Monday, March 2, 2015

OSU Guide to Weed Identification Available

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With spring planting soon to get underway, a new guide developed by an agronomist from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University is available to help growers identify weeds in order to manage them before they take over.

The 2015 Ohio State University Guide to Weed Identification is now available for free as an iBook and can be downloaded through Ohio State’s Digital Bookstore at

The guide is an excellent tool for growers presented in a digital format that offers pictures of various weed species at different stages of maturity and 360-degree movies for most species, said Bruce Ackley, an OSU Extension program specialist in weed science. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

The guide can be used by growers as they get into their fields for planting, he said.

“The guide is great for anyone who wants to know how to identify a weed,” Ackley said. “It offers full-page, high definition pictures for a number of the most common Midwestern U.S. weeds and basic intellectual tools that are necessary to successfully identify plants.”

People who find a weed in their field or their yard will typically pull it out and flip through a book or Google to try to identify it, he said.

“But typically only one close picture or sketch of what you have will show up, leaving you not feeling comfortable in identifying it,” Ackley said. “This guide, however, gives you the full plant feel, with more photos to flip through for each species. Plus it looks really cool and beautiful.”

The 205-page guide provides information on the basic principles of weed identification, he said.

It describes 29 families and 85 species of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants. Plant descriptions include key identification characteristics, Ackley said.

“The guide helps growers get to know their enemy — to better understand what weeds you are trying to control,” Ackley said. “In order to manage them, you have to be able to identify the weeds in order to make sure you know what you are spraying.

“You can get more effective control if you can identify the weeds when they are little and know how to manage them. All the weeds in the guide are found in Ohio.”

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