April 11, 2001 | By: Laura Skillman
PRINCETON, Ky.

A computer program developed by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's weed scientists is another aid farmers have in deciding how to control weeds in their crops.

WeedMAK II (Weed Management Applications for Kentucky crops) is an updated and expanded version of the original WeedMAK program that had been available during the past several years, said J.D. Green, UK Extension weed science specialist. The program is not designed to give one answer but a list of options for farmers to consider.

The program selects chemical treatments based on the effectiveness for specific weeds along with the estimated cost per acre for treatment, he said.

An environmental component provides information about the herbicide leaching and run-off potential for a given treatment.

To use the program crop producers need to know their weed problems, soil characteristics in each field such as soil type, pH, organic matter, and soil texture, crop information, general type of corn hybrid or soybean variety planted, and also stage of crop growth. The previous crop, tillage system and weed size can also be added to provide site specific information.

"Basically it is a tool for making weed management decisions," Green said. "With the complexity and number of the herbicide options now available to crop producers, it is a way of sorting through all that information so that a farmer can better select an option based on their field site information."

Once a farmer reviews the overall list of treatment options for that field site, he or she can use the computer program to select a specific treatment and gain additional information.

The program will maintain four different price lists. One is a default list, the other three are available for farmers to input prices from their own specific buying locations.

The potential environmental impact component is based on long-term data from research that has been done at UK.

The program can be general or as detailed as a farmer chooses. The more site specific input information provided by the user, the more specific the data.

The program was developed by UK's weed science group, and is being distributed to all county Extension offices. This is the first season it is available statewide but was used in some counties in 2000 as a pilot project. Individual producers and ag businesses can also obtain a copy by contacting Green at (859) 257-4898 or jgreen@ca.uky.edu.

Contact: 

J.D. Green, (859) 257-4898