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Limited information exists on the global economic impact of glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds. The objective of this manuscript was to estimate the potential yield and economic loss from uncontrolled GR weeds in the major field crops grown in Ontario, Canada. The impact of GR weed interference on field crop yield was determined using an extensive database of field trials completed on commercial farms in southwestern Ontario between 2010 and 2021. Crop yield loss was estimated by expert opinion (weed scientists and Ontario government crop specialists) when research data were unavailable. This manuscript assumes that crop producers adjust their weed management programs to control GR weeds, which increases weed management costs but reduces crop yield loss from GR weed interference by 95%. GR volunteer corn, horseweed, waterhemp, giant ragweed, and common ragweed would cause an annual monetary loss of (in millions of Can$) $172, $104, $11, $3, and $0.3, respectively, for a total annual loss of $290 million if Ontario farmers did not adjust their weed management programs to control GR biotypes. The increased herbicide cost to control GR volunteer corn, horseweed, waterhemp, giant ragweed, and common ragweed in the major field crops in Ontario is estimated to be (in millions of Can$) $17, $9, $2, $0.1, and $0.02, respectively, for a total increase in herbicide expenditures of $28 million annually. Reduced GR weed interference with the adjusted weed management programs would reduce farm-gate monetary crop loss by 95% from $290 million to $15 million. This study estimates that GR weeds would reduce the farm-gate value of the major field crops produced in Ontario by Can$290 million annually if Ontario farmers did not adjust their weed management programs, but with increased herbicide costs of Can$28 million and reduced crop yield loss of 95% the actual annual monetary loss in Ontario is estimated to be Can$43 million annually.
Two studies were conducted to ascertain the biologically effective dose (BED) of flumioxazin and pyroxasulfone for multiple herbicide–resistant (MHR) waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) Sauer] control in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] in southwestern Ontario, Canada, during 2016 and 2017. In the flumioxazin study, the predicted flumioxazin doses for 50%, 80%, and 90% MHR A. tuberculatus control were 19, 37, and 59 g ai ha−1 at 2 wk after application (WAA) and 31, 83, and 151 g ai ha−1, respectively, at 12 WAA. The predicted flumioxazin doses to cause 5% and 10% soybean injury were 129 and 404 g ai ha−1, respectively, at 2 wk after emergence (WAE), and the predicted flumioxazin doses to obtain 50%, 80%, and 95% of the weed-free control plot’s yield were determined to be 3, 14, and 65 g ai ha−1, respectively. In the pyroxasulfone study, the predicted pyroxasulfone doses that provided 50%, 80%, and 90% MHR A. tuberculatus visible control were 25, 50, and 88 g ai ha−1 at 2 WAA and 41, 109, and 274 g ai ha−1 at 12 WAA, respectively. The dose of pyroxasulfone predicted for 80% reduction in MHR A. tuberculatus density was 117 g ai ha−1, and the doses of pyroxasulfone predicted for 80% and 90% reduction in A. tuberculatus biomass were 204 and 382 g ai ha−1, respectively. The predicted doses of pyroxasulfone that caused 5% and 10% injury in soybean at 2 WAE were 585 and 698 g ai ha−1, respectively. The predicted doses of pyroxasulfone required to obtain 50%, 80%, and 95% yield relative to the weed-free plots were 6, 24, and 112 g ai ha−1, respectively. Flumioxazin and pyroxasulfone applied preemergence at the appropriate doses provided early-season MHR A. tuberculatus control in soybean.
