Our research is examining available weed management strategies for key weed species in vegetable and row crops in the midwest area. The goal is to develop fundamental knowledge of weed biology/microbiology, and develop ecology to enhance environmentally safe weed control. Additionally, new directions for biologically based management of these weed species will be proposed, in close collaboration with key customers and stakeholders, universities and extension laboratories. A regional approach to solving these problems collaboratively will be developed.
The approach of this research unit is to study critical physiological/biochemical, environmental, and ecological phenomena of economically important weeds in vegetable and row crop systems. These include factors important to weeds, weed seeds, microbial communities and function, and their relationship to the environment. With this knowledge, improved weed management systems can be developed that integrate and utilize biological control weed sensors, reduced herbicide inputs, reduced tillage, crop rotations, and enhancement/reduction of factors affecting microbial-mediated weed seed bank depletion or other non-chemical management strategies.