Communicating the global threat of herbicide resistance
June 7, 2012
As penicillin is to human health, so glyphosate is for weed control in global crops. This is the message from Professor Stephen Powles, Director of the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) in the newly released video, ‘Preserving glyphosate through diversity’.
Global grain and fibre production is substantially underpinned by herbicides for weed control. With the introduction of glyphosate resistant crops, and no-tillage farming practices, crop productivity has increased over the past 20 years. Likewise, over-reliance on herbicides has increased, with herbicide resistant weeds threatening global crop productivity and world food security.
The AHRI video showcases the issues leading up to the evolution of herbicide resistance, and offers workable solutions that growers can implement in their farming systems.
“By increasing our reliance on herbicides, we’ve increased our risk of herbicide resistant weeds. So while we’ve adopted no-till, and we must continue to do so, we’ve got to be more sustainable about our weed control and our herbicide use”, Professor Powles said.
It is crucial that the threat of herbicide resistance is addressed at both the research and practice levels. Throughout the last decade, Professor Powles' UWA-based, GRDC-funded team has been key to developing research into all aspects of herbicide resistance. As a result, today many Australian farmers have the tools and know-how to manage the resistance problem.
To aid in addressing the resistance threat, AHRI will host an international, multidisciplinary research conference to consider the global herbicide resistance challenge faced by agriculture. World authorities on herbicide resistance will converge in Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia for the Global Herbicide Resistance Challenge Conference from February 18-22, 2013. The first three days (18-21 February) will focus on state-of-the-art resistance science, addressing resistance from the molecular and biochemical, through to agro-ecological and socio-economic issues. The fourth day (22 February) will review herbicide resistance management, with a field tour on 23 February focusing on farm resistance management.
Early bird registration is available from now until July 31st. There are also one-day registration options available. For further information, visit the website, follow the Conference on Facebook and Twitter, or contact Conference Chair Lisa Mayer, T: 08 6488 7870, E: firstname.lastname@example.org.