Glyphosate-resistant (GR) horseweed was first confirmed in Ontario in 2010. GR horseweed interference can reduce soybean yield by up to 97%. Bromoxynil is a photosystem II–inhibiting herbicide that is primarily used for annual broadleaf weed control in monocot crops. The objective of this study was to determine the biologically effective dose (BED) of bromoxynil applied alone and when mixed with metribuzin applied preplant for control of GR horseweed in soybean in Ontario. Five field experiments were conducted over a 2-yr period (2019–2020) to determine the predicted dose of bromoxynil with or without metribuzin that would control GR horseweed 50%, 80%, and 95%. No soybean injury was observed. The predicted doses of bromoxynil to achieve 50% and 80% control of GR horseweed were 98 and 277 g ai ha−1, respectively, at 8 wk after application (WAA). When mixed with metribuzin (400 g ai ha−1), the predicted doses of bromoxynil for 50%, 80%, and 95% control of GR horseweed were 10, 25, and 54 g ai ha−1, respectively. Bromoxynil (280 g ai ha−1) plus metribuzin (400 g ai ha−1) controlled GR horseweed 97%, a finding that was similar to the industry standards of saflufenacil + metribuzin (99% control) and glyphosate/dicamba + saflufenacil (100% control) at 8 WAA. This study concludes that bromoxynil + metribuzin applied before planting provides excellent control of GR horseweed in soybean.
The objective of this research was to determine the potential use of commercially available multispectral images to detect weeds at low densities during the critical period of weed control. Common lambsquarters seedlings were transplanted into plots of glyphosate-resistant corn at 0, 1, 2, and 4 plants/m2 at two sites, Agronomy Center for Research and Extension (ACRE) and Meig's Horticultural Research Farm at the Throckmorton–Purdue Agricultural Center (TPAC), in Indiana. Aerial multispectral images (12 to 16 cm pixel resolution) were taken 18 and 32 days after planting (DAP) at ACRE and 19 and 32 DAP at TPAC. Corn and common lambsquarters could not be reliably detected and differentiated at either site when weeds were 9 cm or less in height. However, economic threshold densities (2 and 4 plants/m2) of common lambsquarters could be distinguished from weed-free plots at TPAC when weeds were 17 cm in height. At this height, common lambsquarters plants were beyond the optimal height for glyphosate application, but could still be readily controlled with higher rates. Results from this study indicate that commercially available multispectral aerial imagery at current spatial resolutions does not provide consistently reliable data for detection of early season weeds in glyphosate-resistant corn cropping systems. Additional refinement in sensor spatial and spectral resolution is necessary to increase our ability to successfully detect early season weed infestations.
Corn and soybean growers across Indiana were surveyed during winter 2003/2004 to assess their perceptions about the importance of glyphosate-resistant weeds and management tactics to prevent development of resistant populations. The survey showed two intriguing observations. First, 65% of survey respondents expressed moderate or low levels of concern about weeds developing resistance to glyphosate, whereas 36% expressed a high level of concern. Second, when asked an open-ended question regarding the factors that contribute to development of glyphosate-resistant weeds, 58% of the responses included repeated use of the same mode of action. Other factors such as poor application techniques or timing (33%), unique weed characteristics (8%) and changes in tillage practices (1%) were also mentioned. The survey showed that even though a relatively low percentage of respondents were highly concerned about resistance, they still expressed a willingness to use field scouting, tank-mix partners with glyphosate for burn-down and postemergence weed control, and soil-applied residual herbicides as resistance management strategies. This survey also showed that growers who farm 800 ha or more were more concerned about glyphosate resistance and more likely to adopt resistance management strategies than smaller growers.
