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Proper weed identification is essential for control

The Issue

Weeds play a major role in California crop production, costing growers millions of dollars annually. More than 250 plants are considered weeds, each with its own particular life cycle, growth habit, mode of reproduction, competitiveness and susceptibility to chemical or mechanical control. With so many crops grown in the state and the vast number of weed types, it is obvious that no one control program will work for all growers or in all situations. This means that farmers, pest control advisors (PCAs), managers and others involved in weed control must be able to identify the weeds that are present before deciding which management or control strategies to use.

What Has ANR Done?

A workshop at UC's Kearney Agricultural Center trained growers, PCAs and others on weed identification and how to devise strategies for control. UCCE farm advisors and a specialist shared information in a way that encouraged interaction between the more than 120 participants and the instructors, promoting a high level of participation.

The event included a weed identification quiz and discussion on how to correctly identify weeds according to specific characteristics, growth habits and life cycles. Cost-effective modes of control for various orchard and vineyard settings were also discussed.

The Payoff

Get to know your weeds before trying to control them

Understanding the importance of being able to properly identify weeds before deciding on methods of control is the essential first step in effective weed management. Numerous positive comments confirming this fact were received from the participants during the day. A survey showed the hands-on weed identification part of the workshop was rated as very valuable.

Due to the success of this event, future weed workshops will be held on both the east and west side of the valley, covering both annual and perennial crops.


Supporting Unit: Fresno County

Kurt Hembree, UCCE Fresno County Weed Science Farm Advisor
1720 S. Maple Ave., Fresno, CA 93702
(559) 456-7556 kjhembree@ucdavis.edu