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Crop Biotechnology: a Weed Science Perspective

Crop Biotechnology: a Weed Science Perspective. Harold D. Coble IPM Coordinator, USDA/OPMP hcoble@ars.usda.gov. My Perspective. Reared on small diversified farm in 1940s-50s Very familiar with the drudgery of hand hoeing College degrees in agronomy & weed science

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Crop Biotechnology: a Weed Science Perspective

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  1. Crop Biotechnology:a Weed Science Perspective Harold D. Coble IPM Coordinator, USDA/OPMP hcoble@ars.usda.gov

  2. My Perspective • Reared on small diversified farm in 1940s-50s • Very familiar with the drudgery of hand hoeing • College degrees in agronomy & weed science • Weed science extension & research for 30 yrs • Always been a farmer at heart • A proponent of IPM – USDA IPM Coordinator

  3. And, for many reasons, I believe in conserving our natural resources Photo credit USDA/NRCS

  4. Pest management is all about crop yield and quality preservation and ease of harvest. Photo credit USDA/NRCS

  5. Pest Management StrategiesThe PAMS Approach • Prevention • Cultural practices to keep pests out • Avoidance • Cultural practices to avoid or resist pest impact • Monitoring • What is present and how many • Suppression • Kill ‘em if you need to

  6. Pest Suppression Options • Physical • Hand Weeding • Mechanical Cultivation • Other (mulches, , traps, etc.) • Biological • Insects, Bacteria, Fungi, Biochemicals • Chemical • Chemical Pesticides • Pheromones

  7. Chemical Weed Control • Historical non-selective chemicals (NaCl) • Key to chemical use is selectivity • Development of 2,4-D in 1940s • Research programs for selective herbicides • Rapid expansion of chemical use in 1960s &70s • ~100% major crop acreage treated today

  8. Attaining Selectivity • Massive chemical screening programs • Selection in crop breeding programs • Tracy soybean • Non-transgenic methods • Sethoxydim-tolerant corn (tissue culture) • STS soybean • Transgenic technologies (Biotech)

  9. Growth of Biotech Acres% of Total U.S. Acres

  10. Biotech Crop Uses % of Acres

  11. Western Corn Rootworm Adult Photo credit USDA/ARS

  12. Why the Rapid Adoption?Herbicide Tolerant Crops • Lower cost of weed control, even with technology fees • Greatly simplified control procedures • Higher degree of weed control • Fewer chemical applications = less trips • Promotes more sustainable cultural practices • Less tillage, less compaction, narrower rows • Societal aspects (pride, landowner acceptance)

  13. Higher degree of control at lower cost Photo credit USDA/NRCS

  14. And prevent disasters such as this Photo credit USDA/NRCS

  15. Why the Rapid Expansion?Insect Protection (PIPs) • High degree of control of target species • Safety to beneficial species • Human and environmental safety • Food/Feed safety • Applicator safety • Wildlife safety • Simplicity of control measures

  16. PIPs aimed at the major insect pest complexes Photo credit USDA/ARS

  17. Plant-incorporated protectants designed to avoid harm to beneficials Photo credit USDA/ARS

  18. What’s the Downside?Herbicide Tolerant Crops • Weed species shifts if integrated approach not used • Prevention and avoidance strategies • Continued field monitoring • Alternative chemical mode of action • Reduced availability of alternative MOAs • Temptation to just plant and spray

  19. Weed resistance is a fact of life Photo Craig Chism, Univ. of TN

  20. What’s the Downside?PIPs • Risk of resistance development/selection • Major concern of organic community • Increased cost if populations below EIL • Protection present whether needed or not • Have led to secondary pest resurgence • Stinkbugs in cotton

  21. Tarnished Plant Bug Photo credit USDA/ARS

  22. Where do we go from here? Tacos, Chicken feed, or Plastic?? Photo credit USDA/NRCS

  23. Meat, Milk, or Pharmaceuticals??? Photo credit USDA/NRCS

  24. We’ve only just begun… Photo credit USDA/NRCS

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