The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) announced the availability of three new education modules on herbicide resistance in weeds, available free online at www.wssa.net/resistance.

WSSA scientists say a significant contributing factor in the evolution of herbicide resistance is the repeated use of a single chemical in the absence of other control methods. To stress the vital importance of a more varied, integrated approach, the society adopted a comprehensive, multiyear initiative focused on education.

The first training materials were launched in 2011, beginning with a module on herbicide resistance in agronomic crops. The newest additions to WSSA’s online training resources address other environments where herbicide resistance management is imperative.

  • Aquatic: WSSA partnered with the Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS) to develop educational materials on herbicide resistance in lakes, waterways and other aquatic environments. Three online lessons describe aquatic plant control, herbicide selection and effective ways to manage specific scenarios. A free white paper developed by APMS on herbicide resistance stewardship is also available for download. "All of the herbicides registered by the EPA over the past decade for aquatic use have shown the potential for resistance when used on land-based weeds,” says Cody Gray, APMS representative to WSSA. “It is imperative that we take effective steps now to avoid future resistance problems in aquatic environments.
  • Noncrop: Plant and soil scientists from Mississippi State University and the University of Kentucky led the development of a training module on the herbicide resistance issues that impact weed control in forests, along roadsides and railways, and across rangelands and other noncrop environments. Five lessons are included – from best management practices to the current status of weeds already resistant to herbicides.
  • Turf: Scientists from 10 universities across the U.S. and Canada teamed with industry experts to develop materials on resistance issues in turf. Five lessons address how herbicides work, the development of herbicide resistance, the current status of resistant weeds, how to scout for and confirm resistance, and effective, integrated approaches to weed management.

In addition to free educational materials, WSSA’s website provides links to a wide variety of resources on herbicide resistance from both WSSA and other organizations.

WSSA also is sponsoring a September 10 summit in Washington, D.C., hosted by the National Research Council at the Auditorium in the National Academy of Sciences Building on Constitution Avenue. The event will focus on the devastating threat of herbicide resistance to agricultural productivity. Anyone interested is invited to attend. Details are available at www.wssa.net/resistance.

“We firmly believe knowledge is power,” says David Shaw, Ph.D., past president of WSSA and chair of the organization’s Herbicide Resistance Education Committee. “When farmers, land managers, aquatic managers and others involved in weed management have a better understanding of herbicide resistance and how to manage it, they can make smarter choices and take proactive steps to delay or mitigate the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds.”