Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Herbicide-Resistant Crops - Their Role in Soybean Weed Management

Author
item Duke, Stephen

Submitted to: Soybean Research World Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Soybeans made resistant to glyphosate by the introduction of resistance transgenes by biotechnology are being widely adopted in North America and other parts of the world. Other transgenic, herbicide-resistant soybeans are under development and will soon be available. The major impact of this technology will be from soybeans containing transgenes imparting resistance to post-emergence, non-selective herbicides for which there is only one commercially successful analogue, such as glyphosate and glufosinate. These products allow the farmer to more effectively use reduced- or no-tillage cultural practices, eliminate use of some of the more environmentally suspect herbicides, and use fewer herbicides to manage nearly the entire spectrum of weed species. In some cases, non-selective herbicides used with herbicide-resistant crops might even reduce plant pathogen problems because of their toxicity to some microbes. There is concern among weed scientists that eventual over reliance on fewer weed management strategies will result in evolution of resistance to the more useful herbicides and/or weed population shifts to naturally resistant species. Environmentalists are concerned with gene flow from transgenic crops to closely related wild relatives; however, this is not a serious concern with soybeans. The next ten years should clarify the eventual impact of these powerful new tools on weed management in soybeans.

Technical Abstract: Soybeans made resistant to glyphosate by the introduction of resistance transgenes by biotechnology are being widely adopted in North America and other parts of the world. Other transgenic, herbicide-resistant soybeans are under development and will soon be available. The major impact of this technology will be from soybeans containing transgenes imparting resistance to post-emergence, non-selective herbicides for which there is only one commercially successful analogue, such as glyphosate and glufosinate. These products allow the farmer to more effectively use reduced- or no-tillage cultural practices, eliminate use of some of the more environmentally suspect herbicides, and use fewer herbicides to manage nearly the entire spectrum of weed species. In some cases, non-selective herbicides used with herbicide-resistant crops might even reduce plant pathogen problems because of their toxicity to some microbes. There is concern among weed scientists that eventual over reliance on fewer weed management strategies will result in evolution of resistance to the more useful herbicides and/or weed population shifts to naturally resistant species. Environmentalists are concerned with gene flow from transgenic crops to closely related wild relatives; however, this is not a serious concern with soybeans in the USA. The next ten years should clarify the eventual impact of these powerful new tools on weed management in soybeans.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page