Karen Renner, Ph.D.

Karen Renner

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Professor & Teaching Coordinator, Integrated weed management including weed seed fate and diversified cropping systems influence on weed dynamics.
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences



B.S. Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, 1978
M.S. Agronomy, University of Wisconsin, 1983
Ph.D. Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, 1986

Research Interests:

Weed seedbank dynamics including: Weed seed rain. Weed emergence by growing degree days. Weed seed dormancy due to maternal effects. Weed seed predation and weed seed decay. Influence of fertilizer on weed seed germination and emergence.

Other Information: 

  • Joined Department: April 1986
  • Appointment: 75% Teaching, 25% Research (2003-Present)
    50% Extension, 50% Research (1986-2003)

Classes Taught:

  • CSS 101- Introduction to Crop Science: Principles of crop management, improvement, and fertilization. International and sustainable agriculture. Water quality issues.
  • CSS 135- Crop Scouting and Investigation: Crop production, pest scouting and other production problems, and field diagnoses. Interaction with agriculture clientele. Offered half of semester.
  • CSS 192- Professional development: Career development, critical issues analysis, resume writing, scientific presentations and public speaking in crop and soil sciences.
  • CSS 488- Agricultural Cropping Systems: Integration and Problem Solving: Integration and synthesis of agronomic and related concepts in agricultural cropping systems. Problem solving and applicaiton of information.
  • CSS 802- Weed Biology: Weed biology, including weed seed production and dispersal and seed fate. Weed life history traits and ecophysiology, including invasive species. Data collection in weed ecology research.


