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A history of weed control in the United States and Canada—a sequel

Author(s): Arnold P. Appleby

Source: Weed Science, 53(6):762-768.
Published By: Weed Science Society of America

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Weed Science, 53:762–768. 2005

A history of weed control in the United States and

Canada—a sequel

Arnold P. Appleby The weed science discipline has changed significantly since 1970. New herbicides
Corresponding author. Department of Crop Science, have been introduced, many herbicide-resistant weeds have been documented, her-
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331; bicide-resistant crops have been introduced, federal laws affecting pesticides and weeds have been modified, the number of companies discovering and developing
herbicides has been drastically reduced, basic studies on weed biology have received
more emphasis, and integrated methods of controlling weeds with nonchemical as
well as chemical methods have received increasing attention.

In 1970, F. L. Timmons published a paper in Weed Sci- zalofop, sethoxydim, clethodim, fenoxaprop, and tralkoxy-
ence on the history of weed control (Timmons 1970). He dim. Flamprop and its analogues were widely tested but
reviewed activities from the BC era up to about 1970. By were never registered in the United States. They were used
that time, chemical weed control was well established and in Canada and other countries for wild oat control in ce-
had supplemented or replaced many cultural and mechani- reals.
cal methods. But weed science has continued to evolve and In 1980, chlorsulfuron was introduced. This and related
develop since that paper was written. This paper describes sulfonylureas (SUs) represented another new mechanism of
some of the changes in the past 35 yr, a sequel, if you will, action. The SUs are active at rates measured in grams per
of Timmons’ earlier work. hectare instead of kilograms, and they have quite low mam-
malian toxicity (LD50 . 5,000 mg kg21 in rats). Many more
SUs were introduced by several companies. Minor adjust-
Progress in Chemical Weed Control ments in chemical structure drastically changed selectivity
and soil persistence. Shortly afterward, the imidazolinones,
Timmons listed herbicides introduced and commercial-
whose chemistry is different but whose mechanism of action
ized in the 1950s and 1960s. Many of these represented
is essentially the same as the SUs, were developed.
new chemical families and mechanisms of action. Since
Although a large number of new herbicides were intro-
1970, more herbicides have been discovered (Table 1), but
duced during the 1990s, most of them were analogues of
many of these never reached the market. This could be par-
older compounds. The availability of older generic herbi-
tially due to more stringent regulations that increase devel-
cides has reduced the interest in development of new active
opment costs, and partially to competition with existing ex-
cellent herbicides. Still, some of the herbicides introduced
University and federal researchers, as well as commodity
since 1970 have had a major influence on weed control.
groups, helped register needed herbicides in several minor
The introduction of glyphosate in the early 1970s was a
crops. However, consolidation and limited profitability of
major step forward. Glyphosate is highly efficacious, low in
the agrichemical industry has limited the resources available
mammalian toxicity, and is essentially inactive in soil. It has
for testing new herbicides for specialty crops.
become widely used in no-till farming and for controlling
perennial weeds in crop land. It was greeted with enthusiasm
and quickly became widely used in many weed situations Development of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds
throughout the world.
Triclopyr was introduced to replace the old standby After the introduction of herbicides, different plant bio-
brush-killer, 2,4,5-T, which was temporarily banned in 1979 types that had previously not been discernible by botanical
and later discontinued because some formulations were con- characteristics became easily detectable because of differenc-
taminated with a toxic dioxin. Diclofop was the first of a es in herbicide susceptibility. This led to discussions on the
new mechanism of action, the acetyl CoA carboxylase in- development of herbicide-resistant weed populations almost
hibitors, often referred to as the ‘‘fops and dims,’’ which are from the beginning of widespread herbicide use. Blackman
active on most grasses and highly selective in broadleaf (1950) warned that ‘‘. . . repeated spraying with one type of
crops. Other members of the family include fluazifop, qui- herbicide will sort out resistant strains within the weed pop-