In a previous study, glyphosate-susceptible and -resistant giant ragweed
biotypes grown in sterile field soil survived a higher rate of glyphosate
than those grown in unsterile field soil, and the roots of the susceptible
biotype were colonized by a larger number of soil microorganisms than those
of the resistant biotype when treated with 1.6 kg ae ha−1
glyphosate. Thus, we concluded that soil-borne microbes play a role in
glyphosate activity and now hypothesize that the ability of the resistant
biotype to tolerate glyphosate may involve microbial interactions in the
rhizosphere. The objective of this study was to evaluate differences in the
rhizosphere microbial communities of glyphosate-susceptible and -resistant
giant ragweed biotypes 3 d after a glyphosate treatment. Giant ragweed
biotypes were grown in the greenhouse in unsterile field soil and glyphosate
was applied at either 0 or 1.6 kg ha−1. Rhizosphere soil was
sampled 3 d after the glyphosate treatment, and DNA was extracted, purified,
and sequenced with the use of Illumina Genome Analyzer next-generation
sequencing. The taxonomic distribution of the microbial community,
diversity, genera abundance, and community structure within the rhizosphere
of the two giant ragweed biotypes in response to a glyphosate application
was evaluated by metagenomics analysis. Bacteria comprised approximately 96%
of the total microbial community in both biotypes, and differences in the
distribution of some microbes at the phyla level were observed. Select
soil-borne plant pathogens (Verticillium and
Xanthomonas) and plant-growth–promoting rhizobacteria
(Burkholderia) present in the rhizosphere were
influenced by either biotype or glyphosate application. We did not, however,
observe large differences in the diversity or structure of soil microbial
communities among our treatments. The results of this study indicate that
challenging giant ragweed biotypes with glyphosate causes perturbations in
rhizosphere microbial communities and that the perturbations differ between
the susceptible and resistant biotypes. However, biological relevance of the
rhizosphere microbial community data that we obtained by next-generation
sequencing remains unclear.
Undesirable stands of hybrid corn often result in a decision to replant; removal of the initial corn is recommended to reduce competition for available resources. Because much of the hybrid corn is glyphosate-resistant (GR), the particular herbicide and timing for control is challenging. No-till field trials were established in central and northeast Missouri in 2009 and 2010 to determine the efficacy of glufosinate POST in glufosinate-resistant corn or imazethapyr plus imazapyr POST in imidazolinone-resistant corn for the control of GR corn. Separate blocks of glufosinate-resistant and imidazolinone-resistant corn were planted in 76 cm rows, with GR corn established between rows at densities of 1 (low) and 4 (high) plants m−2. Herbicides were broadcast at corn heights of 10, 20, and 40 cm. Visual estimates of control rated 5 wk after treatment were highest for the 20 cm application height, ranging from 81 to 84% and 72 to 79% with glufosinate or imazethapyr plus imazapyr, respectively. Control was unacceptable at 10 and 40 cm, ranging from 26 to 62% and 24 to 83%. Dry weights per plant indicated that applications at all heights reduced GR corn biomass a minimum of 94 and 82% with glufosinate or imazethapyr plus imazapyr, respectively. Although control of GR corn with single applications of glufosinate and imazethapyr plus imazapyr was unacceptable for two of three application heights, reductions in corn biomass indicate applications were effective.
Glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops have been adopted rapidly since their commercial introduction, and with the increase in commercially available crops resistant to glyphosate, continuous use of the same herbicide mode of action is now possible in some crop rotations. A 6-yr study was initiated to investigate the effects of conventional herbicides compared with continuous use of glyphosate in GR or Roundup Ready corn and GR soybean in a corn–soybean and a corn–soybean–winter wheat rotation. Individual experiments were fully phased and established at three locations under conventional tillage (CT) and at two locations under no-tillage (NT). Results indicated that midseason weed ground cover was lower when weeds were controlled with glyphosate; however, in most cases, this did not result in improved corn or soybean yields. Within locations, species richness, which strongly influenced other diversity indicators, was most affected by the herbicide treatments. Including winter wheat in the crop rotation had little effect on corn and soybean weed ground cover, density, and community structure and only affected soybean yield. Moreover, no effects of herbicide system used in previous corn and soybean were observed in winter wheat, with the exception of species diversity in NT, where species diversity tended to be greater when weeds in previous corn and soybean were treated with conventional herbicides. After 6 yr, the effects of continuous use of GR crops in rotation were similar to those reported in previous studies; however, continued monitoring and longer-term investigations of these systems are necessary to detect the early stages of development of herbicide-resistant biotypes.
