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This is Not Your Grandfather’s Weed Eater

Every home gardener knows the woe of weeds, but not everyone has problems like Ohio. When weeds affect the Buckeye State’s $100 billion agriculture industry, the war against weeds takes on a new meaning altogether.

A multi-disciplinary team of plant scientists, engineers, computer scientists, and undergraduate students at Central State University (CSU) are using NIFA Capacity Building Grant funds to develop new weed control technology that vanquishes the pesky plants with directed light energy.

CSU’s unique weed control machine spot-illuminates weeds with predetermined light frequencies, intensities and duration – all controlled by integrated sensors and robotics. In both greenhouse and field conditions, the prototype demonstrated the ability to manage, prevent, and abate weeds like dandelions, crabgrass and ragweed.

CSU and its research partner, Global Neighbor, Inc., have developed protocols so that urban gardeners and farmers can adopt it. The researchers are also adapting the technology to kill weeds in natural settings, roadsides, and service roads.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Plant health, production, and products;
Agriculture systems and technology
U.S. States and Territories
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