762 • Weed Science 53, November–December 2005

TABLE 1. Chronology of new herbicidesa from 1970 to 2005, by common name and year of introduction.
isocarbamid 1970 aclonifen 1983 fluthiacet 1993
thiobencarb 1970 bensulfuron 1983 metosulam 1993
butralin 1971 fluroxypyr 1983 prosulfuron 1993
flamprop-methyl 1971 fomesafen 1983 pyraflufen 1993
glyphosate 1971 imazapy 1983 pyriminobac 1993
perfluidone 1971 imazaquin 1983 thenylchlor 1994
diethatyl-ethyl 1972 metsulfuron 1983 azimsulfuron 1995
dimethametryn 1972 quizalofop 1983 diclosulam 1995
fluchloralin 1972 sethoxydim 1983 ethoxysulfuron 1995
piperophos 1972 imazethapyr 1984 flupyrsulfuron 1995
proglinazine 1972 mefenacet 1984 isoxaflutole 1995
quinonamid 1972 pyrazolynate 1984 oxasulfuron 1995
bifenox 1973 pyrazoxyfen 1984 pelargonic acid 1995
difenzoquat 1973 cinmethylin 1985 sulfosulfuron 1995
dinitramine 1973 cycloxydim 1985 azafenidin 1997
ethidimuron 1973 diflufencan 1985 fentrazamide 1997
profluralin 1973 ethametsulfuron 1985 oxadiargyl 1997
thiazafluron 1973 quinclorac 1985 oxaziclomefone 1997
buthidazole 1974 quinmerac 1985 pyribenzoxim 1997
dimefuron 1974 thifensulfuron 1985 beflubutamid 1998
dimethipin 1974 triasulfuron 1985 benzfendizone 1998
ethalfluralin 1974 tribenuron 1985 benzobicyclon 1998
fosamine 1974 cinosulfuron 1987 butafenacil 1998
hexazinone 1974 clethodim 1987 dimethenamid-P 1998
isoprofuron 1974 dithiopyr 1987 flucarbazone 1998
mefluidide 1974 flupoxam 1987 flufenacet 1998
metolachlor 1974 flurtamone 1987 fluazolate 1998
pendimethalin 1974 lactofen 1987 iodosulfuron 1998
tebuthiuron 1974 nicosulfuron 1987 isoxachlortole 1998
acifluorofen 1975 primisulfuron 1987 mesotrione 1998
butamifos 1975 propaquizafop 1987 pyridafol 1998
clofop 1975 prosulfocarb 1987 amicarbazone 1999
clopyralid 1975 tralkoxydim 1987 diflufenzopyr 1999
diclofop-methyl 1975 benzofenap 1988 florasulam 1999
isomethiozin 1975 esprocarb 1988 foramsulfuron 1999
metamitron 1975 pretilachlor 1988 isoxadifen 1999
metazachlor 1975 pyrithiobac 1988 pethoxamid 1999
oxyflurofen 1975 amidosulfuron 1989 profluazol 1999
prodiamine 1975 clodinafop 1989 pyrachlonil 1999
triclopyr 1975 fenoxaprop-P 1989 pyriftalid 1999
alloxydim 1976 flazasulfuron 1989 trifloxysulfuron 1999
butam 1976 flumiclorac 1989 tritosulfuron 1999
flamprop-isopropyl 1976 glyphosate-trimesium 1989 cybutryne 2000
fluridone 1976 pyrazosulfuron 1989 flufenpyr 2000
pyridate 1976 rimsulfuron 1989 mesosulfuron 2000
dimethachlor 1977 flumetsulam 1990 penoxsulam 2000
phenisopham 1977 dimethenamid 1991 picolinafen 2000
isouron 1979 flumioxazin 1991 profoxydim 2000
acetochlor 1980 halosafen 1991 propoxycarbazone 2000
benfuresate 1980 halosulfuron 1991 metamifop 2001
chlorsulfuron 1980 imazamox 1991 aminopyralid 2002
fluazifop-butyl 1980 sulcotrione 1991 flucetosulfuron 2003
sulfometuron 1980 sulfentrazone 1991 pinoxaden 2003
anilofos 1981 triflusulfuron 1991 orthosulfamuron 2004
fluazifop-P 1981 fluoroglycofen 1992 pyrimisulfam 2004
glufosinate 1981 imazapic 1992 topramazone 2004
haloxyfop 1981 thiazopyr 1992 bencarbazone 2005
tridiphane 1981 bispyribac 1993 pyrasulfotole 2005
chlorimuron 1982 butroxydim 1993
clomazone 1982 carfentrazone 1993
fluorochlordone 1982 cloransulam 1993
imazamethabenz 1982 cyclosulfamuron 1993
isoxaben 1982 cyhalofop 1993
a Herbicides for which common names have received at least tentative approval by the International Organization of Standardization. Not all compounds
were developed to the commercial stage. The year they were introduced was taken from the Pesticide Manual, published by the British Crop Protection
Council (2003), the Compendium of Pesticide Common Names (Wood 2004), and Agranova (2001). Not all references precisely agree on the year of
introduction, so dates should be considered approximate.

Appleby: Weed control history—a sequel • 763

ulation.’’ McCall (1954) asked whether weeds were becom- In short order, a wide range of weeds were shown to have
ing more resistant to herbicides. Abel (1955) proposed that developed resistance to herbicides. Heap (2004) listed 286
resistance could be prevented or delayed with crop rotation resistant biotypes in 171 species (102 dicots and 69 mono-
and by rotating herbicides. Harper (1956) said, ‘‘The ex- cots) found in more than 270,000 fields. The herbicides are
perience of research workers in the fields of medicine, bac- from 18 herbicide families, which include nearly all com-
teriology, and applied entomology is that the introduction mercial herbicides. So from Day’s 1968 comment that her-
of a chemical for the control of a parasite or pest is almost bicide-resistant weeds were rare, weed resistance has grown
inevitably followed by the development of a strain of the to become one of the most important problems in weed
organism which is resistant or immune to the action of the science today. This unhappy situation is made even worse
chemical.’’ by the fact that some weeds have developed resistance to
A number of researchers reported wide differences in sen- more than one class of herbicides with different mechanisms
sitivity between biotypes within a weed species (Bandeen et of action. This has led to major efforts in managing weed
al. 1982; Bell et al. 1972; Miller et al. 1982; Rydrych and control programs to avoid or delay the development of re-
Seely 1964; Switzer 1957), and casual observations were sistant weed populations.
common that some species seemed to be becoming more
difficult to kill with certain herbicides. The possibility of
removing susceptible types, thus gradually building popu- Development of Herbicide-Resistant Crops
lations of more resistant ones, should not have come as any A large change in weed control technology in recent years
surprise. Yet, in the introduction to the 1968 National has been the production of crops physiologically resistant to
Academy of Sciences weed control book, Day (1968) stated, previously nonselective herbicides (Duke 1996). This has
‘‘Unlike arthropods and microorganisms, higher plants have been accomplished through classical breeding methods, by
rarely developed significant resistance to chemicals.’’ cell culture selection, or by genetic engineering. Several crop
Although there were many observations of apparent re- cultivars developed through conventional breeding methods
duction in sensitivity to herbicides, perhaps the first con- were sufficiently tolerant to a previously nonselective her-
trolled experiment documenting the development of a pop- bicide to selectively control weeds in that crop (Faulkner
ulation of herbicide-resistant weeds was published by 1982). Conventional breeding techniques often are slow and
George Ryan (1970) at Puyallup, WA, who reported resis- the margin of selectivity achieved is narrow. But Beversdorf
tance to atrazine and simazine in common groundsel (Se- et al. (1980) were able to achieve a high level of resistance
necio vulgaris L.). Radosevich and Appleby (1973) obtained in cultivated canola (Brassica campestris L. and B. napus L.)
resistant groundsel seed from Ryan to conduct studies on by crossing with a weedy triazine-resistant bird’s rape. In
the mechanism of resistance and found, to the surprise of 1983, Comai et al. (1983) announced that a glyphosate-
almost everyone, that the triazines were not metabolized any resistance gene had been isolated from Salmonella. Stein-