Horseweed is a winter or summer annual plant, native to North America and distributed worldwide in temperate climates. This plant is considered an important agricultural weed because it can reduce agricultural yields by 90% at high densities and becomes problematic under low-tillage agriculture. Seed production is robust with an estimated 200,000 seeds produced per plant, and seed dispersal is wind-assisted. The confirmation of glyphosate-resistant horseweed in Delaware in 2001 and the rapid spread of the resistant biotype, currently covering more than 44,000 ha, has necessitated a change in the discussion about weed dispersal. Large radio-controlled airplanes were used to sample the lower atmosphere for the presence of horseweed seeds during a 3-d period in early September 2005 in southern Delaware. The collection of multiple seeds at heights ranging from 41 to 140 m above ground level strongly suggests that horseweed seeds are entering the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) of the atmosphere, where long-ranged transport of aerial biota frequently occurs. With wind speeds in the PBL frequently exceeding 20 m s−1, seed dispersal can easily exceed 500 km in a single dispersal event.
A segment of the debate surrounding the commercialization and use of glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops focuses on the theory that the implementation of these traits is an extension of the intensification of agriculture that will further erode the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. A large field-scale study was initiated in 2006 in the United States on 156 different field sites with a minimum 3-yr history of GR-corn, -cotton or -soybean in the cropping system. The impact of cropping system, crop rotation, frequency of using the GR crop trait, and several categorical variables on seedbank weed population density and diversity was analyzed. The parameters of total weed population density of all species in the seedbank, species richness, Shannon's H′ and evenness were not affected by any management treatment. The similarity between the seedbank and aboveground weed community was more strongly related to location than management; previous year's crops and cropping systems were also important while GR trait rotation was not. The composition of the weed flora was more strongly related to location (geography) than any other parameter. The diversity of weed flora in agricultural sites with a history of GR crop production can be influenced by several factors relating to the specific method in which the GR trait is integrated (cropping system, crop rotation, GR trait rotation), the specific weed species, and the geographical location. Continuous GR crop, compared to fields with other cropping systems, only had greater species diversity (species richness) of some life forms, i.e., biennials, winter annuals, and prostrate weeds. Overall diversity was related to geography and not cropping system. These results justify further research to clarify the complexities of crops grown with herbicide-resistance traits to provide a more complete characterization of their culture and local adaptation to the weed seedbank.
Glyphosate-resistant (GR) cropping systems are popular and used extensively
by producers. However, the long-term impacts of heavy reliance of this
technology on weed community structure are not known. Five fully phased
field experiments (two no-tillage and three conventional tillage) were
established at four locations in southwestern Ontario where the effects of
herbicide system (glyphosate or conventional) in corn and soybean and crop
rotation (corn–soybean or corn–soybean–winter wheat) on midseason weed
communities were examined. Multivariate analysis on data over the last 3 yr
of the 6-yr experiment showed that weed communities were distinctly
different among the treatments within each experiment. At several locations,
midseason weed communities were more similar in corn and soybean treated
with glyphosate compared to the same crops treated with conventional
herbicides, reflecting the continuous application of the same selection
pressure in both crops. Analysis of trait-densities revealed an increase in
species with late initiation of seedling recruitment at the expense of weed
species with medium time of initiation of seedling recruitment rather than
early recruiting species. Increases in perennial species, species with a
short interval between recruitment and anthesis, and wind-dispersed species
were also observed. Trait-density–based analysis of the weed community was
an effective method for reducing the complexity of divergent weed
communities that enabled direct quantitative comparison of the
herbicide-induced effects on these weed communities.
Transgenic volunteer corn is a competitive weed in soybean that decreases soybean yield at densities as low as 0.5 plants m−2, yet the competitive effects of volunteer corn in corn have yet to be quantified in the peer-reviewed literature. In order to quantify competition between volunteer corn and hybrid corn, seed was harvested from transgenic hybrid corn. The seed was then hand-planted at two locations (Lafayette, IN and Wanatah, IN) into 3 by 9 m plots of hybrid corn at five densities: 0 (control), 0.5, 2, 4, and 8 plants m−2. Volunteer corn competition reduced leaf area and biomass of hybrid corn plants. Hybrid corn grain yield at Lafayette, IN, was reduced by 23 and 22% due to competition with volunteer corn growing in densities of 8 plants m−2 in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but when volunteer corn grain yield was combined with the hybrid corn grain yield, there was no reduction in total grain yield. This study demonstrates that the competitive effects on the grain yield of the hybrid corn will be offset by the grain yield of the volunteer plants. However, because the unpredictable locations and densities of volunteer corn plants present challenges to machine harvesting, future studies should examine what proportion of the volunteer crop is actually harvestable.
