Biotech Updates

Controlling the Development of Glyphosate-Resistant Weeds Development

November 20, 2009

The wide use of glyphosate resistant biotech crops over the last 13 years caused some alarm to scientists who have observed the growing number of weeds developing resistance to glyphosate. "Unfortunately it is too late to prevent glyphosate resistance from developing," says David Shaw, Weed Science Society of America president. "It's a problem that is already with us. The challenge now is to adopt effective management techniques that can keep resistance from spreading."

To come up with an effective management technique and learn the economics of the technology, a four-year research project was conducted in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, and North Carolina. This will compare in detail the economics of the university-recommended, herbicide resistance management programs with the use of glyphosate as an exclusive treatment for weed control. Results at the end of the third year of the study showed that, net returns on fields managed according to recommended best practices are equal to or greater than the returns on those where glyphosate is used alone.

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