Weeds in a soybean field. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Weeds in a soybean field. (Photo: Thinkstock)

A fascinating new series of time-lapse YouTube videos demonstrates how weeds wither and die after being sprayed with an herbicide.

The videos, created by members of the weed science team in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University, are meant to show growers what to expect from an herbicide as they try to manage weed infestations in their fields, said Mark Loux, an Ohio State University Extension weed specialist. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the college.

Understanding how herbicides work is all part of helping growers get a good start for spring planting and manage weeds throughout the growing season, Loux said.

“The videos are a very good demonstration of how herbicides work on weeds,” he said. “Growers can use the videos to know what to look for when scouting their fields after an herbicide application to create a timeline of what the weeds should look like after spraying.

“This information is helpful for growers to determine if the weeds in their fields have developed a resistance to the herbicide and also can help them in diagnosing injuries to their crops.”

The series includes 14 time-lapse videos depicting eight different herbicide sites of action on a variety of weeds. The weeds shown in the videos are common to Ohio crops and include a demonstration of an herbicide’s impact on waterhemp, which is one of the major weeds affecting Midwest growers, Loux said.

“We’re trying to get people to think about how you get more diversity in herbicide programs from the site of action standpoint to try to minimize risk in herbicide treatments and resistance,” he said.

The videos were created over a two-year period. For every second of movie time shown, one hour of real time passed, he said. The videos were created using three cameras set up at various angles to photograph a weed treated with an herbicide in a lab, using iMovie to create the videos.

The full series can be viewed at go.osu.edu/timelapsevideo.