faster in resistant groundsel than in sensitive groundsel, yet rucken et al. (1986) developed a glyphosate-resistant petu-
the resistant type could withstand at least 60 times as much nia, from which genes could be transferred to other plants.
triazine. Up to that point, nearly all mechanisms for selec- These genes could result in (1) an overproduction of the 5-
tivity of s-triazines in crops were explained by (1) hydrox- enoylpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase en-
ylation, (2) glutathione conjugation, or (3) dealkylation zyme; or (2) a change in the structure of the enzyme so that
(Shimabukuro 1967; Shimabukuro et al. 1970). Further glyphosate could no longer attach, thus conferring com-
work by Radosevich et al. (1979) and other research groups mercially acceptable levels of selectivity when transferred
(Machado et al. 1978) showed that a change in the microar- into crop plants. At the present time, glyphosate-resistant
chitecture of the site of action, perhaps by the change of crops include soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], corn (Zea
one amino acid, could confer a high degree of resistance. mays L.), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), canola (Brassica
This expanded the general outlook on resistance mecha- sp.), sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa
nisms, and at the present time, resistance to herbicides is L.), with more under study.
sometimes found to be due to an increased rate of metab- A number of herbicide-resistant crops (HRCs) were soon
olism, sometimes to an alteration of the site of action, and developed with resistance to other classes of herbicides.
occasionally, perhaps, to a selection toward a change in mor- Chaleff and Ray (1984) developed sulfonylurea-resistant
phology. mutants from tobacco cell cultures. Crops resistant to imi-
After the documentation of triazine-resistant groundsel, dazolinones, glufosinate, or bromoxynil have been made
many other species soon joined a rapidly growing list of available.
weeds resistant to the triazines (Bandeen and McLaren North American growers have readily accepted HRCs. In
1976; Bandeen et al. 1982). Resistance to herbicides in oth- 2003, 40% of the corn, 81% of the soybeans, 73% of the
er chemical groups was then documented. Heap and Knight cotton, and more than 80% of the canola were genetically
(1982) reported the resistance of rigid ryegrass (Lolium rig- engineered to be resistant to one or more herbicides (Alston
idum Gaudin) to diclofop in Australia, and Stanger and Ap- 2004; Simard and Lègére 2004). Several advantages of this
pleby (1989) found some accessions of Italian ryegrass (Lol- new technology are commonly cited. In some cases, only
ium multiflorum Lam.) to be hundreds of times more resis- with HRCs can certain weeds be economically controlled,
tant to diclofop than previously untreated types. Mudge et such as established johnsongrass [Sorghum halepense (L.)
al. (1984) documented resistance of goosegrass [Eleusine Pers.] in several crops (Culpepper et al. 2000) or jointed
indica (L.) Gaertn.] to dinitroanilines. Mallory et al. (1989) goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica Host.) in wheat (Ball et al.
found an accession of prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola L.) 1999). In some cases, the herbicides used on HRCs are more
that had developed resistance to the sulfonylurea herbicides. convenient to use, less toxic to mammals, and less persistent

764 • Weed Science 53, November–December 2005

in soil, thus, more environmentally friendly and perhaps TABLE 2. Number of herbicide companies in the United States
cheaper than previously available herbicides. In Canada, from 1970 to 2005.
Brimner et al. (2005) found that the amount of herbicides Approximate no.
applied was reduced dramatically (greater than 40%) on her- Year of companiesa
bicide-resistant canola compared with conventional canola. 1970 46
But questions concerning their use remain. Extensive 1975 35
comparisons have shown a slight but frequent yield reduc- 1980 29
tion of genetically modified crop cultivars compared with 1985 23
conventional crops (Martinez-Ghersa et al. 2003). People in 1990 17
many countries are still fearful of detrimental effects on 1995 15
health from eating genetically modified foods, and laws in- 2000 10
hibiting their production or import have been enacted. The 2005 8b
resistance gene might, in some cases, be passed from the a Numbers represent an estimate of the number of companies synthesiz-
crop to related weeds. This has been shown to occur in the ing, screening, and developing their own herbicides. Some of these are
field from glufosinate-resistant canola to weedy relatives subsidiaries of overseas companies, but they conduct all of the above activ-
(Brassica sp.) (Jorgenson et al. 1996) and can lead to vol- ities in the United States.
b As of 2005, these are BASF, Bayer, Chemtura, Dow, DuPont, FMC,
unteer canola with multiple resistance to different herbicide Valent, and Syngenta.
families (Hall et al. 2000). Seefeldt et al. (1998) found that
imazamox resistance could be passed from wheat (Triticum
aestivum L.) to jointed goatgrass. Along with federal laws controlling pesticides, several acts
The advantages of HRCs mentioned above can lead to were passed in both countries that involved invasive plants,
an increased tendency toward repeatedly using the same her- both movement of seeds and control of weeds. These acts
bicide. As with the introduction of any effective herbicide, provided authorization to restrict importation and interstate
inattention to basic biological principles can lead to herbi- movement of contaminated crop seeds and plants, to estab-
cide-resistant weeds. This is already occurring in the case of lish quarantine regulations, and to prevent establishment of
glyphosate (Lee and Ngin 2000; Powles et al. 1998; Van invasive species and provide support for their control. Major
Gessel 2001). Herbicide use, crop rotation, and use of non- acts in the United States were the Federal Seed Act of 1939
chemical control methods must all be managed intelligently and the Federal Noxious Weed Act of 1974. The Plant Pro-
when HRCs are used, so herbicide resistance in weeds is tection Act of 2000 consolidated and modernized major
delayed or prevented. Clearly, this technological develop- statutes pertaining to plant protection and quarantine (Na-
ment can be highly useful, but concerns of long-term effects tional Invasive Species Council 2004).
must not be ignored. In Canada, major acts are the Canadian Federal Seeds
Act of 1985, Weeds Seeds Order of 1986 (Canada Depart-
ment of Justice 2004), and the Plant Protection Act, which
Federal Legislation replaced the Plant Quarantine Act in 1990 (Canadian Food
Inspection Agency 2001).
In both Canada and the United States, federal laws reg- Many of the serious weeds in Canada and the United
ulating pesticides and weeds have been modified. In Canada, States are nonindigenous species, imported and spread by
the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) is the federal law humans. Legislative actions have provided the means to re-
that regulates all products used to control pests in Canada. duce the spread of harmful invasive species. Along with the
The PCPA was first passed in 1939, revised in 1969, and federal laws, state and provincial acts have been enacted to
new regulations were added in 1972 (University of Guelph accomplish the same purpose.
2005). Further significant revisions were made in 1985 and
1994, and major revisions were initiated in 2002. The
PCPA is administered by the Pest Management Regulatory Evolution of Herbicide Companies
Agency under Health Canada. In 1995, responsibility for The consolidation of herbicide companies has dramati-
pesticides moved from Agriculture Canada to Health Can- cally changed the weed science field. In 1970, between 40
ada (Health Canada 2002). and 50 companies synthesized, developed, and sold their
In the United States, the basic law is the 1947 Federal own herbicides in Canada and the United States. That num-
Insecticide, Fungicide, & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). In ber has now shrunk to about eight because of acquisitions
1970, the responsibilities for administering this law were and mergers (Table 2). The history of these companies is
transferred from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and shown in more detail on the Internet (Appleby 2004).
the Food and Drug Administration to the newly formed Certainly, the steadily increasing registration requirements
Environmental Protection Agency. The 1973 Endangered with the accompanying large increases in costs have dis-
Species Act requires consideration of all effects of a pesticide couraged smaller companies from investing millions of dol-
on endangered species before any registrations can be ap- lars to develop a new herbicide that must then compete
proved. The 1996 Food Quality Protection Amendment sig- against a wide array of current excellent products. This has
nificantly changed FIFRA, including more stringent rules in resulted in the merger of smaller companies with larger ones
calculating food tolerance levels. A major change modified or the acquisition of herbicide divisions by larger companies
the 1958 Delaney Clause (which called for a zero tolerance that can withstand the economic loss from an unsuccessful
for any food additive causing cancer at any rate) to allow new herbicide.
consideration of risk assessment as with other registrations This consolidation has affected weed science in several
(U.S. Food and Drug Administration 1996). ways. In 1970, university staff with an active research pro-

Appleby: Weed control history—a sequel • 765

gram might have received grants from two or three dozen acinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms], and the Salvinia
companies. But two grants from Company X and Company weevil (Cyrtobagous salviniae Calder & Sands) on kariba-
Y became one grant from Company XY when they merged. weed (Salvinia molesta Mitch.).
So, outside income gradually decreased at the same time that Many other insects have been introduced with varying
individual states/provinces were suffering budget woes. Pro- degrees of success. A 1996 publication (Rees 1996) listed
grams that were able to attract funds from commodity 72 approved insects for control of 26 weed species in west-
groups and from federal grants continued to be productive. ern North America. Also, 17 other insects on 4 species were
Fortunately, most university research programs remain ac- listed as promising. Already, many of these are reducing
tive, although often with fewer support staff and personnel. weed populations.
Mergers of companies often have led to greater respon- The first commercially available mycoherbicide, Phyto-
sibilities and larger territories for company representatives. phthora palmivora Butl. (trade name, Devine), was intro-
The decline in number of company personnel has reduced duced in 1981 for control of stranglervine [Morrenia odorata
attendance at scientific meetings. Fewer employment op- (H. & A.) Lindl] in citrus. In 1982, Colletotrichum gloeo-
portunities are available to students completing their degrees sporiodes f. sp. aeschynomene (trade name, Collego) was in-
in Weed Science. Besides finding fewer new positions, they troduced for control of northern jointvetch [Aeschynomene
often must compete with experienced and competent in- virginica (L.) B.S.P.] in rice (Oryza sativa L.) and soybean.
dustry personnel who have lost their positions as a result of Considerable work continues in the search for mycoherbi-
downsizing. Although new herbicides continue to be intro- cides and a number of promising leads have developed, but
duced, most are analogues of older materials, and new biological effectiveness is only one requirement for com-
mechanisms of action are rare. mercial success. Biomal (Colletotrichum gloeosporiodes f. sp.
malvae), for control of common mallow (Malva neglecta
Wallr.), was the first bioherbicide introduced in Canada, but
Biology, Ecology, and Nonherbicidal production was discontinued because production costs were
Weed Control too high for commercial acceptance.
In 1993, Watson (1993) reported that 87 weed species
Agronomists, horticulturalists, and other scientists have had one or more natural enemies intentionally used for their
conducted research on weeds throughout the twentieth cen- control in Canada and the United States. Further work con-
tury. Some excellent work was carried out on seed persis- tinues, and continued success is expected in the future.
tence, root growth and carbohydrate storage, competition
with crops, control with tillage and other nonchemical
methods, etc. But following the dramatic increase in her-
Integrated Weed Management
bicide use beginning in the mid-1940s, attention of weed The increased attention to weed biology, weed ecology,
scientists was directed largely to herbicides. For example, in competition, and so on, has led to much more emphasis
volume I of WEEDS, in 1951–52, more than 90% of the toward holistic management of weeds (i.e., integrating all
research papers were on herbicides. Even then, leaders practical control methods with a consideration of the agroe-
warned against ignoring the old tried-and-true cultural cosystem, rather than attention to one weed species in one
methods of control. Attention began to return to other as- field). A number of authors in Expanding the Context of
pects of weed control, and by 1984, the first year in which Weed Management (Buhler 1999) address the concept very
papers in Weed Science were divided into categories, approx- well.
imately 36% of the research papers addressed biology, ecol- In a program named Food Systems 2002, the Province of
ogy, nonchemical control practices, and management as- Ontario reduced the kilograms of pesticides used in 2004
pects. This trend continued, and in 2002, only 32% of the by nearly 55% compared with that used in 1983. This was
papers in Weed Science addressed herbicides. accompanied by a marked reduction in the Environmental
Books on weed ecology by Radosevich et al. (1997), Al- Impact Quotient (Stephenson 2003). This may be the most
drich (1984), and Booth et al. (2003) were published. Sym- successful of the pesticide-reduction programs around the
posia on such topics as weed seed biology, competition stud- world. Yet, studies have shown that economic returns to the
ies, statistical treatment of data, biological control, integrat- grower from pesticide use are declining in both Canada and
ed control, weed thresholds, and the like are now regular the United States, primarily because of steadily increasing
aspects of regional and national conferences. pesticide prices. This emphasizes the need for intelligent use
Biological weed control is an area in which considerable of all practical weed control methods.
activity continues. The classic cases of the cactus moth (Cac- Adding impetus to the use of nonchemical weed-control
toblastis cactorum Berg) on cactus (Opuntia spp.) and the methods is the steadily increasing market share of organic
success of the Chrysolina beetle (Chrysolina quadrigemina foods. Surveys of organic growers commonly report weeds
Suffrian) in reducing a population of St. Johnswort (Hyper- as their most serious production problem (Walz 1999). For
icum perforatum L.) are well known. The cinnabar moth example, in a 1999 survey of Ohio organic growers, 47%
named weeds as their most important barrier to productivity
(Tyria jacobaeae L.) was marginally successful against tansy
(Rzewnicki 1999) with soil fertility being a distant second
ragwort (Senecio jacobaea L.) in western North America, but
(8%). This has encouraged greater emphasis in research and
the addition of the ragwort flea beetle (Longitarsus jacobaeae extension programs on nonherbicidal methods.
Waterhouse) to help the cinnabar moth has been dramati-
cally successful. Other success stories include alligatorweed
flea beetle (Agasicles hygrophila Solman & Volk) on alliga- Other Developments
torweed [Alternathera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griesb], mottled In recent years, the term invasive species has become fa-
waterhyacinth weevil (Neochetina eichhorniae) on water hy- miliar to a considerable segment of the general public as

766 • Weed Science 53, November–December 2005

well as to legislators. Unwanted plants are becoming rec- Agranova. 2001. Herbicide Synopsis—A chronological listing of all herbi-
ognized as problems not only to agriculture, but also as cide, safener, and PGR compounds to 1995. From the Global Her-
bicide Directory, 2nd ed.
being detrimental to the interests of everyone. The concept Aldrich, R. J. 1984. Weed-Crop Ecology: Principles in Weed Management.
has been strengthened by discussion in the news media and North Scituate, MA: Breton. 465 p.
in publications of such organizations as the Nature Conser- Alston, J. M. 2004. Horticultural biotechnology faces significant economic
vancy and the National Geographic Society. Widespread ef- and market barriers. Calif. Agric. 58:80–88.
forts by research and extension scientists, conservation Appleby, A. P. 2004. Herbicide company ‘‘genealogy.’’ http://
groups, garden clubs, and others are underway using all ap- Ball, D. A., F. L. Young, and A. G. Ogg. 1999. Selective control of jointed
propriate means to slow the spread of these plants. Among goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica) with imazimox in herbicide-resistant
other desirable effects, this greater awareness has resulted in wheat. Weed Technol. 13:77–82.
an increase in financial assistance to these efforts from fed- Bandeen, J. S. and R. D. McLaren. 1976. Resistance of Chenopodium album
eral agencies. to triazine herbicides. Can. J. Plant Sci. 56:411–412.
Bandeen, J. D., G. R. Stephenson, and E. R. Cowett. 1982. Discovery and
The ready availability of cheap, powerful computers on distribution of herbicide-resistant weeds in North America. Pages 9–
every desk has made possible the development of agricul- 30 in H. M. LeBaron and J. Gressel, eds. Herbicide Resistance in
tural decision support systems, enabling growers to more Plants. New York: J. Wiley.
readily use research information to help make on-farm Bell, A. R., J. D. Nalewaja, and A. B. Schooler. 1972. Response of Kochia
choices in weed management. These systems have been de- selections to 2,4-D, dicamba, and picloram. Weed Sci. 20:458–262.
Beversdorf, W. D., J. Weiss-Lerman, L. R. Erickson, and V. S. Machado.
veloped for several crops in various areas of Canada and the 1980. Transfer of cytoplasmically-inherited triazine resistance from
United States. Examples include SOYHERB, CORN- bird’s rape to cultivated oilseed rape (Brassica campestris and B. napus).
HERB, WEEDIR, WEEDSOFT, WEEDS, CHEX, and Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 22:167–172.
many others (Mortensen and Coble 1991). These models Blackman, G. E. 1950. Selective toxicity and development of selective weed
continue to be fine-tuned and, no doubt, their usefulness killers. J. Roy. Soc. Arts 98:500–517.
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768 • Weed Science 53, November–December 2005