Potatoes are a welcome sight in a field when planted, but they can pop up in non-potato years and become unwanted visitors. Volunteer potatoes are tubers left in the field which survive winter and grow the following the spring. Not only do these potatoes compete with crops and reduce yield, but they can also harbour insects, diseases and nematodes which can infest neighbouring or future potato crops. Managing these unwanted visitors is important for future field management.
Erin Burns is a weed science extension specialist and assistant professor in the department of plant, soil, and microbial sciences at Michigan State University. Erin started at Michigan State in April 2017. She received her bachelor of science degree from the College of Saint Benedict (Minnesota) in biology, her master of science degree from North Dakota State University in plant sciences, and her PhD from Montana State University in plant sciences.
Erin’s research and extension program focuses on current and emerging problematic weeds in Michigan cropping systems, specifically forages, potatoes, corn, and recently industrial hemp. Current research focuses on practices to mitigate the development and spread of herbicide resistant weeds and understanding
Gavin Graham, is the weed management specialist and provincial minor use coordinator with the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries. Gavin grew up on a mixed farm in Saskatchewan and completed his masters in plant sciences from the University of Saskatchewan. He has an active weed research and extension program for New Brunswick farmers, with a focus on wild blueberry production. He is an active member in both the New Brunswick Institute of Agrologists and the Canadian Weed Science Society.