West Virginia University researchers can show corn famers how to vastly cut the amount of pesticides they use. The latest research-based techniques will be presented at a free West Virginia University Extension Service demonstration from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 24, at Dri Lake Farm, 348 Smith Road, Charles Town.
“Reducing Pesticide Use in Corn through Herbicide Banding” will draw from ongoing research by Rakesh Chandran, WVU Extension weed specialist, and Craig Yohn, WVU Extension agent in Jefferson County.
“It is now a month since the study was initiated, and we have some exciting preliminary results to share,” said Chandran, who is the coordinator of WVU Extension’s Integrated Pest Management Program.
“Application of herbicide as a band or strip along or between crop rows reduces herbicide use per acre by 50 percent compared to a broadcast application that covers the entire field,” he explained.
The United States uses 77 million pounds of atrazine each year. Eighty percent of that total, Chandran said, is used in corn production.
The researcher said that banded application can help reduce the use of atrazine and may have implications on management of resistant bio-type weeds.
Field day participants will learn how to use modern spray technology and discover the technique’s significance.
Lunch will be provided for participants after the demonstration. Registration is encouraged. Participation is free.
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