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Drew Lyon

Drew Lyon
Interim Chair of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Endowed Chair Small Grains Extension and Research, Weed Science

169 Johnson Hall
PO Box 646420
Pullman, WA 99164-6420 USA
Phone 509-335-2961

Curriculum vitae (pdf)


Ph.D.,  Agronomy/Weed Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. August 1988
Dissertation: A search for metribuzin tolerance in fieldbeans (Phaseolus vulgaris).

M.S., Agronomy/Weed Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. December 1985
Thesis: Response of fieldbeans (Phaseolus vulgaris) to reduced rates of 2,4-D and dicamba.

B.S., Agronomy/Crop Protection, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. August 1980


My Extension and Research Program focuses on integrated weed management in dryland small grain production in eastern Washington. I will focus on the troublesome weeds in each of the three rainfall zones of eastern Washington, i.e., low, medium, and high. This will include the winter annual grass weeds such as downy brome (Bromus tectorum), jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica), feral rye (Secale cereale), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), and rattail fescue (Vulpia myuros); as well as some of the troublesome warm-season broadleaf weeds in small grains and/or fallow such as mayweed chamomile (Anthemis cotula), Russian-thistle (Salsola tragus), prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola), rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea), and smooth scouringrush (Equisetum laevigatum). The use of herbicides in conjunction with cultural practices such as crop rotation, plant population, row spacing, and fertility will be investigated as will the use tillage, when necessary. Herbicide-resistant weeds are a major concern in the region and integrated weed management strategies must be devised to deal with existing herbicide resistance issues and slow the development of new herbicide-resistant biotypes. As part of my Extension appointment, I provide leadership for the WSU Extension Dryland Cropping Systems Team. One of our major projects has been the development of the Wheat and Small Grains Website, where growers and consultants can find all the information and decision tools that WSU Extension has related to wheat and small grains production and marketing. I also serve as the host of the WSU Wheat Beat Podcast where I talk with WSU faculty, postdocs, graduate students and USDA-ARS scientists about their wheat-related research.

Associates in Research

Mark Thorne
Henry Wetzel

Recent Publications

San Martin, C., M.E. Thorne, J.A. Gourlie, D.J. Lyon, and J. Barroso. 2021. Seed retention of grass weeds at wheat harvest in the Pacific Northwest. Weed Sci. 69:238-246.

Gill, K.S., N. Kumar, H.S. Randhawa, K. Murphy, A.H. Carter, C.F. Morris, R.W. Higginbotham, D.A. Engle, S.O. Guy, D.J. Lyon, T.D. Murray, X.M. Chen, and W.F. Schillinger. 2021. Registration of ‘Resilience CL+’ soft white winter wheat. J. Plant Registr. 15:196-205.

Lyon, D.J., J. Barroso, M.E. Thorne, J. Gourlie, and L.K. Lutcher. 2021. Russian-thistle (Salsola tragus L.) control with soil-active herbicides in no-till fallow. Weed Technol. 35:547-553.

Lyon, D.J., J. Barroso, J.M. Campbell, D. Finkelnburg, and I.C. Burke. 2020. Best management practices for managing herbicide resistance. (PNW754).

Fischer, J.W., M.E. Thorne, and D.J. Lyon. 2020. Weed-sensing technology modifies fallow control of rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea). Weed Technol. 34:857-862.

Gill, K.S., N. Kumar, H.S. Randhawa, A.H. Carter, J. Yenish, C.F. Morris, B.-K Baik, R.W. Higginbotham, S.O. Guy, D.A. Engle, X.M. Chen, T.D. Murray, and D.J. Lyon. 2020. Registration of ‘Curiosity CL+’ soft white winter wheat. J. Plant Registr. 14:377-387.

Beres, B.L., J.L. Hatfield, J.A. Kirkegaard, S.D. Eigenbrode, W.L. Pan, R.P. Lollato, J.R. Hunt, S. Strydhorst, K. Porker, D. Lyon, J. Ransom, and J. Wiersma. 2020. Toward a better understanding of genotype x environment x management interactions – A global wheat initiative agronomic research strategy. Front. Plant Sci.

Gill, K.S., N. Kumar, H.S. Randhawa, A.H. Carter, J. Yenish, C.F. Morris, B.-K Baik, R.W. Higginbotham, S.O. Guy, D.A. Engle, X.M. Chen, T.D. Murray, and D. Lyon. 2020. Registration of ‘Mela CL+’ soft white winter wheat. J. Plant Registr. 14:144-152.

Lyon, D.J., A.G. Hulting, J. Barroso, and J.M. Campbell. 2020. Integrated management of downy brome in winter wheat. (PNW668 revision).

Lyon, D. J., A.G. Hulting, J. Barroso, and J.M. Campbell. 2020. Integrated management of feral rye in winter wheat (PNW660 revision).

Lyon, D.J., M.E. Thorne, P. Jha, V. Kumar, and T. Waters. 2019. Volunteer buckwheat control in wheat. Crop Forage Turfgrass Manage. doi:10.2134/cftm2019.05.0033.

Barroso, J., D.J. Lyon, and T. Prather. 2019. Russian thistle management in a wheat-fallow crop rotation. (PNW492).

Lyon, D.J, M.E. Swanson, F.L. Young, and T. Coffey. 2018. Jointed goatgrass biomass and spikelet production increases in no-till winter wheat. Crop Forage Turfgrass Manage. doi:10.2134/cftm2018.04.0031.