Glyphosate-resistant corn was grown in 38- and 76-cm row spacings at two locations in 2001 to examine the effect of weed competition and row spacing on soil moisture. Volumetric soil moisture was measured to a depth of 0.9 m in 18-cm increments. Glyphosate was applied when average weed canopy heights reached 5, 10, 15, 23, and 30 cm. Season-long weed interference reduced soil moisture compared with the weed free controls. At Clarksville, MI, where common lambsquarters was the dominant weed species, weed interference reduced soil moisture in the 0- to 18-cm soil depth from late June through early August and at the 54- to 72- and 72- to 90-cm depths from mid-July through the end of the season. At East Lansing, MI, where giant foxtail was the dominant weed species, weed interference reduced soil moisture at the 18- to 36-, 36- to 54-, and 54- to 72-cm soil depths from mid-June to the end of the season. Season-long weed competition reduced yields more than 90% at each location. Weeds that emerged after the 5-cm glyphosate timing reduced soil moisture and grain yield at both locations. Delaying glyphosate applications until weeds reached 23 cm or more in height reduced corn yield at both locations and soil moisture at East Lansing. Grain yields in the 10- and 15-cm glyphosate-timing treatments were equal to the weed-free corn, even though soil moisture was less during pollination and grain fill. Row spacing did not affect grain yield but did affect soil moisture. Soil moisture was greater in the 76-cm row spacing, suggesting that corn in the 38-cm row spacing may have been able to access soil moisture more effectively.
Volunteer Enlist corn with the AAD-1 (aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenase-1) transgene can become a problem when glyphosate-resistant (GR) soybean follows Enlist corn in the rotation. Field trials were conducted at Ridgetown, Ontario in 2013 and 2014 to evaluate the control of volunteer Enlist corn in GR soybean. Glyphosate plus clethodim at 30 g ai ha−1 provided 75 to 92% control of volunteer Enlist corn at 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks after treatment application (WAT) and reduced volunteer Enlist corn density and dry weight 95 to 97%. Glyphosate plus clethodim at 60 g ai ha−1 provided 84 to 98% control of volunteer Enlist corn at 1, 2, 4, and 8 WAT and reduced volunteer Enlist corn density and dry weight 97 to 99%. Glyphosate plus sethoxydim at 150 g ai ha−1 provided 66 to 86% control of volunteer Enlist corn at 1, 2, 4, and 8 WAT and reduced volunteer Enlist corn density and dry weight 91 to 97%. Glyphosate plus sethoxydim at 300 g ha−1 provided 84 to 96% control of volunteer Enlist corn at 1, 2, 4, and 8 WAT and reduced volunteer Enlist corn density and dry weight 96 to 98%. Glyphosate plus fenoxaprop-p-ethyl, fluazifop-p-butyl, and quizalofop-p-ethyl applied POST provided 0 to 9% control of volunteer Enlist corn at 1, 2, 4, and 8 WAT and reduced volunteer Enlist corn density and dry weight 18 to 44%. Soybean yields closely reflected the level of volunteer Enlist corn control. Based on these results, the cyclohexanedione herbicides, clethodim and sethoxydim, provide adequate control of volunteer Enlist corn in GR soybean. In contrast, the aryloxyphenoxypropionate herbicides, fenoxaprop-p-ethyl, fluazifop-p-butyl and quizalofop-p-ethyl do not provide control of volunteer Enlist corn in GR soybean.
