Development of a web-based tool to improve grower knowledge and adoption of reduced risk management of weeds in corn and soybean

Project Code PRR06-950

Project Lead

Mike Cowbrough - Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs

Objective

To create a bilingual web-based searchable database for the top 20 weeds of corn and soybean as a weed management information resource and decision making tool for producers and crop consultants

Summary of Results

Weeds are a priority issue in soybean and corn production and responsible for the continuous use of high volumes of herbicides in large acreages sown to these crops. Improper identification of weeds and lack of knowledge on low risk control options available may lead to unnecessary applications of herbicides and loss of product efficacy due to resistance development. This project aimed at developing an easy to use web-based searchable database to help soybean and corn growers as well as service personnel to improve weed management in these crops. The database features identification keys and herbicide resistance issues for the top 20 weed species affecting soybean and corn crops, control options, including low risk approaches and information (e.g., biological control and bio-herbicide products) available for these weeds, as well as environmental impact data for each of the herbicides available. A marketing and communication plan to encourage grower adoption of the database was also developed. It is anticipated that the use of this database will lead to knowledge-based strategic management decisions that include targeting specific weeds, timing spray applications based on the weeds present, and selecting control options based on toxicity profile of the product, weed competitiveness and herbicide resistance potential. The database is considered an important weed management tool for reducing the risk from pesticides in soybean and corn crops through eliminating unnecessary insecticide applications and promoting the use of lower risk options.

The database was developed with the contribution of soybean and corn weed experts across Canada including provincial extension specialists, university researchers, and industry partners. The bilingual database was made available on-line and accessible to soybean and corn growers across Canada since fall 2007.

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