Research

Herbicide resistance predates herbicides by over 80 years

A. myosuroides herbarium specimen. (From Delye et al. 2013)

The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) recently posted a press release headlined “WSSA Scientists Say Herbicide Resistance Predates Genetically Engineered Crops by 40 Years.” From the WSSA release: You may think weeds resistant to herbicides are a new phenomenon linked to the overuse of glyphosate in genetically engineered crops, but according to the Weed Science Society of America […]

The role of reflected light quality in crop-weed interactions

WeedReflectedSpectra

This post is a slightly edited excerpt from an article we wrote for Reflections magazine. Plants need light – this is one of the first biology lessons children learn in school. Plants convert sunlight into forms of energy the plant can use to grow. Nearly everything humans eat is derived in some way from photosynthesis, […]

Want to reduce herbicide resistance? Spray more herbicides!

GRkochia

A while ago, I wrote a post summarizing the pros and cons of using a regulatory framework to slow the evolution of herbicide resistant weeds. As a part of that post, I suggested there exists a “resistance management paradox.” In a nutshell, to reduce the problem of herbicide resistant weeds, one important strategy may be to actually use more herbicide. […]

Dead plants are probably bad for earthworms

An earthworm. Taken in Swifts Creek, Victoria in June 2007. Source: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

I’ve gotten a number of questions recently about a new study titled “Glyphosate-based herbicides reduce the activity and reproduction of earthworms and lead to increased soil nutrient concentrations” that was recently published in the online journal Scientific Reports. Although the title seems pretty straightforward, there are some flaws in the study design that preclude any broad conclusions from this research. […]

I Am Biased and So Are You: thoughts on funding and influence in science

Money

This is the third (and probably final) post in a series on industry funding of my weed science program. The previous posts on this topic are here (Part 1: On transparency, intimidation, and being called a shill) and here (Part 2: Who funds my weed science program?). In this post, I’ll mostly describe some of my personal experiences. It is important to […]

On transparency, intimidation, and being called a shill

A while back, a group of scientists involved in research or communication about various aspects of biotechnology (GMOs) were the subjects of freedom of information requests. Keith Kloor, who broke the story in Science, also posted one of the letters sent to the University of Illinois. The request asks for all emails in the last 2+ […]

An Evaluation of the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ)

journal.pone.0131200.g001

I’ve always been interested in how changes in agricultural production practices impact the environment. In particular, I’ve followed the adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops since I was an undergraduate, and try to stay up to date on research relating to the environmental impact associated with these crops. Several publications over the last decade have […]

A 40 year veteran of weed research reflects on his career

KnissWilson

Bob Wilson, the weed specialist at the University of Nebraska’s Panhandle Research & Extension Center is retiring this month. Dr. Wilson has been a long-time mentor to me, serving as advisor for my M.S. and co-advisor for my PhD. Since then, we’ve collaborated on many projects aimed at helping sugarbeet producers better manage difficult weeds. […]