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Keywords:

  • GMHT;
  • resistance;
  • glyphosate;
  • weed control

Abstract

Maize growing in the EU27 increased to over 13 million ha in 2007, most of which (>80%) was grown in just eight countries (France, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and Bulgaria). The number of herbicides used to control the wide spectrum of weeds occurring in all these countries is likely to decline in the future as each current active ingredient is reassessed for toxicological and environmental safety under Directive 91/414/EEC. Glyphosate has already been approved under this directive. Glyphosate, applied alone or in combination with currently available residual herbicides to genetically modified varieties tolerant to glyphosate, can provide a viable, flexible and profitable alternative to conventional weed control programmes. Glyphosate usage with glyphosate-tolerant varieties also provides an environmentally sustainable weed control option as long as sufficient diversity of weed management options (crop rotation, chemical diversity, multiple cultural and mechanical practices, buffer strips) is maintained within the farm management system. Appropriate product stewardship measures will be required to maximise the long-term overall benefits of the glyphosate-based system. Specifically, care will need to be taken to manage potential weed shifts to more difficult-to-control species and to reduce the risk of selection for glyphosate-resistant weeds. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry