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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jun 8;59(11):5819-29. doi: 10.1021/jf101286h. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

Herbicide-resistant crops: utilities and limitations for herbicide-resistant weed management.

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Stine-Haskell Research Center, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., Newark, Delaware 19714-0030, USA.


Since 1996, genetically modified herbicide-resistant (HR) crops, particularly glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops, have transformed the tactics that corn, soybean, and cotton growers use to manage weeds. The use of GR crops continues to grow, but weeds are adapting to the common practice of using only glyphosate to control weeds. Growers using only a single mode of action to manage weeds need to change to a more diverse array of herbicidal, mechanical, and cultural practices to maintain the effectiveness of glyphosate. Unfortunately, the introduction of GR crops and the high initial efficacy of glyphosate often lead to a decline in the use of other herbicide options and less investment by industry to discover new herbicide active ingredients. With some exceptions, most growers can still manage their weed problems with currently available selective and HR crop-enabled herbicides. However, current crop management systems are in jeopardy given the pace at which weed populations are evolving glyphosate resistance. New HR crop technologies will expand the utility of currently available herbicides and enable new interim solutions for growers to manage HR weeds, but will not replace the long-term need to diversify weed management tactics and discover herbicides with new modes of action. This paper reviews the strengths and weaknesses of anticipated weed management options and the best management practices that growers need to implement in HR crops to maximize the long-term benefits of current technologies and reduce weed shifts to difficult-to-control and HR weeds.

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