The Roundup -

Brian Jenks: Weed ID Training At MonDak Ag Days


Dr. Brian Jenks, NDSU weed scientist, will provide training on how to identify weeds that are likely to be present in the MonDak area on Friday, March 5, at 9:30 a.m. MST. 

Jenks has conducted research in most crops grown in western North Dakota and eastern Montana since 1997. He said, “My goal is to find ways to help farmers control weeds more effectively to increase their crop yields and seed quality.” 

The objective of the weed identification training is to help farmers and agronomists identify weeds when they are small (1 to 3 inches tall). Jenks explains that attendees will learn how to distinguish weeds starting with learning the basics of plant taxonomy terminology and distinguish broadleaf weeds by the shape of the cotyledons, shape of the leaves, leaf edges, hairiness, etc. Attendees will also learn how to distinguish grasses based on the presence or absence of ligules, auricles, hairiness, flat or round stem, etc. Jenks stated, “We will discuss the life cycle of each weed (winter annual, summer annual, biennial, perennial) and how weed control methods may be more effective based on a plant’s life cycle.”

Jenks explained that it is important for farmers and agronomists to know how to accurately identify weeds in order to apply the most effective control methods. He said, “For example, most farmers rely a lot on herbicides to control weeds. If they improperly identify a weed, they may choose a herbicide that is not effective against the weed that is actually in their field.”

Farmers typically spray weeds just before planting, right after planting, and about a month after planting. Weeds generally are very small when making these herbicide applications. Jenks added, “Many of the weeds look alike when they are very small. Even though we see the weeds year after year, it’s easy to forget how to distinguish them. So, an annual weed ID review is beneficial. “

Jenks is excited to offer this training at MonDak Ag Days. He said he enjoys helping farmers pick up bits of knowledge and principles that they can later apply to their own operations.

He said, “We don’t expect farmers or agronomists to know everything about every weed, but just hope they can learn a little bit more each time.”


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