Insect resistance to Bt crops and weed resistance to herbicides rose in 2016

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Image Credit: Sarah Zukoff/Flickr

Insects and weeds pushed many chemical and genetic crop protection tools to their breaking point. A wealth of confirmed and suspected insect resistance to a number of Bt crops took many off guard in 2016. However, scientists say the problem had been mounting for years.

. . .

The next year is unlikely to offer relief. Many insecticides could be on the regulatory chopping block in 2017, and there are no new Bt traits on the immediate horizon.

[Texas A&M entomologist Pat Porter] speculated that “the era of the Cry toxin [Bt crops] seems to be ending.” Companies would disagree … but at the very least, farmers may have to re-evaluate their insect management plans carefully in 2017. Crop rotation, non-Bt crops and multiple modes of action in chemical insecticides will be more important than ever.

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Herbicide-resistant weeds added new lands and new chemicals to their conquests this year. Southern growers continued to struggle with glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth… PPO-resistant Palmer and glyphosate-resistant Italian ryegrass….

. . .

Weed scientists left growers with a clear overall message …: The easy button [glyphosate] is broken. Answers can no longer come exclusively from the jug. Cover crops, mechanical seed destruction, crop rotation, tillage and a systems approach to managing weeds are now a reality.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Pests March On: Insect, Weed Resistance Likely to Plague Farmers in 2017

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