Weed science is the study of vegetation management in agricultural production systems, natural areas, and managed properties in residential and urban areas. It involves the development of knowledge in a variety of areas, including weed biology, taxonomy and ecology, biological control, cropping systems, integrated management systems, conservation tillage, transgenic crop tolerance, precision technology, and herbicides. The development of knowledge of the major mechanisms of weed survival is essential for developing effective methods of weed management.
NIFA supports research and extension projects designed to provide answers to the many challenges weedy plants pose for agricultural production and managed properties in residential and urban areas. These challenges include maintaining the profitability of agricultural enterprises, invasive species management, aquatic weed management, plant herbicide resistance, and minimizing environmental and human health impacts resulting from weeds and weed management practices. See Related Funding Opportunities (below) for a listing of the primary NIFA grant programs that provide support for weed science projects.
NIFA also provides support for multistate projects focused on the development of weed management strategies. These projects bring together research and extension experts from a single region or nationwide to collaborate on research and extension efforts to address important weed problems. There are currently over twenty multistate projects that are addressing weed management challenges.