Have you ever thumbed through your child’s textbook only to be left shaking your head?
RealAgriculture founder Shaun Haney was helping his youngest son with his science homework when a small sidebar on herbicide resistance caught his eye:
In my sons grade 9 text book it says that herbicide resistance is due to weeds and HT crops outcrossing. Any thoughts on this? pic.twitter.com/p4ZybH0Kr7
— Shaun Haney (@shaunhaney) November 1, 2019
While technically possible (there has been confirmed cross-pollination between herbicide tolerant brassicas with a weedy relative), the spread of herbicide resistance is far more complicated than mixing of pollen, scientists say.
On Twitter, several weed scientists weighed in to offer a bit more context than the textbook provided:
Definitely not pic.twitter.com/zmDATyjYjs
— The dandelion will lie down with the lambsquarter (@LynnSosnoskie) November 1, 2019
3/n Rates of outcrossing are very low however and the offspring have low pollen viability. Risk of herbicide resistance in weeds from selection is far, far higher than from outcrossing, which is why good weed resistance management practices are so important.
— Jed Christianson (@JedChristianson) November 1, 2019