seal  Purdue News

June 3, 2003

Purdue explores herbicide and environmental effects on crops

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Weed Day will test how today's herbicides perform in wet weather and on various crops.

The annual Weed Day, which is free and open to the public, will be July 9 at Purdue's Agronomy Research Center, located seven miles northwest of West Lafayette, Ind., on U.S. 52. Participants can get information on new herbicides and see how they compare with existing herbicides.

Tom Bauman, Purdue weed specialist and event coordinator, said farmers and those that deal with the herbicide industry can benefit from this event.

"Participants get to see a wide variety of herbicides and herbicide combinations and how each performs in this year's environmental conditions," Bauman said. "The environment is the one thing we can't control, and that includes the massive rainfall we have received."

How crops respond to herbicides also will be explored. Plots will be composed of no-till corn and soybeans, tilled corn and soybeans, and popcorn.

Bauman and other weed specialists want to find out how well genetically modified and genetically selected corn plants show resistance to herbicides. There will be four varieties of popcorn at Weed Day that will be analyzed based on crop tolerance and how much the popcorn's safety for human consumption is affected by herbicides.

Giant ragweed control and the impact of both insects and herbicides also will be discussed. Glyphosate is the common control measure for giant ragweed, but insects are making ragweed control more difficult.

"Insect infestations in giant ragweed are halting glyphosate herbicides from traveling through the plant, through the leaves and to the roots," Bauman said. "Insects bore through the stalk causing the herbicide movement to stop and allowing the giant ragweed to survive."

Weed Day is geared primarily to herbicide industry manufacturers, dealers and consultants, but farmers and Extension educators also can attend. Continuing education credits have been applied for 1A classification commercial applicators.

Participants will receive a book listing all the trial plots, which herbicides were used and when they were applied. Coffee, soft drinks and doughnuts also will be provided.

Those interested in attending should call attending Amy Deitrich at (765) 494-9871.

Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402,

Source: Tom Bauman, (765) 494-4625,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Related Web site:
Weed Science Web site

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page