Integrated weed management is based on economically viable and environmentally friendly weed management tactics that combine judicious use of herbicides with other control tactics, such as mowing, burning, tillage, grazing and revegetation. By taking steps to prevent weed invasion, land owners/managers and other stakeholders can avoid the economic and environmental impacts of noxious and invasive weeds.
Although billions of dollars are spent each year on weed control in the U.S., the amount of land infested with noxious and invasive weeds continues to grow, causing a decline in native vegetation and contributing to a decrease in the aesthetic, commercial or ecological value of the land. Once weeds have invaded a property, getting rid of them often proves impractical due to their prolific seed production and aggressive root growth. Land managers can save time and money by preventing weed invasions and by avoiding the misuse of weed management tools.
Extension has taught weed prevention in dozens of workshops around the state and has trained nearly 2,400 land managers on effective techniques for eliminating and preventing the spread of weeds. Extension has established nine research and demonstration plots and leads tours of many of these sites. Faculty are developing a statewide Early Detection Rapid Response program, and group meetings have been held in all 17 Nevada counties to introduce the program and generate data and ideas for future publications and workshops specifically designed for each county. Extension faculty are principal investigators in a multi-state program to prevent noxious weed invasions on Western farms and ranches.
In addition, Extension develops, demonstrates and recommends integrated weed management systems for troublesome weeds in Nevada. Extension faculty and staff teach workshops on herbicides, weed management and management of specific weeds at a wide range of programs, including landscape conferences, trade shows, conservation district meetings and grower conferences. Extension researchers have weed research and demonstration trials for perennial pepperweed (tall whitetop), downy brome (cheatgrass), medusahead, hoary cress, elongated mustard, African rue, foxtail barley, kochia and Russian thistle at various test plots around the state.
Individuals who attended the University of Nevada Main Station Farm Field Day in Reno, where Extension experts used field demonstration plots, learned how to control perennial pepperweed (tall whitetop). Extension has also conducted workshops at the Southwest Noxious Weed Short Course, which was attended by more than 100 public land managers, agricultural producers, Extension personnel and others with an interest in weeds.
This program has brought greater weed awareness and knowledge to hundreds of farmers, ranchers, land managers and natural resource professionals who are often on the front lines of spotting and prevent weed invasions. Extension’s connections to these individuals — and its ongoing efforts to train new groups and share data with other agencies — will vastly improve efforts to monitor and halt the infestation of noxious and invasive weeds on Nevada lands. Extension’s goal is to employ the Early Detection Rapid Response program on public and private lands throughout the state.