Mark Loux

Mark Loux, Professor, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science

Mark Loux’s career in weed science is due in part to his dad, a chemist at one of the major ag chemical companies on the East Coast.

“When I was getting a degree in plant science at the University of Delaware, he let me know about their internships,” Loux said. He ended up accepting a summer internship with a company in New York and then moved to Illinois to work at their research farm after graduating.

“In the middle of that, I figured out I wanted to go to grad school in weed science,” Loux said. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, he took a position at The Ohio State University specializing in weed management.

“When I first started, we were still trying to just get control of a number of weeds because herbicide options were limited. The majority of our work was with the new herbicide candidates that were coming along,” Loux said. “Now, we really evaluate traits and whole systems. We have a lot of good traits and herbicides to control weeds, so it’s a matter of using them the right way with the right program and in the right system.”  

While many weeds are still effectively controlled, others are becoming more difficult.  
“Our focus is developing systems to control major problematic, herbicide-resistant weeds,” Loux explained, referencing Ohio’s troublesome ragweed, marestail and pigweed populations. “They are difficult weed species with complex biologies.”

Helping farmers prevent the spread of these herbicide-resistant weeds is one of his biggest goals. When he’s not writing articles or recording videos to post online, Loux is talking with farmers at county agronomy meetings, updating the Ohio, Indiana and Illinois Weed Control Guide and answering emails from growers asking for recommendations.

He credits the Ohio Soybean Council’s support as being essential to his mission to help farmers identify and manage problematic weeds before they cause yield losses.

“We use soybean checkoff funds to create educational materials we hand out at all kinds of meetings, including pesticide recertification classes in the winter. Over the past few years, we’ve probably distributed about 8,000 folders of weed management information that growers find really helpful.”