Integrated weed management systems with herbicide-tolerant crops in the European Union: lessons learnt from home and abroad.
Lamichhane, J.R., Devos, Y., Beckie, H.J., Owen, M.D.K., Tillie, P., Messéan, A., and Kudsk, P. (2016). "Integrated weed management systems with herbicide-tolerant crops in the European Union: lessons learnt from home and abroad.", Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, pp. 1-17. doi : 10.1080/07388551.2016.1180588 Access to full text
Conventionally bred (CHT) and genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops have changed weed management practices and made an important contribution to the global production of some commodity crops. However, a concern is that farm management practices associated with the cultivation of herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops further deplete farmland biodiversity and accelerate the evolution of herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds. Diversification in crop systems and weed management practices can enhance farmland biodiversity, and reduce the risk of weeds evolving herbicide resistance. Therefore, HT crops are most effective and sustainable as a component of an integrated weed management (IWM) system. IWM advocates the use of multiple effective strategies or tactics to manage weed populations in a manner that is economically and environmentally sound. In practice, however, the potential benefits of IWM with HT crops are seldom realized because a wide range of technical and socio-economic factors hamper the transition to IWM. Here, we discuss the major factors that limit the integration of HT crops and their associated farm management practices in IWM systems. Based on the experience gained in countries where CHT or GMHT crops are widely grown and the increased familiarity with their management, we propose five actions to facilitate the integration of HT crops in IWM systems within the European Union.
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