Montana | MSU Extension | West Region
Extension education programs are effective in providing weed management strategies to Montanans.
Across Montana, there is a need to explore new and alternative approaches to weed management. This need stems from the increased costs associated with weed management practices, the selection of herbicide resistant biotypes, and consumer attitudes towards the products they purchase.
MSU Extension's cropland weed specialist developed and delivered 23 Extension/outreach presentations related to agricultural weed management, in eight locations, reaching 1751 participants. During the presentations, prior and post- knowledge and perceptions were evaluated through the use of Turning Point clickers. Specialists coordinated the Montana USDA Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) Professional Development Program which included in-depth training on sustainable agriculture to professionals across Montana. Topics covered included cropping system diversification, ecologically-based pest management and farmer networks. Specialists organized the 10th Annual Crop and Weed Field Day at the MSU Post Farm. During 2013, the Cropland Weed specialist published nine technical bulletins, Ag Alerts and news releases; and answered approximately 100 calls and emails related to weed management.
Evaluations of agricultural weed presentations indicated that the presentations were thought provoking, easy to understand, and of good educational value. Programming helped increase awareness on management practices to prevent or delay the selection of herbicide resistance in Montana, diminish the spread and impact of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and develop integrated weed management programs. MSU Extension's cropland weed specialist was elected the project leader of the eOrganic community of practice, the organic agriculture branch of eXtension (http://eorganic.info/). This USDA-NIFA distant-learning program reaches thousands of organic farmers, researchers, Extension specialists and the general public.