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Bibliography Tag: weed management systems

Benbrook, 2018

Benbrook, Charles, “Why Regulators Lost Track and Control of Pesticide Risks: Lessons From the Case of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Genetically Engineered-Crop Technology,” Current Environmental Health Reports, 5:3, 387-395, 2018, DOI:10.1007/s40572-018-0207-y.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The approval of genetically engineered (GE) crops in the late 1990s triggered dramatic changes in corn, soybean, and cotton pest management systems, as well as complex, novel regulatory challenges. Lessons learned are reviewed and solutions described.

RECENT FINDINGS: Government-imposed resistance management provisions can work and adapt to changing circumstances, but within the private sector, pressures to gain and hold market share have thus far trumped the widely recognized need for resistance management. Risks arising from the use of formulated pesticides often exceed by a wide margin those in regulatory risk assessments based on data derived from studies on nearly 100% pure active ingredients.

SUMMARY: Innovative policy changes are needed in four problem areas: excessive faith in the accuracy of pre-market risk assessments and regulatory thresholds; post-approval monitoring of actual impacts; risk arising from formulated pesticides, rather than just pure active ingredient; challenges inherent in assessing and mitigating the combined impacts of all GE traits and associated pesticides on agroecosystems, as opposed to each trait or pesticide alone; and, tools to deal with failing pest management systems. FULL TEXT

Pallett, 2018

Pallett K, “Engineered Crop Tolerance to Glyphosate and its Impact on the Use of the Herbicide,” Outlooks on Pest Management, December 2018. doi:10.1564/v29_dec_11.


The agricultural importance and particularly the consequences of the use of glyphosate in crops engineered to be tolerant to this non-selective herbicide is discussed in some of the other articles in this special issue of Outlooks on Pest Management. However, a specific article reviewing the science and magnitude of what can be considered as a major scientific development in plant science is justified and is the most important aspect of the success of this herbicide (Duke & Powles, 2008). FULL TEXT

Neff, 2018

Lisa Neff, “Farmers, conservationists challenge Trump’s EPA, Monsanto over crop-damaging pesticide,” The Wisconsin Gazette, February 13, 2018.


Wisconsin Gazette describes the suit against the EPA and Monsanto, which was initiated by five agricultural and environmental watchdog organizations: the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice, National Family Farm Coalition, and Pesticide Action Network.  The lawsuit alleges that many critics warned that dicamba was likely to drift when applied during the hot summer months, but did little to address these concerns, instead bowing to pressure from Monsanto to conditionally approve the new formulations. Court documents also claim that EPA recognized the potential negative impact from dicamba to hundreds of endangered species that would be exposed, but did not follow Endangered Species Act requirements to seek guidance on protective measures from the appropriate federal wildlife agencies. “That the EPA would indulge in this kind of recklessness and junk science to appease Monsanto is shocking,” said Paul Achitoff, attorney with Earthjustice, in a statement. FULL TEXT

Hettinger, 2018

Johnathan Hettinger, “EPA eased herbicide regulations following Monsanto research, records show,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 1, 2018.


Reports on a document review investigation that reveals that Monsanto’s own science played a key role in how the use restrictions for the new dicamba formulations for use with Xtend crops were set. EPA had originally proposed a larger, more comprehensive, all-direction buffer for all of the new dicamba formulations, the first to be approved for post-emergent use over growing crops.  Then, Monsanto submitted updated research on dicamba drift that, according to the company, demonstrated little to no volatility. EPA was apparently convinced, since it reduced the buffer to just 110 ft on the downwind side of fields on which the herbicide is applied — a big difference. This story reports that Monsanto research used to justify this was conducted in Georgia and Texas, two states that have had only modest problems with dicamba drift and crop damage, likely due to local weather conditions. FULL TEXT

Bradley, 2018a

Kevin Bradley, “July 15 Dicamba injury update. Different Year, same questions,” Integrated Pest Management, University of Missouri, July 19, 2018.


latest drift-damage estimates from 2018 have been released by Dr. Kevin Bradley, University of Missouri Division of Plant Sciences. Bradley has been compiling national numbers since the crisis began and is one of the most respected, independent weed scientists trying to help farmers, the ag industry, and regulators find a less costly way to deal with the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds.

Source: University of Missouri

The map above summarizes the latest data.  An estimated 1.1 million acres of soybeans alone have already been damaged by drifting dicamba.  Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri are by far the hardest hit by this crisis, now in it’s third year. FULL TEXT

Beck, 2018

Madelyn Beck, “Federal Suit Alleges Companies Knew Dicamba Would Drift, Monsanto Created Monopoly,” KUNC Radio, August 8, 2018.


