Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2005
Publication Date: 8/1/2005
Citation: Duke, S.O. 2005. Six decades of weed science since the discovery of 2,4-D and challenges for the 21st century. Proceedings of 20th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Congress. p. 3-11.
Technical Abstract: The discipline of weed science began about 1945 with the introduction of selective, synthetic herbicides, beginning with 2,4-D. The growing need for research to study the efficacy, mode of action, environmental effects, application technology, and other aspects of herbicide-driven weed management for a stream of new herbicides being introduced led to an outpouring of research funds for such studies from the herbicide industry and governments. Within a decade, the discipline of weed science was firmly established, beginning in North America. This early period of growth was followed by a “golden age of herbicides”, during which the funding for weed science research and the number of weed scientists reached their historic highs. Consolidation of the herbicide industry and the introduction of transgenic, herbicide-resistant crops began a paradigm change about ten years ago. In North America, weed science research has been shifting towards weed biology and ecology, integrated weed management, and other less herbicide-driven research. There may be fewer herbicide-related tools to deal with increasing weed problems in the future. Thus, increased research in areas such as biocontrol of weeds, crop allelopathy, herbicide resistance management, and precision weed management is needed.