University News

WIU Agriculture Department Herbicide Plot Tour June 25

June 8, 2009

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University's agriculture department is sponsoring a herbicide field plot tour at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 25, at the WIU Agronomy Field Lab on Ember Road, located immediately north of WIU's Harry Mussatto Golf Course at 1215 Tower Road, in Macomb.

According to Gordon Roskamp, agriculture professor at Western and field plot coordinator, agriculture experts will be on hand to discuss various timely topics during the tour event.

  • Roskamp noted that weed resistance in western Illinois is a growing concern, and Aaron Hager, a specialist in weed science at the University of Illinois, will talk about PPO (protoporphyrinogen oxidase), ALS (acetolactate synthase), triazine and glyphospate resistance in the region. Hager will discuss the causes of weed resistance and provide recommendations to slow its progress.
  • Fungicides, insecticides and nematodes are applied to various crops in the Midwest, according to Roskamp. Loretta Ortiz-Ribbing, pathologist and specialist at the University of Illinois Macomb Center, will discuss various options and how they relate to integrated pest management.
  • Soybean seed cost is rising as companies introduce new higher-yielding varieties. Vince Davis, soybean specialist at the University of Illinois, will discuss planting rate to maximize profit and implications for weed-control strategies.
  • National-level concerns have been raised about the proper use of soybean checkoff funds. Rowan Ziegler, soybean grower from LaHarpe (IL) and member of the Illinois Soybean Association Board, will discuss the use of soybean checkoff monies in Illinois.
  • Pioneer is hoping to release Acre-Max (putting refuge seed in the bag) to avoid the trouble of planting a separate refuge for GMO insect resistance. Monsanto will soon introduce Smart-Stax, through which eight GMO events are stacked in a single hybrid. Glen Barber, field support agronomist with Beck's Hybrids, will discuss the need for refuge acres and how that might change in the future.
  • Corn and soybeans grow around five months throughout the year, according to Roskamp. Cover crops could offer numerous advantages, and many growers have experimented with cover crops. Mike Plumer, extension educator from Natural Resources in Carbondale (IL), will discuss the advantages of cover crops; which crops are best suited for western Illinois; and when to control them in the spring to reap their greatest benefits.
  • Roskamp noted that fertilizer costs skyrocketed in 2008, but said that they have started a modest decline in 2009. Mike Roegge, a crops educator in Adams and Brown counties (IL), will discuss minimum levels of phosphorus and potassium for various crops before yields will suffer.
  • Field pennycress is a winter annual/biennial weed with seed that is high in oil content, and Terry Isbell, research leader at the USDA National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, will discuss field pennycress as an alternate crop that might be grown in rotations with corn and soybeans.
  • Liberty-Link soybeans are now available as another tool for weed resistance management, noted Roskamp. He will discuss the differences between Ignite 280 and glyphosate to ensure successful weed control.

More than 25 weed control experiments have been established in strip-till and mulch-till on WIU's herbicide plot, noted Roskamp.

"Various herbicides were applied in the fall, early pre-plant, pre-emergence and post-emergence," he said. "New herbicides include Accent Q, Autumn, Balance Flexx, Cadet, Capreno, Corvus, Enlite, Envive, Ignite 280, Integrity, Optill, Prequel, Resolve Q, Sequence, Sharpen and Steadfast Q. Most of the current recommended weed control programs are on display in fields with relatively heavy weed pressure. Several Liberty-Link varieties, including Pioneer 'Y' and Roundup Ready 2 Yield, have been planted in yield trials (soybeans). Paul Vassalotti, with BASF, has established some herbicide symptom plots in both corn and soybeans; the plots will provide a base for interested individuals to test their skills," he added.

For more information, contact Roskamp at (309) 298-1569 or, or WIU's ag department at (309) 298-1080.

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing