Approaches to Integrated Weed Management
Weeds have a significant economic impact on agricultural production. In the United States alone, it was estimated that weeds and weed control have an annual economic impact of more than $15 billion (Bridges, 1994), with even greater relative costs in developing countries (Akobunudu, 1991). Concerns over the economic costs and environmental impacts of current practices (National Research Council, 1989; Radosevich and Ghersa, 1992; Flora, 1995) have led many weed scientists and crop producers to seek alternative strategies for weed control (Gressel, 1992; Wyse, 1992). Herbicides are important tools for modern agriculture but have become the dominant weed control practice in many production systems. New control options and management knowledge will give producers more flexibility as well as help preserve the effectiveness of herbicides. Using herbicides in a more integrative manner will help forestall the development of weed resistance and reduce the potential for environmental contamination.