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Project Descriptions 2015

Palmer Amaranth Project - Dr. Rick Spellerberg

The development of Roundup and other glyphosate herbicides has allowed farmers to eliminate weeds without harming their crops. However, in recent years several strains of weeds have evolved at a rapid pace to become resistant to glyphosate. In particular, Palmer amaranth, a fast-growing herbicide-resistant weed, has begun spreading to Iowa farms.

Currently there are five counties in the state of Iowa where the presence of Palmer amaranth has been documented. The goal for the undergraduate research team this summer will be to develop a model that will predict the unchecked spread of Palmer amaranth across the state of Iowa over time. In addition, the team will start developing potential strategies to mitigate the spread of the weed in the hopes of stopping the weed in its tracks.