Navigating a critical juncture for sustainable weed management

David Mortensen, J. Franklin Egan, Bruce D. Maxwell, Matthew R. Ryan, Richard G. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

185 Scopus citations

Abstract

Agricultural weed management has become entrenched in a single tacticherbicideresistant cropsand needs greater emphasis on integrated practices that are sustainable over the long term. In response to the outbreak of glyphosate-resistant weeds, the seed and agrichemical industries are developing crops that are genetically modified to have combined resistance to glyphosate and synthetic auxin herbicides. This technology will allow these herbicides to be used over vastly expanded areas and will likely create three interrelated challenges for sustainable weed management. First, crops with stacked herbicide resistance are likely to increase the severity of resistant weeds. Second, these crops will facilitate a significant increase in herbicide use, with potential negative consequences for environmental quality. Finally, the short-term fix provided by the new traits will encourage continued neglect of public research and extension in integrated weed management. Here, we discuss the risks to sustainable agriculture from the new resistant crops and present alternatives for research and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalBioScience
Volume62
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Mortensen, D., Egan, J. F., Maxwell, B. D., Ryan, M. R., & Smith, R. G. (2012). Navigating a critical juncture for sustainable weed management. BioScience, 62(1), 75-84. https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2012.62.1.12