Composition and abundance of weed populations often change in response to new or extensively used weed management practices. Glyphosate-resistant (GR) technology is one such weed management practice now used extensively. A recent survey of weed scientists was conducted to address weed shifts in GR corn, cotton, and soybean. Twelve scientists in 11 states responded to the survey. Averaged over estimates from scientists, GR corn, cotton, and soybean were planted on 15, 90, and 88% of the hectarage in 2003, respectively. Acreage of GR corn is expected to rise, whereas only minor changes in acreage of GR cotton or soybean are expected. Weed shifts have not been observed in GR corn but have occurred in GR cotton and soybean. In GR cotton, Amaranthus, Commelina, Ipomoea, and Cyperus species as well as annual grasses were noted as becoming more problematic. Similar to cotton, Ipomoea and Commelina species are becoming more troublesome in GR soybean. In addition, in GR soybean, various winter annuals, lambsquarters species, and waterhemp species were noted as becoming more problematic. All scientists felt that weeds shifts were occurring, and two-thirds of these scientists noted that weed shifts are currently of economic concern. The scientists recommend the following to help manage weed shifts: additional herbicides in mixture with glyphosate, rotation to herbicides other than glyphosate, rotation to non–GR crops, and greater use of soil-applied herbicides.
Field studies were conducted in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee during 2010 and 2011 to determine the effect of glufosinate application rate on LibertyLink and WideStrike cotton. Glufosinate was applied in a single application (three-leaf cotton) or sequential application (three-leaf followed by eight-leaf cotton) at 0.6, 1.2, 1.8, and 2.4 kg ai ha−1. Glufosinate application rate did not affect visual injury or growth parameters measured in LibertyLink cotton. No differences in LibertyLink cotton yield were observed because of glufosinate application rate; however, LibertyLink cotton treated with glufosinate yielded slightly more cotton than the nontreated check. Visual estimates of injury to WideStrike cotton increased with each increase in glufosinate application rate. However, the injury was transient, and by 28 d after the eight-leaf application, no differences in injury were observed. WideStrike cotton growth was adversely affected during the growing season following glufosinate application at rates of 1.2 kg ha−1 and greater; however, cotton height and total nodes were unaffected by glufosinate application rate at the end of the season. WideStrike cotton maturity was delayed, and yields were reduced following glufosinate application at rates of 1.2 kg ha−1 and above. Fiber quality of LibertyLink and WideStrike cotton was unaffected by glufosinate application rate. These data indicate that glufosinate may be applied to WideStrike cotton at rates of 0.6 kg ha−1 without inhibiting cotton growth, development, or yield. Given the lack of injury or yield reduction following glufosinate application to LibertyLink cotton, these cultivars possess robust resistance to glufosinate. Growers are urged to be cautious when increasing glufosinate application rates to increase control of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in WideStrike cotton. However, glufosinate application rates may be increased to maximum labeled rates when making applications to LibertyLink cotton without fear of reducing cotton growth, development, or yield.
Field studies were conducted to examine both density and duration of glyphosate-resistant (GR) horseweed interference in cotton. Two studies, one examining the effect of horseweed density and a second the duration of horseweed interference, were conducted on a site with a natural population of horseweed that were treated with glyphosate at 0.84 kg ae ha−1 prior to planting and at the 2nd and 4th cotton node growth stages. GR horseweed density effect on cotton height, maturity, and lint yield was determined at horseweed densities of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 plants m−2. Duration of horseweed interference was evaluated when 20 horseweed m−2 were allowed to interfere with cotton from emergence to 2nd node, 6th node, 10th node, 12th node, and 1st bloom stage of cotton. The maximum cotton lint yield loss (46%) occurred when horseweed was allowed to compete with cotton from emergence to maturity at the two highest densities (20 and 25 horseweed m−2). When the data were fit to the Cousens model the estimated a (maximum yield loss) and i (yield loss per unit density as density approaches zero) were 53 ± 7.3 and 2.8 ± 0.6 SE, respectively. In both years of the study, horseweed interference from emergence to the 2nd cotton node did not reduce cotton lint yields. In 2006, cotton lint yield loss was 28% compared to 39% in 2005 when horseweed interfered with cotton from emergence until the 6th cotton node. Cotton lint yield loss was 37 and 44% when horseweed competed to the 8th cotton node in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Maximum horseweed seed production was 134,000 to 148,000 seeds m−2.
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