Iowa: Harvest Weed Seed Control Clinic, Boone, Oct. 21

Harrington seed destructor blasting chaff and pulvertized weed seeds behind combine.

Harrington seed destructor blasting chaff and pulvertized weed seeds behind combine.

The spread of multiple-resistant weeds threatens Iowa’s production system. In order to slow the expansion of resistance, greater diversity in weed management is necessary.  An October 21 workshop will discuss one potential alternative weed management tool that is used in other parts of the world: harvest weed seed control. 

This clinic should be of interest to anyone interested in learning how farmers in other regions are adopting to the threat presented by herbicide resistance.  While the technology is not currently available for our system, it is likely this will be a tool that will be of value in the near future.

Harvest weed seed control is an alternative weed control tactic that targets weed seeds before they are shed from the plant. It uses the combine to intercept weed seeds and prevent them from entering the seedbank and contributing to future problems. This can be accomplished in several ways, including removing chaff from combines, grinding chaff and weed seed, or windrowing/tramlining chaff.

Dr. Michael Walsh is the director of Weed Research at the University of Sydney, Australia, and one of the world’s leading authorities on harvest weed seed control.  Australian farmers face some of the world’s worst problems with herbicide resistance, and are rapidly adopting harvest weed seed control as a means of diversifying weed management.  

Dr. Walsh and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a harvest weed seed control clinic at the ISU Field Extension Education Laboratory (1928 240 St., Boone, Iowa) on Monday, October 21 beginning at 10:00 AM.  During the morning the principles of harvest weed seed control will be discussed. After lunch, weather permitting, Dr. Walsh will demonstrate the types of combine modifications used to separate weed seeds from other materials entering the combine.  The clinic will conclude by 3:00 PM. 

Attendees may be eligible to receive up to 4.0 pest management Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) continuing education units for their attendance at the clinic (pending approval). While this clinic is free and open to the public, we ask that you please RSVP to Meaghan Anderson at or 319-331-0058 by Monday, October 14 to ensure an accurate lunch count.

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