Submitted to: Advances in Biopesticide Research Vol II
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Biological control, the use of natural enemies to reduce vigor, reproduction, density, and economic impact of weeds, is an appealing alternative to use of herbicides for weed management since it poses no environmental dangers, does not lead to herbicide-resistant weeds, and is compatible with sustainable agricultural practices. A development of biological control is the bioherbicide approach which involves application of massive numbers of selected weed pathogens for single-season weed control. Objectives of this chapter are to identify the place for bioherbicides in weed management, develop an understanding of factors affecting their successful use in both conventional and alternative agriculture, and to assess the prospects of developing strategies for use in biologically-based weed management. Bioherbicides have been used to a very limited extent in conventional weed management systems due primarily to their restrictive host specificity, special formulation requirements to assure efficacy, and limited market size. Bioherbicides may be most effective as one of several components in an overall management program rather than as a single tactic. The most successful demonstration of effectiveness in biological weed management will be the use of bioherbicides in niche markets and in alternative agricultural systems involving limited or no chemical pesticide inputs. Bioherbicides used in biologically based weed management in diversified cropping systems will aid in restoring biodiversity, soil fertility and productivity as well as avoid the buildup of herbicide-resistant and invasive weeds.