Conference to tackle shrinking herbicide options

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Herbicide Resistance

International herbicide specialists will gather in Fremantle, Western Australia, in February 2013 to come to grips with shrinking herbicide options in the wake of increasing weeds resistance.

It has been more than 20 years since a herbicide with a completely new mode of action has been commercialised and during that time global agrichemical companies have consolidated and reduced their overall research and development investments.

Photo of a smiling man at the bottom of a tall building.

Professor Stephen Powles is canvassing new
options for alternatives to herbicides in
global agriculture.

PHOTO: Brad Collis

With no truly new herbicide products released, the selection pressure on existing herbicides is considered a real threat to cropping sustainability.

Seventy-five per cent of the total world herbicide market is represented by only six modes of action. The resulting selection pressure on weeds to evolve resistance to one or several herbicides is strong.

This lack of discovery of new herbicide modes of action is to be a key focus of the Global Herbicide Resistance Challenge conference in Fremantle. The conference is sponsored by the GRDC and the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI).

Specialists from around the world will discuss the threats and opportunities to world grain and fibre production from limited herbicide options. The conference follows on from a Bayer CropScience workshop in Frankfurt, Germany, in November.

AHRI director Professor Stephen Powles gave a plenary lecture in Frankfurt on the science of herbicide discovery and canvassed new options for alternatives to herbicides for use in global agriculture.

The four-day conference, commencing on 18 February, will address issues ranging from molecular evolution through to crop science, agro-ecology, resistance management and socioeconomics. The final day will have an applied focus and provide a summation of the previous three days as well as information on applied resistance-management options in a variety of global crops. An optional field tour will take place on 22 February.

All interested individuals are invited to register for the full conference or for day registration via the conference website ( Full registration cost is $1100 and one-day registration is available at $275 per day ($165 for students) inclusive of GST.

More information:;

Lisa Mayer, conference chair,
08 6488 7870,

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GRDC Project Code GCS10000

Region West