A team of three Fresno State plant science students took first place in the weed identification category at the 58th annual Weed Day seminar hosted by University of California, Davis.

Seniors Sarah Parry of Sonora, Isaac Giron of Terra Bella and Mala To of Cambodia correctly identified 17 of 20 weeds to win the contest among almost 200 participants on July 10.  A fourth team member, graduate student Rama Paudel of Nepal, won second place.

They prepared under the tutelage of Dr. Anil Shrestha, professor of weed science in the Plant Science Department of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State.  Fresno State’s team was accompanied by Steve Wright, farm adviser for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Tulare.

Each year, Weed Day brings together pest control advisers, farm advisers, chemical company cooperators, college faculty and students and regulatory officials to learn about current weed science research at UC Davis.

For the contest portion, contestants were asked to identify 20 different types of weeds during a tour of current weed research plots at UC Davis. The plots involved herbicide research in annual fruit and vegetables crops, crop safety and herbicide symptomology demonstrations, aquatic weeds and grassland weed invasion and restoration research.

The Fresno State students were invited to a dinner after the seminar for one-on-one interaction with UC Davis weed science graduate and post-doctoral students, extension specialists and professors.

“It was a great experience that opened my eyes to new opportunities in weed science and it has encouraged me to pursue my master’s degree,” Parry said. “I’m excited to see what the future has in store.”

To said, “I was able to utilize my prior knowledge that I learned from Dr.  Shrestha’s weeds class to successfully help me identify the various weeds in the Weed ID Challenge.”

For more information, contact  Shrestha at ashrestha@csufresno.edu.

(Copy by Akyia Westley, University Communications news assistant.)

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