Herbicides were developed during the twentieth century to be used with conventional tillage for weed control. Conservation (or minimum) tillage subsequently evolved, which enabled less soil damage when used with herbicides. Selection pressure, however, has resulted in weed species that have made adaptations for survival in conjunction with tillage. A recent Issue Paper from CAST, Herbicide-resistant Weeds Threaten Soil Conservation Gains: Finding a Balance for Soil and Farm Sustainability, examines the impact of certain weed management practices on soil conservation objectives and addresses ways to mitigate negative effects. The U.S. government has put several federal policies and programs in place that help determine the selection and implementation of crops and conservation programs in relation to herbicides and tillage. The authors of this paper discuss those programs with regard to:
The balance between conservation tillage and herbicide-resistant (HR) weed management is the central issue addressed in the paper. As the authors state, “The fundamental conflict facing many producers with HR weed management issues today is the choice between using tillage or land stewardship practices that protect soil and water resources.”
A few of the paper’s conclusions include the following:
Task Force Authors:
David Shaw, Chair, Mississippi State University
Stanley Culpepper, University of Georgia
Micheal Owen, Iowa State University
Andrew Price, National Soil Dynamics Laboratory
Robert Wilson, University of Nebraska
The new Spanish version of CAST Issue Paper #49 (49 SPA) is available in the publications section of this site, along with many of CAST’s other scientific publications. All CAST Issue Papers and Commentaries are FREE.
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