Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Crop Production and Physiology

First Advisor

Matthew . Darr

Second Advisor

Robert . Hartzler


Sense and spray weed management, as defined by this paper, is the ability to detect individual or small groups of weeds within a field and selectively spray just the weeds that were detected. These technologies reduce the total volume of herbicides per unit area that would have been applied with a conventional broadcast application. Sense and spray weed management may be thought as a subcategory of traditional site-specific weed management. Sense and spray weed management technologies aim to reduce the impact of herbicides on the environment, while improving the farm’s profitability. As sense and spray weed management technologies become commercially available, they will bring with them questions about their ability to detect and make spraying decisions accurately. Outlined in this paper are two methods that can be used by researchers, farmers, and technology developers to evaluate these technologies. These methods are reproducible across many different farming situations. A blue dye method can be used to visually access a technology’s detection and application efficacy. A strip sampling method can be used to estimate the weed escapes that make it past the weed control methods. The successful integration of these technologies on the farm will be dependent upon their ability to control weeds at a similar level to the conventional broadcast applications that are being utilized currently. Currently, since no commercially acceptable efficacy benchmarks exist for these technologies, all comparisons should be made to the conventional broadcast applications. In addition, broadcast applications of residual herbicides will likely continue to play a useful role in managing weed populations.

Copyright Owner

Joshua J.R. DeGroot



File Format


File Size

72 pages