New App For Weed ID

Show-Me Life

Smartphones can make identifying problem weeds easy

Published on: December 21, 2012

With just one click from a Smartphone or iPad and farmers or crop consultants can capture that pesky weed that they cannot identify. But, now there is no need to email an extension agent or state weed specialist.

At the MU Crop Conference, Kevin Bradley, MU Extension weed scientist unveiled a new app for weed identification. Called ID weeds, this free app works with iPhone, iPads and Android devices.

Bradley told the group of farmers and crop consultants that the app has information on more than 400 plant species they may run across in crop fields or pastures. However, he noted there are even weeds for homeowner lawns, gardens and pond areas.

But these are not just Missouri weeds. The app also includes common weeds from surrounding states.

A screen shot of the ID Weeds app
A screen shot of the ID Weeds app

ID Weeds lets users narrow the list of suspects with a series of drop-down boxes for various plant characteristics. For instance, it will ask plant type and users can click on grass or broadleaf. It will ask for habitat and offer locations like pasture, agronomic crop or lawn. There are 28 characteristics to select.

The best part of the app is that if a farmer does not know the answer, he or she can choose, “don’t know.” Also the “what’s this” link provides users more information to narrow their choices. Unfamiliar with the term “ligule?” Then click “what’s this” and an example is shown. It will pull up an illustration to compare to the plant in the field.

Clicking on “Identify” will produce a list of weeds that match the characteristics chosen. The more characteristics specified, the shorter the list will be. Selecting a weed on the list brings up detailed information and one or more photographs.

“Proper identification of weeds is important so that you choose an appropriate and cost-effective method of control,” Bradley says.

ID Weeds is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad running iOS 5.1 or later, and devices running Android 2.2 or later.

To download:

iPhone and other iOS devices: itunes.apple.com/app/id-weeds/id559906313.

Android: Search for “ID Weeds” at play.google.com/store.

A web version is available at weedID.missouri.edu.