1. K-State home
  2. »Agronomy
  3. »Research
  4. »Crop Protection & Weed Science

Department of Agronomy

Crop Protection & Weed Science

Range & Brush Weed Control

Dr. Stewart Duncan | Dr. Walter Fick

The overall goal of the Brush and Weed Control research program in Agronomy is to evaluate new and current herbicides and to develop effective methods or management strategies for brush and weed control on rangeland and pasture.

Options for control and management of brush and weed species includes:
  • Grazing management
  • Mechanical practices, such as mowing
  • Biological control with certain insects or diseases
  • Prescribed burning
  • Chemical approaches

In many cases an integrated approach can be used. The focus of the research is to find the best practice or combination of practices to economically achieve optimum forage productivity by controlling unplatable or invasive brush and weeds.

Weed Biology & Ecology

Dr. Anita Dille

The Weed Biology and Ecology program addresses many of the most fundamental and challenging issues in weed science: What exactly is a weed? Why does a weed occur where it does? When does that weed species emerge? How fast will it grow and how many seeds will it produce? How many weeds does it take to cause crop yield losses and when does it pay to control them?

These are just some of the most common research questions we study in Agronomy at K-State to understand the biology and ecology of weeds in field crops, rangelands, and other ecosystems.

As we uncover the answers to these questions for important weed species such as Palmer amaranth, common sunflower, giant ragweed, and kochia, we can begin to develop improved weed control programs that meet economic and environmental goals for Kansas producers.

Current Projects
  • Weed species impacts on crop yields
    • Palmer amaranth competition with corn in dryland and irrigated environments
    • Palmer amaranth competition with grain sorghum at different nitrogen levels
  • Population dynamics of common sunflower and giant ragweed
  • Influence of cover crops on Palmer amaranth and kochia emergence, growth, and seed production in no-till crop rotations
  • Influence of weed density on level of weed control with different herbicide rates

Weed Management & Crop Protection

Dr. Randall Currie | Dr. Dallas Peterson | Dr. Curtis Thompson

The primary goals of the weed management program are to evaluate and develop cost-effective weed management programs and new technologies in alfalfa, corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, and wheat. Specific areas of research include herbicide evaluation, adjuvant comparisons with herbicides, and herbicide-resistant weed investigations and management strategies. It is imperative that these programs are cost effective and environmentally friendly.

Research in Weed Management and Crop Protection focuses on:
  • Chemical grass and broadleaf weed control in crops
  • Non-chemical management practices for grass and weed control
  • Development and control of herbicide-resistant weed populations
  • Effective use of spray adjuvants
  • Experimental herbicide comparisons

Weed & Herbicide Physiology

Dr. Mithila Jugulam

The Weed Physiology research primarily focused on the following areas:

  • Effect of temperature stress on herbicide efficacy
  • Identification of sources of herbicide tolerance to develop herbicide-tolerant technology
  • Understanding physiological, genetic and molecular mechanisms of weed resistance to herbicides

Outcomes of the research of the Weed Physiology laboratory will help to predict the possible spread of herbicide-resistant genes in weed populations, the optimum time of herbicide application for effective weed control, and the development of future technologies for effective weed management.

The goals of the weed science program are to provide agricultural producers with the most cost-effective systems available to control weeds and maximize profit potential while providing a safe food supply, and protecting water quality and soil resources for future generations.

Weed Science research in Agronomy involves an in-depth look at the complex interaction of weed density, crop residue and cover crops, water and nutrient relations, soil types and tillage systems, and crop yields. There are also research programs involving the development of herbicide-resistant weed populations, and the mechanisms of herbicide resistance.

Agronomy’s Weed Science faculty conducts one of the most comprehensive programs in the country on the effectiveness of new and existing herbicides. Herbicide evaluation is done at several locations throughout the state, involving many different populations of weeds and grasses, including managing weeds that have developed resistance to some widely used herbicides.

Contact Us

Dr. Mithila Jugulam
Associate Professor
Email Dr. Jugulam

Kansas State University
3703 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-2755
Fx: +1-785-532-6094