Project Details:

Comparison of Non-Chemical Control Methods as Part of an Integrated Weed Management Strategy in Soybean (2022)

Parent Project: Comparison of Non-Chemical Control Methods as Part of an Integrated Weed Management Strategy in Soybean
Checkoff Organization:North Central Soybean Research Program
Categories:Weed control, Crop management systems, Agronomy
Organization Project Code:
Project Year:2022
Lead Principal Investigator:Kevin Bradley (University of Missouri)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

The project will be a comparison of weed electrocution as part of an integrated weed management program compared to a second, non-chemical treatment. The work will address questions pertaining to overall effectiveness of weed electrocution on common weed species; effects of weed density; and effects of tractor speed. For weed electrocution treatments, the Annihilator 6R30 Weed Zapper will be utilized. The University of Missouri weed science program recently purchased this machine with funding provided by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. The group is willing to transport the machine to multiple sites within the North Central region for a more comprehensive analysis if funding can be secured. A second non-chemical treatment will be included at each location as a comparison to better evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of the Weed Zapper. The comparative treatment will be selected by the investigator at each location and options include in-row cultivation, hand weeding, windrow burning, weed seed grinding mills, among others. Additional locations for this research include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. The size of the research project and weed species targeted will vary by location based on available equipment and predominant weeds at each site. Proposed species include Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, giant ragweed, Marestail, common lambsquarters, and velvetleaf. The target stage for electrocution treatment will be once the majority of the weed species of interest has emerged through the soybean canopy and prior to weed seed set.

Project Objectives

To evaluate weed electrocution as a method of preventing weed seed production for some of the most common weeds encountered in Midwest soybean production systems.

Project Deliverables

Data collection will address questions pertaining to:
• efficacy of weed electrocution on common weed species
• effects of weed density on electrocution efficacy
• effects of tractor speed on electrocution efficacy
• effects of electrocution on reducing the soil weed seed bank

Preliminary research from the 2021 growing season will be summarized and shared through
extension outlets and with technical audiences. Research will be completed following the 2022
growing season. The two years of data will be summarized and shared with the appropriate
extension outlets, at technical meetings, and in a technical research manuscript, which is planned
following conclusion of the study.

Research will be completed following the 2022 growing season. Data will be summarized and shared with appropriate extension outlets as listed in FY21. Additionally, data will be shared at technical meetings, and a technical research paper is planned following conclusion of the study.

Progress of Work

Updated March 23, 2022:
All data from 2021 trials has been collected and summarized for presentations at farmer meetings and regional scientific societies. Plans for conducting the second field season of research in 2022 are ongoing. All participating cooperators have been sent an updated protocol and are determining the most suitable location to place the 2022 field trial. The Weed Zapper implement is currently having routine maintenance conducted in preparation for use this season. We will still plan on hiring a towing service to transport the implement to all participating states.

Final Project Results

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Weeds with multiple herbicide resistances and a lack of new chemistries have resulted in the necessity to integrate non-chemical methods with herbicides for the most effective weed management programs. Yet there remain many questions about the efficacy and efficiency of non-chemical methods as viable weed management options for U.S. soybean producers. Research is lacking on whether weed electrocution is a feasible and effective option for conventional soybean producers in the North Central region.

Performance Metrics

Project Years