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US weed scientists define "superweed"

US weed scientists have come up with a new definition of the slang term, "superweed", to counter the misinformation surrounding the word. The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) and six sister organisations define superweed as: "Slang used to describe a weed that has evolved characteristics that make it more difficult to manage due to repeated use of the same management tactic. Over-dependence on a single tactic as opposed to using diverse approaches can lead to such adaptations." The most common use of the term refers to a weed that has become resistant to one or more herbicide mechanisms of action due to their repeated use in the absence of more diverse control measures. However, dependence on a single mechanical, biological or cultural management tactic has led to similar adaptations, the WSSA points out. Two common misconceptions about superweeds are that they are the result of gene transfer from genetically altered crops and that they have superior competitive characteristics. There is no scientific evidence to indicate that crop to weed gene transfer is contributing to the herbicide resistance issues faced by farmers, the WSSA notes.



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