  1. Brooker, A.P., K.A. Renner and C.L. Sprague. 2020. Interseeding cover crops in corn. Agron. J.112:139-147.
  2. Brooker, A.P., C. L. Sprague and K.A. Renner. 2019. Interseeded annual ryegrass,oilseed radish, and crimson clover tolerance toresidual herbicides commonly used in corn.Weed Technol.34:35-41.
  3. Silberg, T.R., Petrova, V.G., Richardson, R.B., Snapp, S. and K.A. Renner. 2019. Legume diversification and weed management in African cereal-based systems. Agricultural Systems. 174:83-94.
  4. Frost, M.D., Haramoto, E.R., Renner, K.A., Brainard, D.C. 2019. Tillage and cover crop effects on weed seed persistence: Do light exposure and fungal pathogens play a role? Weed Science, 67:103-113
  5. Hill, E.C. K.A. Renner, C. Sprague, and J. Fry. 2017. Structural Equation Modeling of Cover Crop Effects on Soil Nitrogen and Dry Bean. Agron. J. 109: p. 2781-2788.
  6. Hill, E.C., K.A. Renner, and C. Sprague. 2016. Cover Crop Impact on Nitrogen Availability and Dry Bean in an Organic System. Agron. J. 108: 329-341. Funding: NIFA 2010-51300-21224
  7. Hill, E.C., K. A. Renner, M. J. VanGessel, R.R. Bellinder, and B.A. Scott. 2016. Late-Season Weed Management to Stop Viable Weed Seed Production. Weed Sci. 64:112-118.
  8. Hill, E.C., K.A. Renner, C.L. Sprague, and A.S. Davis. 2016. Cover crop impact on weed dynamics in an organic dry bean system. Weed Sci. 64: 261-275. Funding: NIFA 2010-51300-21224.
  9. Hill, E. C., K. A. Renner, and C. L. Sprague. 2014. Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), Common Chickweed (Stellaria media), Shepherd's-Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), and Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense): Fecundity, Seed Dispersal, Dormancy, and Emergence. Weed Sci.62: 97-106.
  10. Davis, A.S., E. C. Taylor, E. R. Haramoto, and K.A. Renner. 2013. Annual postdispersal weed seed predation in contrasting field environments. Weed Sci. 61:296-302.
  11. Lindsey, A. J., K.A. Renner, and W. J. Everman. 2013. Cured Dairy Compost influence on Weed Competition and on ‘Snowden’ Potato Yield. Weed Technol. 27:378-388.
  12. Taylor, E. C., K. A. Renner, and C. L. Sprague. 2012. Organic Weed Management in Field Crops with a Propane Flamer and Rotary Hoe. Weed Technol. 26:793-799.
  13. Poling, K.W., K.A. Renner, and D. Penner. 2009. Dry edible bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) class and cultivar response to dimethenamid and metolachlor.  Weed Technol. 23:73-80.
  14. Kemp, N., E. C. Taylor, and K. A. Renner. 2009. Weed management in glyphosate- and glufosinate-resistant sugar beet. Weed Technol. 23:416-424
  15. Thelen, K.D., Renner, K.A., and L. Copeland. 2009. Crop-o-Rama: Exposing Youth to Educational and Career Opportunities in Agriculture. J. of Extension 47:4 Article # 4IAW3 http://www.joe.org/joe/2009august/iw3.php
  16. Taylor, E., K. Renner, and C. Sprague. 2008. Integrated Weed Management: Fine Tuning the System. Michigan State University Extension bulletin E-3065, 132pp.
  17. Schutte, B. J., A. S. Davis, K. A. Renner, and J. Cardina. 2008. Maternal and burial environment effects on seed mortality of velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) and giant foxtail (Setaria faberi).  Weed Sci. 56:834-840.
  18. Sweeney, A. E., K. A. Renner, C. Laboski, and A. Davis. 2008. Effect of fertilizer nitrogen on weed emergence and growth. Weed Sci. 56:714-721.
  19. Davis, A. S., B. J. Schutt, J. Iannuzzi, and K. Renner. 2008. Chemical and physical defense of weed seeds in relation to soil seedbank persistence. Weed Sci.  56:676-684.
  20. White, S. S., K. A. Renner, F. D. Menalled, and D. A. Landis. 2007. Feeding preferences of weed seed predators and the effect on weed emergence. Weed Sci. 55:606-612.
  21. Davis, A. S. and K. A. Renner. 2007. Influence of seed depth and pathogens on fatal germination on velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) and giant foxtail (Setaria faberi). Weed Sci. 55:30-35.
  22. Harder, D. B., C. L. Sprague, and K. A. Renner. 2007. Effect of soybean row width and population on weeds, crop yield, and economic return. Weed Technol. 21:744-752.
  23. Harder, D. B., C. L. Sprague, C. D. DiFonzo, K. A. Renner, E. J. Ott, and W. G. Johnson. 2007. Influence of stem boring insects on common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) control in soybean with glyphosate. Weed Technol. 21:241-248.
  24. Rich, A. M. and K. A. Renner. 2007. Row spacing and seeding rate effects on Eastern black nightshade (Solanum pyticanthum) and soybean. Weed Tech. 21:124-130.
  25. Menalled, F. D., M. Liebman, and K. A. Renner. 2006. The Ecology of Weed Seed Predation in Annual Cropping Systems, pages 297-327 in Handbook of Sustainable Weed Management. Daizy R. Batish, Ed. Haworth Press, Inc., Binghamton, NY
  26. Dale, T. M., K. A. Renner, and A. N. Kravchenko. 2006. Effect of Herbicides on Weed Control and Sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris) yield and quality. Weed Technol. 20:150-156
  27. Dale, T.M. and K. A. Renner. 2005. Timing of postemergence micro-rate applications based on growing degree days in sugarbeet. Journal of Sugar Beet Research 42:87-102.
  28. Dale, T. M., J. M. McGrath, and K. A. Renner. 2005. Response of sugarbeet varieties and populations to postemergence herbicides. Journal of Sugar Beet Research 42:119-126
  29. Davis, A. S., J. Cardina, F. Forcella, G. A. Johnson, G. Kegode, J. L. Lindquist, E. C. Luschei, K. A. Renner, C. L. Sprague, and M. M. Williams. 2005. Environmental factors affecting seed persistence of annual weeds across the U.S. corn belt. Weed Sci. 53:860-868.
  30. Davis, A. S., K. A. Renner, and K. L. Gross. 2005. Weed seedbank and community shifts in a long-term cropping systems experiment. Weed Sci. 53:296-306
  31. Lee, C. D., K. A. Renner, D. Penner, R. Hammerschmidt, and J. D. Kelly. 2005. Glyphosate-resistant soybean management system effect on Sclerotinia Stem Rot. Weed Technology 19:580-588
  32. Davis, A. , K. Renner, C. Sprague, L. Dyer, and D. Mutch. 2005. Integrated Weed Management: "One Year's Seeding..." a new Extension Bulletin. Michigan State University Extension bulletin E-2931, pp, 112.
  33. Dalley, C. D., J. J. Kells, and K. A. Renner. 2004. Effect of glyphosate application timing and row spacing on corn (Zea mays) and soybean (Glycine max) yields. Weed Technol. 18: 165-176.
  34. Dalley, C. D., J. J. Kells, and K. A. Renner. 2004. Effect of glyphosate application timing and row spacing on weed growth in corn (Zea mays) and soybean (Glycine max). Weed Technol. 18:177-182
  35. Nelson, K. A., K. A. Renner, and R. Hammerschmidt. 2002. Cultivar and herbicide selection affects soybean development and the incidence of Sclerotinia Stem Rot. Agronomy J. 94:1270-1281
  36. Swinton, S. M., K. A. Renner, and J. J. Kells. 2002. On-farm comparison of three postemergence weed management decision aids in Michigan. Weed Technol. 16:691-698
  37. Nelson, K. A. and K. A. Renner. 2002. Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) control and tuber production with glyphosate and ALS-inhibiting herbicides. Weed Technol. 16:512-519.
  38. Nelson, K.A., K. A. Renner, and D. Penner. 2002. Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) control and tuber yield with glyphosate and glufosinate. Weed Technol. 16:360-36
  39. Nelson, K.A., K. A. Renner, and R. Hammerschmidt. 2002. Effects of protoporphyrinogen oxidase inhibitors on soybean (Glycine max L.) response, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum disease development, and phytoalexin production by soybean. Weed Technol. 16:353-359.