Summit to focus on herbicide-resistant weeds

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The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) announced it will co-sponsor an upcoming scientific summit on how to manage herbicide-resistant weeds – a costly and growing problem threatening crop production across the U.S. and around the globe.

The May 10 event is being organized by the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences, and will be held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Several WSSA members will deliver presentations or participate in panel discussions. Among them is David Shaw, former president of WSSA and immediate past chairman of its Herbicide Resistance Education Committee. He will address best management practices that can combat herbicide resistance.

“A significant contributing factor in the evolution of resistance is the repeated use of a single herbicide mode of action,” Shaw says. “To counter this dangerous trend, we need to move to integrated weed management programs that incorporate a variety of other control methods. Doing so can help us preserve crop yields, herbicide effectiveness and the sustainability of vital agricultural production systems.”

Other WSSA scientists on the program include:

  • Michael Owen, professor of agronomy at Iowa State University, who will speak on the nature of herbicide resistance in weeds.
  • Jodie Holt, professor of plant physiology at the University of California-Riverside, who will speak on the epidemiology of herbicide resistance.
  • Stephen Powles, professor of weed science at the University of Western Australia, who will discuss what his country is doing to combat herbicide resistance.
  • Harold Coble, agronomist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service, who will speak on ways to address the pressing problem of herbicide resistance.
  • Dale Shaner, plant physiologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, who will participate in a panel discussion on impediments to the use of best management practices.
  • John Soteres of Monsanto Company, chairman of the Herbicide Resistance Action Committee, who will participate on a panel discussing ways to encourage the adoption of best management practices.

Last fall WSSA introduced a free training program on herbicide resistance that is tailored for pesticide applicators, growers, agrichemical retailers, farm consultants and other industry stakeholders. The peer-reviewed materials are currently available in English and in Spanish on the WSSA website at http://wssa.net/LessonModules/herbicide-resistant-weeds and on the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship (PES) website at pesticidestewardship.org.
For more information on the National Summit, visit http://nas-sites.org/hr-weeds-summit.


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