Mitigating the environmental impact of herbicides

In recent years, soybean fields and other crops and trees across the Midwest have been experiencing more damage from drift of herbicides, particularly those plants grown from seeds that have not been genetically modified ...

First dicamba-resistant waterhemp produced

University of Illinois weed scientists have confirmed resistance to the herbicide dicamba in a Champaign County waterhemp population. In the study, dicamba controlled 65% of the waterhemp in the field when applied at the ...

Waterhemp goes off script to resist herbicides

Cementing waterhemp's reputation as a hard-to-kill weed in corn and soybean production systems, University of Illinois researchers have now documented the weed deviating from standard detoxification strategies to resist an ...

Herbicide resistance no longer a black box for scientists

When agricultural weeds evolve resistance to herbicides, they do it in one of two ways. In target-site resistance, a tiny mutation in the plant's genetic code means the chemical no longer fits in the protein it's designed ...

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Herbicide

Herbicides, also commonly known as weedkillers, are pesticides used to kill unwanted plants. Selective herbicides kill specific targets while leaving the desired crop relatively unharmed. Some of these act by interfering with the growth of the weed and are often synthetic "imitations" of plant hormones. Herbicides used to clear waste ground, industrial sites, railways and railway embankments are non-selective and kill all plant material with which they come into contact. Smaller quantities are used in forestry, pasture systems, and management of areas set aside as wildlife habitat.

Some plants produce natural herbicides, such as the genus Juglans (walnuts), or the tree of heaven; such action of natural herbicides, and other related chemical interactions, is called allelopathy.

Herbicides are widely used in agriculture and in landscape turf management. In the U.S., they account for about 70% of all agricultural pesticide use.

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