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Web site focuses on Missouri pest plants

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Local property owners frequently must battle unwelcome trespassers on their lawns and landscape weeds.

Now, Dr. Fred Fishel, of the University of Missouri, offers a tell-all, see-all Web site focused on pest plants at

www.psu.missouri.edu/fishel/

to help property owners identify and deal with encroaching weeds.

Fishel, a University of Missouri-Columbia pest-management specialist in plant sciences, states on the Web site that correct identification of any pest, including weeds, is critical in planning control strategies, according to a press release from University Outreach & Extension.

"Anyone can call it up and use it," Fishel said, although it was designed primarily as a resource for professionals across Missouri in county University Outreach & Extension offices.

The site includes photos of common Missouri weeds in various developmental stages, along with short written descriptions.

It has two classifications: field crops and pastures, and weeds common to ornamentals and turfgrass.

Species are listed by common names in alphabetical order.

"It's really user-friendly," Fishel said. "You can go right into it and point and click to find what you're looking for."

There are existing weed-identification books, "but those are illustrated mostly with line drawings. People really need color photos to identify key characteristics," Fishel said.

The Web site was built using archived photographs of weeds taken across Missouri.

"Right now, most of the ones we've included would be field crops and pastures," Fishel said, "But most of the common Missouri weeds are here. We're still adding to it."

He said plans for the site include weed-control suggestions and links to related Web sites.

Those not on the Internet can access Missouri Weeds and other weed-identification and control information through University Outreach & Extension, 862-9284.

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