When Weeds Won't Die — Ep. 1: The Different Kinds of Herbicide Resistance


What’s the difference between non-performance of a herbicide application and weeds being resistant to the herbicide application? While less-than-stellar control can happen for a number of reasons, it’s usually marked by sprayer-associated-patterns in a field. Herbicide resistance, however, can be much more subtle but far more serious in the long run.

Herbicide resistant weeds are not new to Canada, but their incidence is on the rise. What’s more, resistance by several nasty weeds to some key products — namely glyphosate — has already been confirmed in several provinces. No longer just a concern with wild oats, prolific weeds like kochia, and stubborn weeds like cleavers, are exhibiting resistance, sometimes to more than one group of herbicide.

What’s already resistant in Canada? The Weed Science Society has a full list, found here.

In this first of five audio pieces on the topic, host Lyndsey Smith speaks with Dr. Linda Hall, professor at the University of Alberta, on the importance of knowing what form of herbicide resistance you’ve got in the field (there are several kinds, some more serious than others). Hall also sheds light on why certain weeds are more prone to becoming resistant, but that ultimately, it’s the selection pressure applied over and over by the same herbicide group that results in eventual resistance.

Check back soon for the next posts in this series, as from here, we’ll cover farmers’ perceptions on herbicide resistance, chemical and non-chemical management of herbicide resistant weeds and more!

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