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Annual Weed Control Meeting Features New and Retiring Researchers

North Dakota State University weed researchers Dr. Joe Ikely and Dr. Rod Lym were featured speakers at the 21st annual Wild World of Weeds Workshop on January 22, 2019.

February 19, 2019

The North Dakota State University Extension Wild World of Weeds Workshop on January 22, 2019 was the 21st such event planned by NDSU and Extension researchers.  This annual meeting is held to report weed control and herbicide research done during the previous year. The theme of the meeting was “Invasive Weeds”.

Highlighted speakers were Dr. Joe Ikely and Professor Emeritus Rod Lym. Ikely was hired as the new Extension Weed Control Specialist in December and introduced for the first time to the North Dakota audience. Lym presented an overview of his work titled “Long-Term Success Story of Invasive Weed Control in North Dakota, with a Summary of ‘All’ Weed Biological Control Agents Released in the State”.

Ikely introduced Stinkgrass (Eragrostis ciliaensis) as the 2019 Weed of the Year, and gave a historical review of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri). Ikely earned his Ph.D. at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he worked for two years in Extension Weed Science. See his full profile at

Lym retired in December after 39 years at NDSU. He started his career in 1979, when he was hired by Dr. Cal Messersmith as a postdoctoral research fellow. Messersmith was heading up a new multi-department research project to combat a rapidly increasing leafy spurge population in North Dakota. Other researchers in the project were from five other NDSU departments including Agriculture Economics (now Agribusiness and Applied Economics), Botany, Entomology, Plant Pathology and Range Science. Lym related many of the challenges and successes of that research and explained the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that was implemented as a result of this research. Recognized as one of the most successful biological control projects in the world, it included the release of a natural predator of leafy spurge, flea beetles (Aphthona spp.), and livestock grazing and herbicide treatments.

Lym also reported on several other biological control projects and reflected on the ups and downs of weed research. NDSU Extension Weed Control Specialist Tom Peters, who introduced Lym, reflected on how much has changed since Lym began working at NDSU, saying “39 years is a lot of years.” Lym agreed and said that he enjoyed those years and the challenges he met, as well as the success he achieved.

Read a full summary of Lym’s work at

Wild World of Weeds presentations are available for viewing at

Author: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,
Editor: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,

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