Integrated weed management (IWM) systems leverage a holistic understanding of weed biology and ecology to ensure effective results. A recent study examined the scope of weed science efforts in the world and the contributions in various areas of weed control, such as preventive weed management, weed biology, and weed detection, among others.
The University of Florida ranked highly in all of these areas, oftentimes just behind large federal agencies like the USDA and Ag Canada. Rankings were primarily determined from the numbers of peer-reviewed journal articles published from 1994 to 2012.
The UF Horticultural Sciences Department has played a key role in UF’s outstanding rankings. A long-standing program by Dr. Bill Stall and recent research by new faculty continue the trend.
As quoted in SouthEast Ag Net Hort Science Assistant Professor Peter Dittmar noted, “Florida produces about 150 outdoor-grown crops that need weed control, everything from ornamental horticulture to pastures. To meet the challenges, UF/IFAS routinely employs 10-12 weed scientists, compared with two or three in states with less-diverse agriculture.”