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19.02.2018 |

Herbicide use drives the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds, study

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Black-grass in a barley crop (Photo: CC0, bit.ly/Alop, bit.ly/cc-by-sa30)

Spraying weeds with chemicals has always come at a high cost, both to farmers and the environment. But using herbicides to control weeds is also driving the evolution of herbicide-resistant crops, new research shows. According to a study, led by scientists from the University of Sheffield, farms that use a greater volume of herbicide have more crop resistance to herbicides. Future control of weeds must depend on management strategies that reduce reliance on chemicals, the researchers argue. For the study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the research team mapped the density of the UK’s major agricultural weed, black-grass (Alopecurus myosuroides) across 70 farms in England, collecting seed from 132 fields. They also collected historical management data for all fields to find out which management factors are driving black-grass abundance and herbicide resistance. [+] more ...

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