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October 28, 2022

Collaboration to test bioherbicide

As part of a larger effort to improve management of the invasive Phragmites australis, Dr. Kurt Kowalski (GLSC, Ann Arbor, Michigan) and his team conducted a large summer field experiment testing a novel bioherbicide control method. The development and patenting of the novel nontoxic bioherbicide formula is part of multiyear collaborative effort between the USGS and the lab of Dr. James White at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey). The field aspect of the summer 2022 experiment was conducted by Spenser Widin, Annie Bonds, and Meaghan Gavagan (GLSC, Ann Arbor, Michigan) and marks the first large field test of the current bioherbicide formulation. Results from this experiment will aid in the continued refinement of the bioherbicide formulation and application strategies, with the goal of adding an additional, highly effective control method to the Phragmites management toolbox.

Phragmites australis control site for biopesticide
This image taken on 28 September 2022 depicts a control patch of Phragmites australis after treatment with water. Photo Credit: Spencer Widin
Phragmites australis patch after test application of biopesticide
This image taken on 28 September 2022 depicts a test patch of Phragmites australis after treatment with a bioherbicide. Photo Credit: Spencer Widin