Investigating mycelial-plant biomass mat application to reduce early-colonizing weeds in row-crop agriculture
The intern will be investigating the use of plant crop biomass filled with fungal mycelium as means of stopping early-colonizing weeds in row crop agriculture. The crop biomass will be applied to the fields in liquid form and will solidify into a mat-like barrier. The intern will be coming up with the correct liquid formula in lab, and testing this initially in greenhouse trials. Once a suitable formula has been found, it will be produced at a larger scale and tested in fields owned by the industrial partner. In these larger trials, the intern will be measuring how effective the mat barrier is, as well as other soil values. The industrial partner will benefit by being able to manage weed control in a more environmentally friendly manner as well as potentially reduce the fuel required, and the amount of field tillage needed to control the weeds.