Weed species that pose a challenge to successful crop management often possess characteristics that allow them to rapidly adapt to management and evolve herbicide resistance. The diversification of soybean trait platforms allows the over-the-top application of herbicides that were never before used in these types of post-emergence application timings. While this increases the chemical tools we have available for post-emergence weed control, this can also increase the selection pressure that drives the evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds.

This presentation will discuss the role of a diverse herbicide program in prolonging the utility of crop biotechnologies, answering such questions as:

  1. What is a diverse herbicide program?
  2. How do we build a program that relies upon diverse herbicide sites of action (SOA)?
  3. What herbicide options are currently at risk for evolved herbicide resistance and what can we do to prolong their efficacy?

And, while herbicide SOA diversification can slow the evolution of herbicide resistance, there is more that can be done to steward these valuable weed control technologies. There is a need for alternative methods of weed control to incorporate into current production systems.

Integrated Weed Management (IWM) is the concept of diversifying weed management to include cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical weed control tactics in combination. New, emerging IWM options will also be discussed. There is the potential for the integration of cultural control tactics, such as cover crops, interseeded crops, and harvest weed seed control (HWSC), as well as automated sensing technologies used in combination with precision herbicide applications. All these options will rely upon an understanding of weed biology and ecology for long term success.

Dr. Karla Gage is an Associate Professor of Weed Science and Plant Biology in the Schools of Agricultural Sciences and Biological Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). This presentation was featured at the Carbondale Better Beans event on February 23, 2023.

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About the Author: Kelsey Litchfield

Kelsey Litchfield is the Agronomic Outreach Specialist for the Illinois Soybean Association. In her role, she manages ILSoyAdvisor media platforms and assists the agronomy team with events and field days. A native of Rio, IL, Kelsey earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2017 where she double majored in Agricultural Communications and Broadcast Journalism.

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