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AFS 401

A Research Guide for Agricultural & Food Systems 401

Project Summary & Goals

Project Summary:

The biggest issue facing my growers on the Palouse is resistant weed populations. The 2022 crop year faced tremendous weed pressure, particularly from downy brome. This opened many eyes to the increasing problem of herbicide resistance. We need a guide for our sales agronomists and growers on how to combat herbicide resistance on the Palouse.

Project Goals:

Outline the following:

  • Which weeds and herbicides are the focus?
  • Why is this an issue?
    • Sustainability concerns
    • Economic concerns
  • How are we going to manage resistant weed populations in the short term?
  •  How are we going to manage resistant weed populations in the long term?
  • How will Wilbur-Ellis lead the charge?
  • What are the roadblocks to these changes?
    • Economics?
    • Logistics?
    • How can we overcome these roadblocks?

A Note About Finding Resources

This project is going to require finding data pertaining to highly localized plants and practices (e.g. weed resistance, populations and practices on the Palouse) as well as scholarly and industry resources pertaining to herbicides and pesticides, practices, economic and environmental impacts, and attitudes and uses. 

Listed below are resources that might assist you with this project. This list is by no means meant to be an exhaustive. Rather it is meant to get you thinking about what sort of resources you might need and where they may come from.

If you have any question, please email me.

Creating Search Statements (To find Answers to Questions Raised by this Project)

This project requires that you synthesize information from various resources.

Below are some keywords and search statements that may help you answer the questions raised in the project description.

To learn more about developing keywords and search strings check out this link.

Note: The following keywords and search strings are just some quick ideas, you may come up with better keywords and search strings yourselves.

Note: You will also want to do these searches in a database like Web of Science (below are searches in the WSU Libraries' catalog).

Potential Keywords:

Palouse OR Eastern Washington
herbicide* OR pesticide*
manag* OR control* OR conserv*
sustain* OR green* OR renewable
invasive OR weed*


In practice, you'll want to try different combinations of keywords in your searches (which may include Title, Any Field, Subject, etc. searches. 


Here are a couple of searches to get you started:

Palouse OR Eastern Washington


herbicide* OR pesticide*

Here is that search in the WSU Libraries' catalog
Here is that search in Web of Science


Palouse OR Eastern Washington


invasive OR weed*

Here is that search in the WSU Libraries' catalog
Here is that search in Web of Science


Note: Try different keyword combinations yourself. Also, try changing the search parameters (for example, try a "Any Field" search in place of a "Title" search and vice versa).

Find Background Information (and Summaries)

Some Useful Resources for Understanding Weed Management Issues on the Palouse

Duffin, A.P. (2007). Plowed under: Agriculture and environment in the Palouse. University of Washington Press. Find eBook via this link.

Fiez, T.E. (1995). An evaluation of site-specific crop management in the Palouse Region of eastern Washington. Washington State University. Find dissertation via this link.

Stevens, R.A. (2010). The use of weed technology in Palouse prairie remnants for management and restoration. Washington State University. Find dissertation via this link.

Stelljes, K.B. (1995). Palouse revolution in the making. Agricultural Research (Washington), 43(4), 16–16. Find article via this link.

Van Vleet, S.M. (2015). Invasive weeds of Eastern Washington. Washington State University Extension. Find report via this link.

Find Scholarly Resources

Much of this project is going to involve finding scholarly research regarding a myriad of topics. Below are some of the best scholarly databases to get you started

Palouse Based Organizations that Work with Invasive Species (WSU Extensions & Nonprofits)

ClearWater Conservancy - The mission of ClearWater Conservancy is to conserve and restore our natural resources through land conservation, water resources stewardship, and environmental outreach across central Pennsylvania.

Palouse Conservation District - For more than 75 years the Conservation Districts have been helping communities and local partners take care of farms, forests, urban green spaces/yards, waterways, and coastlines.


WSU Extensions - Historically, extension programs provided a means of assisting farmers and homemakers while avoiding the time and hazards involved in travel.  Today they cover a wide range of topics from agriculture, forestry, animal science, health and nutrition, gardening, home economics, and much more. There are 39 WSU Extension locations spread throughout the state. Here's a link to more information of the WSU Extensions.

To locate WSU/WSC extension documents, you can search:

WSU Extension Publications (current publications) or the WSU Libraries catalog (historic and current publications ) by searching WSU Extensions as the author or the WSC Extensions as an author. You can also search for historic resources on the WSU institutional repository, Research Exchange (all of those resources should be in the WSU Libraries' catalog though).

Trade Publications, Business Profiles, and Newspapers

Helpful Industry Resources, newspapers, and trade publications.

  • Nexis Uni - Provides information on U.S. and international private and public companies. Info includes company/non-profits organization descriptions, size, locations, history, and more. You can also search across newspapers and trade publications. 
  • Business Source Complete - Allows you to search company and industry information across popular press, trade journals, product reviews, and much more. Also provides information regarding company and industry profiles. This may be helpful when for searching for information regarding other non-profit organizations.
  • Newspaper Source - This database provides selected full text coverage for 245 newspapers, newswires and other sources. 

For more in-depth information regarding corporate research, take a look at the Company Research Library Guide. 

See also WSU News and Newspaper Research Guide

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us