GES Colloquium | Ramon Leon – Weeds and Herbicide Resistant Crops: When Optimism Backfires
January 22, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST
Weeds and Herbicide Resistant Crops: When Optimism Backfires
Dr. Ramon Leon, Assistant Professor – Weed Biology and Ecology, NC State (link)
Herbicide resistant (HR) varieties have become a core component of weed control in major crops such as corn, soybean, and cotton, and their use has dramatically modified farmer behavior, priorities and funding for weed research, and more importantly weed populations.
The rapid evolution of herbicide resistant weeds and the lack of new herbicides has prompted a reevaluation of how HR crops should be considered just a component within a more complex integrated management system and not as the sole tool for ensuring weed control. The excessive optimism that the agricultural and scientific community exhibited during the first years of use of glyphosate resistant crops reduced our ability to identify the limitations of the technology and the negative consequences of not taking corrective actions on time.
This is a cautionary tale that should inform the introduction and use of new HR traits.
Dr. Ramon Leon is an assistant professor of Weed Biology and Ecology in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, North Carolina State University. Previously, he was an associate professor at the University of Florida, professor at EARTH University in Costa Rica, and assistant professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Dr. Leon obtained a Ph.D. and M.S. in Crop Production and Physiology and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Iowa State University, and a B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Costa Rica. His research has focused on understanding changes in weed dynamics in response to agronomic and environmental factors. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles, 110 abstracts, 40 extension publications, and 3 book chapters. Dr. Leon is an associate editor for Weed Science, Weed Research, Peanut Science, and previously for Weed Technology, and he is currently in the editorial board of Agronomy.
CALS News article: Meet Ramon Leon