Monday, March 8, 2010

Computer Program Allows Growers to Track Herbicide Use, Manage Resistance

A new computer program developed by University of Idaho weed scientists is designed to simplify herbicide selection and prevent development of herbicide resistant weeds and damage to future crops.

Weed scientists at the UI developed the program for dryland farmers in northern Idaho, eastern Washington and eastern Oregon. Weed scientist Don Morishita at the Kimberly Research and Extension Center is working to expand the program's use to southern Idaho irrigated crop rotations.

"The goal is to help growers make decisions about which herbicide might best control weed problems and fit into their crop rotations," said Thill, a professor of weed science and superintendent of the Palouse Research, Extension and Education Center at Moscow.

The program, "Herbicide Resistance and Persistence Management, is available on a free trial basis to growers. Growers who decide to use the program will be charged a $50 annual subscription fee to cover updates.

The program combines two of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences' most popular publications into a dynamic program that can provide more frequent updates than printed offerings, Thill said.

The main way to avoid resistance is to change herbicides based on their modes of action on weeds. Growers can face substantial challenges in both trying to use herbicides from different groups to control common weeds and then keeping clear records through multiple seasons.

The University of Idaho's herbicide management program can help accomplish both tasks. The program is available for purchase online at

Growers who download the program will have a six month trial period before they have to pay a subscription fee. The program's development was funded by the Idaho Wheat Commission, Idaho Barley Commission, and University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

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