives from proposal:
The results of this study will benefit both organic and conventional farmers who are interested in reducing herbicide applications to control kochia and other weeds by using proposed integrated weed management strategy. Although we will evaluate electric shock and glyphosate combination on herbicide resistant kochia in greenhouse trays, we plan to use the results as preliminary data to apply for a larger grant to extend the results to many other crop species at field scale. Through outreach efforts at a field day, 50 farmers will learn about how the efficacy of electrocution in combination with glyphosate as integrated weed management strategy will enhance herbicide-resistant kochia control in North Dakota. This information will also help the farmers to reduce multiple herbicide applications in one growing season, thus minimize environmental issues associated with herbicides. We will conduct surveys among field day participants to document how their knowledge about kochia control strategies changed as a result of the proposed project. We expect that approximately five farmers will decide to reduce multiple herbicide applications and incorporate electrocution technology to control kochia and other problematic weeds as a result of being exposed to our research results. The proposed project will result in approximately 4000 scientists/researchers and 3000 farmers/practitioners/dealers learning about integration of electrocution to control weeds in both organic and conventional agriculture production at two conferences (Western Society of Weed Science Annual Conference and Northern Plains Sustainable Ag Society Conference).