Mallory-Smith, C., A.R. Kniss, D.J. Lyon, and R.S. Zemetra. 2018. Jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica): A review. Weed Sci. 66:562-573.

Walsh, M.J., J.C. Broster, L.M. Schwartz-Lazaro, J.K. Norsworthy, A.S. Davis, B.D. Tidemann, H.J. Beckie, D.J. Lyon, N. Soni, P. Neve, and M.V. Bagavathiannan. 2018. Opportunities and challenges for harvest weed seed control in global cropping systems. Pest Manag. Sci. 74:2235-2245.

San Martín, C., D.J. Lyon, J. Gourlie, H.C. Wetzel, and J. Barroso. 2018. Weed control with bicyclopyrone + bromoxynil in wheat. Crop Forage Turfgrass Manage. 4:180011. doi:10.2134/cftm2018.02.0011.

Spring, J.F., M.E. Thorne, I.C. Burke, and D.J. Lyon. 2018. Rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea) control in Pacific Northwest winter wheat. Weed Technol. 32:360-363.

Hauvermale, A.L., K.N. Race, N.C. Lawrence, L. Koby, D.J. Lyon, and I.C. Burke. 2018. A mayweed chamomile growing degree day model for the Inland Pacific Northwest. (FS306E).

Lyon, D.J., D.A. Ball, and A.G. Hulting. 2018. Rattail fescue: Biology and management in Pacific Northwest wheat cropping systems. (PNW613).

Lyon, D.J., I.C. Burke, and J.M. Campbell. 2018. Integrated management of mustard species in wheat production systems. (PNW703).

Kumar, V., J.F. Spring, P. Jha*, D.J. Lyon, and I.C. Burke. 2017. Glyphosate-resistant Russian-thistle (Salsola tragus) identified in Montana and Washington. Weed Technol. 31:238-251.

Lyon, D.J., I.C. Burke, A.G. Hulting, and J.M. Campbell. 2017. Integrated management of mayweed chamomile in wheat and pulse production systems. (PNW695).

Nielsen, D.C., D.J. Lyon, and J.J. Miceli-Garcia. 2017. Replacing fallow with forage triticale in a dryland wheat-corn-fallow rotation may increase profitability. Field Crops Res. 203:227-237.

Hansen, N.C., B.L. Allen, S. Anapalli, R.E. Blackshaw, D.J. Lyon, and S. Machado. 2017. Dryland agriculture in North America. In: Farooq, M. and Siddique K.H.M.  (eds). Innovations in dryland agriculture. Cham, Springer, pp. 415-441.

Timely Topics

Harvest Aid Treatments Likely Needed in 2021 Pulse Crops

First COVID-19 then DROUGHT-21. We just can’t seem to catch a break. As I drive around the region, I see a lot of green fields, but that green often turns out to be common lambsquarters or prickly lettuce rather than chickpeas or lentils. The very dry spring resulted in poor or no activation of soil-applied herbicides. Combined with poor stands and stressed crop plants, weeds have thrived in portions of many pulse crop fields in Eastern Washington.Additionally, uneven maturation of pulses across the field is quite common. Areas with poor stand often are greener than areas that had good stand establishment that resulted in greater competition for soil water. Likewise, plants in wetter areas of the field are greener than plants in drier portions of the field. Taken together, uneven ripening and plentiful green weeds makes the need for harvest aid herbicide applications highly likely this year.

Grapes and Herbicide Drift

Dr. Michelle Moyer, Extension Viticulturalist located at Prosser, WA recently contacted me and told me that she was getting an uptick in calls from grape growers suffering 2,4-D damage in their vineyards. It has been a windy, cool spring, which may explain some of the drift issues, but wheat growers need to be aware of how sensitive grapes are to 2,4-D and other auxin imitator herbicides (Group 4). Preventing Herbicide Drift and Injury to Grapes (EM 8860) is a very good Extension publication from Oregon State University that discusses herbicide injury in grapes caused by herbicide drift and how to prevent herbicide drift to grapes.

Volunteer Canola Control

The addition of winter and spring canola to the crop rotations of Eastern Washington has provided growers with increased options for weed control, particularly for some of the most troublesome grass weeds such as downy bromeferal rye, and Italian ryegrass. However, volunteer canola, particularly volunteer Roundup Ready® canola, has become a troublesome weed of its own.Volunteer canola has been problematic in western Canada for a while. I recently exchanged some email messages with Eric Johnson with the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada on this topic. The following are some of the thoughts he shared on the topic of the pre-seed burndown of volunteer canola.

Weeders of the West

Occasional Tillage and Herbicide Resistance

In 2011, I attended the 4th International Crop Science Congress in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I listened to a presentation by Dr. Stephen Powles, University of Western Australia, now retired. Dr. Powles is still considered the international guru on herbicide resistance. Australia has some of the most serious herbicide resistance issues in the world. I was struck by a statement he made concerning tillage. He said, “I tell all of my no-tillers that what they need is a little bit of tillage, and I tell all of my tillers what they need is a little bit of no-till.” The basic concept being that occasionally you need to change what you are doing to prevent or slow down the shift in weed species or populations that occurs anytime you do the same thing over and over again, whether that be the same herbicide application, tillage operation, crop selection, etc.

Two Are Better Than One

In the Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck wrote, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lif’ up his gellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up …” Little did Steinbeck know that this sound advice also applies to herbicides.

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