Direct Talk on....Weeds expert James Clarke says...
Weeds developing resistance to herbicides pose a significant threat to profitability, and undermine our ability to produce food and fuel crops and to meet many environmental objectives.
In general the more effective a herbicide is, the greater the risk of resistance.
The more herbicides that are used the lower is overall crop profitability, and the more likely it is that they will be found in water and that control will be so broad spectrum that too few desirable plant species survive.
Spring cropping, to counter severe grassweed resistance, may be good for biodiversity and reduce herbicide use, but it reduces production and leaves little profit.
So how can we move forward?
We must develop our understanding of resistance based on weed biology and herbicides’ impact.
We can’t rely on new products becoming available, so we must strive to hold onto a wide range of useful ones.
Mixtures and sequences only delay resistance so we must use them effectively and efficiently alongside cost-effective cultural control.
We should also use all herbicides in a way that reduces risks to water quality.
Information is available to achieve both resistance and water quality objectives, but it must be readily accessible.