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Weed Science Students Showcase Skills at Annual Competition

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Canada hosts the Northeastern Collegiate Weed Science Contest for the first time since 2000
Sixty contestants from seven universities participated in the Northeastern Weed Science Society (NEWSS) Collegiate Weed Science Contest this week in Plattsville, Ontario. Hosted at Syngenta Canada’s Honeywood Research Facility, the full-day event put weed science students to the test in the areas of weed identification, sprayer calibration, herbicide symptom identification and in-field problem solving.

A Virginia Tech team won the graduate student division and a Cornell University team took top prize in the undergraduate division. Individual achievers were also recognized. A full list of winners follows.

“This contest is very prestigious among weed scientists and weed science students,” says Karrie Boucher, event organizer and Value Summary Lead with Syngenta Canada. “These students have worked hard and came to win.” Participating schools included Clemson University, Cornell University, University of Guelph, North Carolina State University, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University and Virginia Tech.

Each school showed great skill in correctly identifying weeds at various stages of growth and identifying herbicide applications in different crops based on visual symptoms. Teams also competed in a sprayer calibration challenge that required everything from calculating spray volume and herbicide rate to hands-on nozzle selection, boom height and application speed. Finally, in-field problem solving required students to determine the issue facing a crop and recommend an effective course of action for the grower.

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