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Research Project: New Weed Management Tools from Natural Product-Based Discoveries

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Glyphosate – how it became a once in a hundred year herbicide and its future

item Vacant, Vacant
item POWLES, STEPHEN - University Of Western Australia
item SAMMONS, R. DOUGLAS - Bee Farm And Conuslting, Llc (BFC)

Submitted to: Outlooks on Pest Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/2/2018
Publication Date: 12/3/2018
Citation: Duke, S.O., Powles, S.B., Sammons, R. 2018. Glyphosate – how it became a once in a hundred year herbicide and its future. Outlooks on Pest Management. 29:247-251.

Interpretive Summary: Glyphosate has been the most used herbicide in the world for about twenty years, largely because of its use in glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops and its unique properties that make is an almost ideal herbicide. Its use in GR crops was considered the golden age of weed management by farmers because of the simplicity , low cost, and superior efficacy in this system. However, evolution of GR weeds has eroded the these attributes, and the future use of glyphosate can only be protected by its use in diversified weed management systems.

Technical Abstract: More than a decade ago we termed glyphosate a “once in a century herbicide” (Duke & Powles, 2008). We designated glyphosate with this distinction in 2008 even though we were only 60 years into the age of synthetic herbicides. As synthetic herbicide use began about 1945, we are fast approaching the 75th year of the herbicide era. Also, it is nearly 50 years since first use of glyphosate. Glyphosate has been by far the world’s most used herbicide for about two decades and it currently makes substantial contributions to world food production. The history of how this molecule attained such importance and our views on the growing biological challenges (herbicide resistance evolution) to its future use in feeding a growing world population are discussed.