Aaron Hager2023-12-21T10:52:30-06:00


Dr. Aaron Hager

Areas of Expertise:

  • Weed Science
  • Weed Management

Professor & Weed Science Extension Specialist
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

While his childhood dream was to dive for treasures hidden in ocean waters, Dr. Hager has been firmly planted on land searching for solutions to managing weeds while fending off resistance. He earned his Master of Science at Michigan State University then his PhD at the University of Illinois.

Raised on a west-central Illinois grain and livestock farm, Dr. Hager has been an integral part of the world-renowned weed science program at UIUC for 30 years. His extension program is keenly focused on addressing the evolving weed management challenges across Illinois farm fields, providing farmers with research-based solutions that are sustainable and economically viable.

Fun Facts!
Dr. Hager once dreamed of becoming a diver who searched the ocean waters around the globe for lost treasure … until he realized he’s not a strong swimmer! Yet, the water still calls him. His favorite vacation spot is Oahu, Hawaii, where his father was stationed during World War II and he first visited in 1984 for an army reunion.

Back in Illinois, he enjoys woodworking, cloudless evenings on the deck, spoiling his granddaughter and summertime sunset drives along country roads. He’s a lifelong Chicago Bears fan and appreciates watching them on television from the safety of his home after experiencing the intensity of the team’s fans when they played in Champaign during the 2002 season.

Research Projects

Injury Potential to Very Early-Planted Soybean from Various Soil-Residual Herbicides / Active Ingredients2023-12-20T16:23:32-06:00

While interest in planting soybeans earlier continues to increase, concerns around preemergence (PRE) herbicide injury to emerging seedlings continue to linger. Early planting often means cold, wet soil conditions that can delay seed germination and prolong plant emergence. These conditions can reduce the plant’s ability to metabolize PRE herbicides and result in crop injury. This project will test several herbicides and classes of chemistry to better understand which are more prone to cause crop injury under early planting conditions.

Documenting the Extent of Resistance to Group 15 Herbicides in Illinois Waterhemp Populations2023-12-20T16:21:08-06:00

To better understand the frequency of resistance to Group 15 herbicides, this project will collect and screen waterhemp populations from Illinois soybean fields. Results will be used to provide farmers with recommendations on how best to incorporate these herbicides into integrated weed management programs. Resistant populations will be used in subsequent research to identify the gene(s) conferring the metabolism-based resistance.

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