MU research evaluating alternative pasture weed management
Alternative weed management practices are being tested at the University of Missouri as herbicide resistant weeds become a bigger challenge in the Midwest.
The Weed Zapper is being evaluated for its effectiveness in pasture weed management. The equipment attaches to the front of a tractor and is used to electrocute taller weeds.
University of Missouri Extension Weed Specialist Kevin Bradley says some research has already been done in fescue with weed electrocution.
“We’ve seen it be successful on ironweeds, thistles and leaf species that are surprising.”
He says the technology could also work for Johnson grass, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet. Bradley says it’s not effective on all weeds and it can be an expensive investment.
A graduate student researcher, Grant Coe from northeast Missouri, will take a closer look with fresh research beginning in the next two weeks. Bradley says this year’s data will be effected by the drought as central Missouri remains extremely dry.
Data from the summer trials should be available in the fall.
Photo: The Weed Zapper is demonstrated in a soybean field during the MU Pest Management Field Day in Columbia, MO.