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StudyFarmers can't get too complacent with glyphosate resistance

Agriculture.com Staff 06/30/2009 @ 11:34am

Survey results published in the quarterly journal Weed Technology indicate U.S. farmers in general do not feel a sense of urgency when it comes to developing a deeper understanding of the herbicide glyphosate and its relationship to weed resistance. That's spawned a multi-state study on glyphosate resistance and whether today's means for weed control are sustainable.

Many of the farmers surveyed for the study, U.S. Farmer Awareness of Glyphosate-Resistant Weeds and Resistance Management Strategies, who grow glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops in six states, reported that they were not very concerned about the emergence of GR weeds. However, the more often glyphosate is used, the more likely GR weeds will evolve. In fact, many weeds are already resistant, and this has and will continue to have economic ramifications.

"The weed science community must consider important research areas when developing glyphosate resistance management strategies. For example, we actually know little about the biochemical mechanisms for glyphosate resistance in weeds; research into specific mechanisms could help in developing more sustainable management practices," writes William Johnson, lead author of 9 agronomy professionals who penned the study. "Programs need to develop and transfer technology to farmers for economically sustainable and environmentally acceptable chemical managementof weeds."

In an effort to show more clearly the potential effects of glyphosate resistance in the future, the report indicates a large-scale study is in the works, Johnson says. "To address this larger issue, a multistate fieldscale project is underway in the six U.S. states where this survey was conducted. The objective is to compare GE GR–based crop production system practices with alternative input approaches to determine whether current GE crop production systems are sustainable," the authors write. "The project will encompass field-scale assessments of weed management tactics in a variety of crop rotation systems over a number of years."

Survey results published in the quarterly journal Weed Technology indicate U.S. farmers in general do not feel a sense of urgency when it comes to developing a deeper understanding of the herbicide glyphosate and its relationship to weed resistance. That's spawned a multi-state study on glyphosate resistance and whether today's means for weed control are sustainable.

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