Congratulations to Christy Sprague on receiving the 2018 Outstanding Extension Award from the Weed Science Society of American (WSSA). Christy is a professor in the Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences and an Extension specialist who works to understand weed and crop interactions and ways to improve overall weed management systems. Because of the caliber of her service to growers in Michigan and her ability to provide information and build partnerships beyond Michigan borders, Christy was recognized at the WSSA’s annual meeting in Arlington, Virginia.
“I was both greatly honored and humbled to receive the award,” Christy said. “I have one of the greatest jobs at MSU: I have an Extension appointment that gives me the opportunity to not only work just with students but to teach farmers, ag retailers and others about weeds and weed management. It is an extremely rewarding feeling to be able to help someone and make a positive impact on their farming operations.”
Christy’s research and extension program focuses on integrated weed management, which means she examines weed biology and ecology, and weed interactions with other pests and pest/crop management practices. Michigan is a state of diverse soils where farmers grow a variety of field crops, so her work includes soybeans, sugar beets, dry beans and potatoes. Her work with growers has increased their revenues and decreased weed control costs.
Please join me in congratulating Christy on her work and this award.
That another glyphosate-resistant weed has been documented in Michigan? Glyphosate (originally marketed as Roundup) is a widely used herbicide, and its extensive use was predicted to lead to selection for varieties of weeds that can resist the deleterious effects of the chemical. Indeed, genes that confer resistance have been deliberately introduced into the genomes of crops to allow use of glyphosate on fields of growing crops. That there would be natural genetic variations that confer resistance and that those would benefit from the selection process of extensive herbicide use is not surprising. So enough on the lecture – why bring this up? Because I learned about this at the Agriculture/Agribusiness news website, http://www.news.msue.msu.edu/! The specific story was written by crop and soil sciences associate professor Christy Sprague, and the article refers to Extension educator Dan Rajzer or Dr. Sprague for answers to further questions. I continue to find the news site helpful and impressive, and even if the information it’s offering on a particular day isn’t of interest to a particular viewer, it’s still impressive to see the breadth of expertise and information that Michigan State University Extension provides for farmers, agribusiness operators and landscape managers. It tells our story much more effectively than anything I can write in the MSUE Spotlight.
Hear Dr. Sprague talk more on the subject in the following video produced by MSU Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications.