Monday, February 8, 2010

Facing the challenge of weed resistance

Bayer CropScience Pan American Weed Resistance Conference gathered experts from across the Americas to discuss weed issues and possible solutions

Monheim - Approximately 280 experts from universities, industry and Bayer CropScience gathered in Miami recently for the first Bayer CropScience Pan-American Weed Resistance Conference. The speakers and attendees from South America, Central America, the United States and Canada, gathered to exchange experiences in dealing with weed resistance and to discuss new solutions.

Innovative approaches to controlling weeds are urgently needed in view of the growing global problem of resistance. “Bayer CropScience has identified new challenges in resistance management and is increasing its investment in research and development,” said Dr. Rüdiger Scheitza, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience AG and responsible for Global Portfolio Management, when he welcomed delegates to the conference.

The main crops affected in the Americas – from Canada to Chile – are economically important crops such as cotton, wheat, soybeans and corn.

Dr. Hermann Stübler, Head of Herbicide Research at Bayer CropScience, expects new herbicide technologies to be found to safeguard harvests in the future.

Nature strikes back

Dr. Hermann Stübler, responsible for Herbicide Research at Bayer CropScience (Frankfurt, Germany), explained during the conference the dramatic change in the herbicide landscape over the past decade, leading to a declining number of available herbicides. “One important factor in this development was the introduction of glyphosate-resistant crops,” he said. “As a consequence, we have seen an almost exclusive reliance on one – apparently omnipotent – herbicide. It is a success story,” said Mr. Stübler, “but now nature strikes back with a massive outbreak of weed resistance in the Americas.”

Bayer CropScience LibertyLink® technology is presently the only alternative to glyphosate-tolerant systems on the market. So far, it is used on cotton, canola, soybeans and corn. It combines the companies herbicide active ingredient glufosinate-ammonium with a seed that is tolerant of this molecule’s mode of action. Increasing weed resistance is now making the LibertyLink® technology an interesting option for those crops.

The herbicide landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade, leading to a declining number of available herbicides.

Miami is just the beginning

The number of herbicides available to the grower is going to decline further. Reasons are the tougher regulatory requirements, and the global decline of companies involved in broad herbicide research. However, Dr. Stübler is optimistic and expects new herbicide technologies to be found to safeguard harvests in the future. “The unique Bayer CropScience research strategy takes a three-prong approach to cover all aspects of weed resistance”, he said. “Our scientists are developing modern herbicide chemistry that is either best-in-class or first-in-class. Simultaneously we are working on selectivity technologies involving both safeners and traits. And thirdly our experts are focusing on the benefits of sustainable weed management which includes agricultural practises, herbicide life cycle management and weed resistance research. Miami is just the beginning.”

View all labels / MSDS

Copyright © Bayer CropScience