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A herbicide resistance risk assessment for weeds in wheat and barley crops in New Zealand

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posted on 2023-05-03, 17:21 authored by Zachary NgowZachary Ngow, Richard Chynoweth, Matilda Gunnarsson, Phil Rolston, Chris BuddenhagenChris Buddenhagen
We estimated the risk of selecting for herbicide resistance in 101 weed species known to occur in wheat and barley crops on farms in New Zealand. A protocol was used that accounts for both the risk that different herbicides will select for resistance and each weed’s propensity to develop herbicide resistance based on the number of cases worldwide. To provide context we documented current herbicide use patterns. Most weeds (55) were low-risk, 30 were medium-risk and 16 high-risk. The top ten scored weeds were Echinochloa crus-galli, Poa annua, Lolium multiflorum, Erigeron sumatrensis, Raphanus raphanistrum, Lolium perenne, Erigeron bonariensis, Avena fatua, Avena sterilis and Digitaria sanguinalis. Seven out of ten high-risk weeds were grasses. The most used herbicides were synthetic auxins, an enolpyruvylshikimate-phosphate synthase inhibitor, acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors, carotenoid biosynthesis inhibitors, and long-chain fatty acid inhibitors. ALS-inhibitors were assessed as posing the greatest risk for more species than other modes-of-action. Despite pre-emergence herbicides being known to delay resistance, New Zealand farmers only applied flufenacet and terbuthlazine with high frequency. Based on our analysis, surveys for herbicide-resistant species should focus on the high-risk species we identified. Farmer extension efforts in New Zealand should address resistance evolution in cropping weeds.


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© 2020 Ngow et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • No



Journal title

PLoS One




Ngow, Z., Chynoweth, R. J., Gunnarsson, M., Rolston, P., & Buddenhagen, C. E. (2020). A herbicide resistance risk assessment for weeds in wheat and barley crops in New Zealand. PLoS One, 15(6), e0234771. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0234771

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