Current biological weed control agents - their adoption and future prospects.
Traditional agricultural practices have generally focused on herbicides, mechanical, and cultural methods as the main tools for weed management. Although these methods have served crop production well, it is important to recognize that there are scientists in Canada, and around the world, testing the potential of using living organisms, like insects, fungi, and bacteria, as biological control agents for weed management. Awareness of the need for increased environmental stewardship, combined with the expanding organic food industry, is stimulating the need for new technologies to assist with weed control. Certainly, the re-evaluation and the potential banning of certain herbicides in Canada, the development of herbicide-resistant weed populations, and the continued threat of invasive weed species, are influencing the way weed management is researched. This article will showcase the novel approach offered by living organisms as agents for biological weed control and describe how this weed management tool is evolving as an alternative to herbicides.
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