The University of Nebraska–Lincoln graduate student Weed Science Team took first place and the undergraduate team second in the North Central Weed Science Society Student Weed Contest held July 27.
Hosted by Iowa State University, the contest was held at the ISU Field Extension Education Laboratory west of Ames, Iowa. The Nebraska team, represented by 14 undergraduate and 12 graduate students, had a successful showing, bringing home 16 team and individual plaques.
The contest consisted of four major events — Weed Identification, Herbicide Application Technology, Identification of Unknown Herbicides, and Problem Solving and Recommendations.
Members of the overall winning graduate student team included Clint Beiermann, Thomas Butts, Maxwel Oliveira and Bruno Canella Vieira. The undergraduate student team placed second overall and included Jacob Nikodym, Nikola Arsenijevic, Rodger Farr and Samantha Teten.
Individual awards went to Teten, the undergraduate Weed ID champion and runner-up overall; Butts, the graduate Weed ID champion and runner-up overall; and Oliveira, champion in the graduate Herbicide ID competition.
Two sections comprised the Herbicide Application event — a written test and a Team Sprayer Calibration contest in which a team’s ability to calibrate and properly operate a research backpack sprayer is evaluated. The graduate student team of Parminder Chahal, André de Oliveira Rodrigues, Adam Striegel and Ethann Barnes won the section Team Sprayer Calibration contest.
The teams were coached by agronomy and horticulture faculty Rodrigo Werle, extension cropping systems specialist at the West Central Research and Extension Center; Greg Kruger, extension weed science and application technology specialist at the WCREC, and Chris Proctor, extension weed science educator.
Werle was quick to acknowledge the success of the Agronomy Weed Science Contest Prep Course offered to students during the 2017 spring semester taught by Proctor and Josh Miller. Miller earned a doctoral degree in agronomy and horticulture in May 2017 and a Doctor of Plant Health professional degree in December 2016 at Nebraska. Graduate students Rodrigues, Butts and Jesaelen Gizotti de Moraes led the summer practices at the WCREC in North Platte.
“I’m proud of the teams’ hard work and dedication,” Werle said. “This was an outstanding year for Nebraska and I am thankful for the many people who worked directly and indirectly with the students to prepare them for this competition.”
According to the NCWSS, the Collegiate Weed Science Contest provides an educational experience for college students to apply and expand their weed science knowledge in a practical setting. The contest increases the visibility and importance of weed science for the ag industry and offers networking opportunities with university faculty, researchers, industry representatives and fellow students. More information on the contest can be found on the NCWSS website.