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Accolades from the 40th Weed Science Society of North Carolina Meeting

Flowering Palmer Amaranth, also known as Palmer pigweed, is an extremely aggressive, fast-growing species that has become a serious weed problem. (Photo by Patrick Alexander)
Flowering Palmer Amaranth, also known as Palmer pigweed, is an extremely aggressive, fast-growing species that has become a serious weed problem. (Photo by Patrick Alexander)

For the past 40 years, the Weed Science Society of North Carolina (WSSNC) has met annually to address weed science and management challenges. Through strategic partnerships with the WSSNC,  NC State weed scientists and researchers have attended these meetings to disseminate the latest field and lab research to growers and industry professionals and encouraged the adoption of cutting-edge techniques and developments.

During the annual meetings, accolades are always given to NC State for impactful work, and weed science graduate students are offered the opportunity to present their latest research in herbicides, disease, pest, and management. The weed science researchers and graduate student members are primarily from the Department of Crop and Soil Science and the Department of Horticultural Science.

The following award winners were announced at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Weed Science Society of North Carolina.

Distinguished Service Award

  • Donnie Hinnant

Outstanding Graduate Student Award

  • Levi Moore – Ph.D.  Student
  • Andrew Blythe – M.S. Student

PhD Poster Contest

  • First Place – Jose de Sanctis, “Paraquat-resistant Italian ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. spp. multiflorum) Confirmed in North Carolina”
  • Second Place – Estefania Gomiero Polli, “Response of Glufosinate-tolerant Soybean to Volatility of 2,4-D and Dicamba Turfgrass Formulations in Humidomes”
  • Third Place – Eric Jones, “Development of an assay to rapidly detect glufosinate resistance” 

MS Poster Contest Award

  • First Place – Stephen Ippolito, “Interference of Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) in Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)”
  • Second Place – Brock Dean, “Do Spray Volume and Nozzle Effect Cotton Response to Group 15 Herbicide Combinations?”
  • Third Place – Colton Blankenship, “Impact of Fall Planted Cover Crops and Tillage on Weed Control and Yield in Four Sweetpotato Cultivars” 

IR-4 SOAR Award

Dr. Joseph Neal, left; receives the 2022 IR-4 SOAR Award from Dr. Jerry Baron, right.
Dr. Joe Neal (left) receives the 2022 IR-4 SOAR Award from Dr. Jerry Baron (right).

The Inter-Regional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) is a heavily involved member of the WSSNC. The IR-4 Project assists specialty crop growers in addressing pest management challenges in producing fruits, vegetables, herbs, crops, flowers, shrubs and landscape plants. Further, they facilitate the registration of safe and effective pest and weed management solutions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Their highest honor for external partners,  the IR-4 SOAR Award, was given to Joe Neal, professor of weed science and Extension specialist of the Department of Horticultural Science, for exemplifying the areas of “service, outreach, altruism, and research,” while also supporting specialty crop growers and the IR-4 mission. Neal was bestowed the award for his commitment to solving pest management problems for ornamental and landscape growers.

Neal specializes in weed management of nursery crops, landscape plantings, and Christmas trees with research and extension programs focusing on optimizing cost-effective weed control, environmental stewardship, and biological control of weeds.

For more than 35 years, Neal has worked closely with commodity groups, stakeholders, and government entities to advance the interests of specialty crop growers. He has consistently educated and mentored others on safe and effective pest management practices. Neal has worked on several research projects of regional and national importance that contributed data to most herbicides currently labeled for use on nursery and landscape plantings.

Want to know more about horticulture and weed science?

Horticultural Sciences’ research impacts North Carolinians every day by improving and transferring research-based information in weed science and pest management practices for specialty crops and landscapes. Follow how we advance plants and environmental stewardship by joining our monthly newsletter.

If you are a student interested in weed science or specialty crop production, learn more about our graduate degree programs.