Recent weed control, weed management, and integrated weed management.
Integrated weed management (IWM) can be defined as a holistic approach to weed management that integrates different methods of weed control to provide the crop with an advantage over weeds. It is practiced globally at varying levels of adoption from farm to farm. IWM has the potential to restrict weed populations to manageable levels, reduce the environmental impact of individual weed management practices, increase cropping system sustainability, and reduce selection pressure for weed resistance to herbicides. There is some debate as to whether simple herbicidal weed control programs have now shifted to more diverse IWM cropping systems. Given the rapid evolution and spread of herbicide-resistant weeds and their negative consequences, one might predict that IWM research would currently be a prominent activity among weed scientists. Here we examine the level of research activity dedicated to weed control techniques and the assemblage of IWM techniques in cropping systems as evidenced by scientific paper publications from 1995 to June 1, 2012. Authors from the United States have published more weed and IWM-related articles than authors from any other country. When IWM articles were weighted as a proportion of country population, arable land, or crop production, authors from Switzerland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada were most prominent. Considerable evidence exists that research on nonherbicidal weed management strategies as well as strategies that integrate other weed management systems with herbicide use has increased. However, articles published on chemical control still eclipse any other weed management method. The latter emphasis continues to retard the development of weed science as a balanced discipline.
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