Taking my work home with me?!

Written by: Erin Hill

Primary Source: MSU Weeds.com Blog

After a day of working in our research plots in the fall I often find weed seeds in my pockets, shoes, and even in my hair. Today we were pulling our final Palmer amaranth plants from two of our studies in Middleville, MI, where we have been studying the growth and development and potential control options for this weed. At this time of year many weeds are already bearing mature seeds, and Palmer is no exception. Because Palmer amaranth is still relatively new to Michigan and because it is both glyphosate and ALS resistant, we are always careful to ensure that we do not transport seeds from these previously infested sites to other locations by cleaning of our trucks and equipment and cleaning of our shoes. Out of curiosity today I decided to count just how many seeds I found inside of my shoes after working in the plots for around 2 hours. I ended up with 25 seeds, plus I probably had a few more I had already dumped out of my pockets before counting. I think this is a good reminder to everyone that we are just as likely to be transporting seeds as are animals and equipment.

Palmer seeds were on top and underneath my insoles

Seed and sand contents of my shoes

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Erin Hill
I am interested in weed ecology as it pertains to agricultural production. I am also interested in field crop and vegetable production systems, the use of cover crops and other sustainable practices, herbicide resistance, and environmental preservation.