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Rodrigo Werle, a University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor, has been named a UW-Extension cropping-systems weed specialist.

Werle was born in a small farming community of Dutch immigrants in the state of Sao Paulo in southeastern Brazil. He earned an agronomy degree from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, along with master’s and doctoral degrees in agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

As a doctoral student Werle evaluated the distribution and mechanism of acetolactate synthase herbicide resistance in grasses. He developed a simulation model to assess management options to mitigate risk of resistance developing in shattercane in potential herbicide-tolerant sorghum-production areas of the Great Plains. The sorghum trait is the anticipated Inzen trait by DuPont. His work helped DuPont develop best-management practices for Inzen technology, which is expected to become commercially available in 2018.

Werle earned Outstanding Graduate Student awards from the North Central Weed Science Society and the Weed Science Society of America. From April 2016 through December 2017 he was a University of Nebraska assistant professor and cropping-systems specialist at the West Central Research and Extension Center. He conducted research and Extension programming to increase the profitability and sustainability of irrigated and dry-land cropping systems in Nebraska and elsewhere.

Werle said he plans to establish a research program of agro-ecology approaches to address weed management in corn, soybeans and small grains. He will also train growers, crop scouts and agronomists on proper weed identification and herbicide selection. He will use applications in collaboration with pesticide-applicator training programs. Developing YouTube videos and mobile applications to make information more accessible to growers and agronomists will also be part of Werle's outreach. Email or call 608-262-7130 for more information.

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