Describes court documents filed August 2018  on two “master complaints” in the dicamba drift Multi District Litigation (MDL) pending in federal court.  The first complaint is a crop damage class action, and the second alleges antitrust violations.  Lawyers representing the plaintiffs allege that defendants Monsanto and BASF are “commercializing a product that literally destroys its competition.”  FULL TEXT

Kennedy, 2018

Merritt Kennedy, “West Texas Vineyards Blasted By Herbicide Drift From Nearby Cotton Fields,” NPR, August 21, 2018.


Reports on vineyards in Texas damaged by dicmaba drift from Xtend cotton plantings.  Grapes are particularly sensitive to dicamba, and can take years to recover.  Radio portion includes interviews with farmers on both sides of the issue.  Dicamba injury was recorded on 90-95% of vineyards in some parts of Texas.  FULL TEXT

Davis and Frisvold, 2017

Adam S. Davis, George B. Frisvold, “Are herbicides a once in a century method of weed control?,” Pest Management Science, 2017, 73:11, DOI: 10.1002/ps.443.


The efficacy of any pesticide is an exhaustible resource that can be depleted over time. For decades, the dominant paradigm – that weed mobility is low relative to insect pests and pathogens, that there is an ample stream of new weed control technologies in the commercial pipeline, and that technology suppliers have sufficient economic incentives and market power to delay resistance – supported a laissez faire approach to herbicide resistance management. Earlier market data bolstered the belief that private incentives and voluntary actions were sufficient to manage resistance. Yet, there has been a steady growth in resistant weeds, while no new commercial herbicide modes of action (MOAs) have been discovered in 30 years. Industry has introduced new herbicide tolerant crops to increase the applicability of older MOAs. Yet, many weed species are already resistant to these compounds. Recent trends suggest a paradigm shift whereby herbicide resistance may impose greater costs to farmers, the environment, and taxpayers than earlier believed. In developed countries, herbicides have been the dominant method of weed control for half a century. Over the next half-century, will widespread resistance to multiple MOAs render herbicides obsolete for many major cropping systems? We suggest it would be prudent to consider the implications of such a low-probability, but high-cost development.  FULL TEXT

Gould et al., 2018

Fred Gould, Zachary S. Brown, Jennifer Kuzma, “Wicked evolution: Can we address the sociobiological dilemma of pesticide resistance?,” Science, May 18, 2018, 360: 6390, DOI: 10.1126/science.aar3780.


Resistance to insecticides and herbicides has cost billions of U.S. dollars in the agricultural sector and could result in millions of lives lost to insect-vectored diseases. We mostly continue to use pesticides as if resistance is a temporary issue that will be addressed by commercialization of new pesticides with novel modes of action. However, current evidence suggests that insect and weed evolution may outstrip our ability to replace outmoded chemicals and other control mechanisms. To avoid this outcome, we must address the mix of ecological, genetic, economic, and sociopolitical factors that prevent implementation of sustainable pest management practices. We offer an ambitious proposition.  FULL TEXT

Liebman et al., 2016

Matt Liebman, Bàrbara Baraibar, Yvonne Buckley, Dylan Childs, Svend Christensen, Roger Cousens, Hanan Eizenberg, Sanne Heijting, Donato Loddo, Aldo Merotto Jr, Michael Renton, Marleen Riemens, “Ecologically sustainable weed management: How do we get from proof-of-concept to adoption?,” Ecological Applications, 26:5, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/15-0995


Weed management is a critically important activity on both agricultural and non‐agricultural lands, but it is faced with a daunting set of challenges: environmental damage caused by control practices, weed resistance to herbicides, accelerated rates of weed dispersal through global trade, and greater weed impacts due to changes in climate and land use. Broad‐scale use of new approaches is needed if weed management is to be successful in the coming era. We examine three approaches likely to prove useful for addressing current and future challenges from weeds: diversifying weed management strategies with multiple complementary tactics, developing crop genotypes for enhanced weed suppression, and tailoring management strategies to better accommodate variability in weed spatial distributions. In all three cases, proof‐of‐concept has long been demonstrated and considerable scientific innovations have been made, but uptake by farmers and land managers has been extremely limited. Impediments to employing these and other ecologically based approaches include inadequate or inappropriate government policy instruments, a lack of market mechanisms, and a paucity of social infrastructure with which to influence learning, decision‐making, and actions by farmers and land managers. We offer examples of how these impediments are being addressed in different parts of the world, but note that there is no clear formula for determining which sets of policies, market mechanisms, and educational activities will be effective in various locations. Implementing new approaches for weed management will require multidisciplinary teams comprised of scientists, engineers, economists, sociologists, educators, farmers, land managers, industry personnel, policy makers, and others willing to focus on weeds within whole farming systems and land management units. FULL TEXT

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