The Science Seminar Series: October 25, 2012
Dr. Theodore M. Webster
Crop Protection and Management Research Unit
Time: 4:00 -5:00pm
Introduction of glyphosate resistance into crops through genetic modification has revolutionized crop protection. Glyphosate, the proverbial silver bullet, is a broad spectrum herbicide with favorable environmental characteristics and effective broad-spectrum weed control that has greatly improved crop protection efficiency. However, in less than a decade, the utility of this technology is threatened by the occurrence of glyphosate tolerant and glyphosate resistant weed species. Factors that have contributed to this shift in weed species composition in Georgia cotton production are reviewed, along with the implications of continued overreliance on this technology. Potential scenarios for managing glyphosate resistant populations, as well as implications on the role of various sectors for dealing with this purported “tragedy of the commons” are presented. While glyphosate susceptibility in Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) is likely lost in Georgia, and perhaps in other cotton producing states in the Southern US, there are lessons to be learned. Improved understanding of how the technology was lost will allow us to avoid repeating these mistakes with the next herbicide resistant technology.