Steve Fennimore is a Professor of Extension with the University of California, Davis located since 1997 at Salinas, CA USA. Steve conducts a research and extension program focused on weed management in vegetables, flowers and strawberries in coastal California. His specialization is in non-chemical weed management technologies. Current projects include automated weed removal, and steam for soil disinfestation. Steve grew up on a vegetable farm in western Oregon. From 1983 to 1993, Steve worked in the Agricultural Chemical industry with ICI Americas/Zeneca. He left industry in 1994 and returned to graduate school at Purdue University where he received his PhD in 1997.
Vegetable crops increasingly benefit from the development of automated weed removal technologies. These crops have high weed control costs due to extensive use of expensive hand weeding labor and few or no herbicides. The first automated weeders on the market have been reliant on “seeing” the row pattern to detect where the crop is, and then cultivate around the crop. The newest weeders use deep learning to actually “learn” the difference between a crop and a weed. Development of automated weeding technology in vegetable crops will provide new opportunities to manage weeds throughout the cropping systems.