Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for Education and Research in Weed Science
Chauhan, Bhagirath S.
Florentine, Singarayer K.
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In modern agriculture, with more emphasis on high input systems, weed problems are likely to increase and become more complex. With heightened awareness of adverse effects of herbicide residues on human health and environment and the evolution of herbicide-resistant weed biotypes, a significant focus within weed science has now shifted to the development of eco-friendly technologies with reduced reliance on herbicides. Further, with the large-scale adoption of herbicide-resistant crops, and uncertain climatic optima under climate change, the problems for weed science have become multi-faceted. To handle these complex weed problems, a holistic line of action with multi-disciplinary approaches is required, including adjustments to technology, management practices, and legislation. Improved knowledge of weed ecology, biology, genetics, and molecular biology is essential for developing sustainable weed control practices. Additionally, judicious use of advanced technologies, such as site-specific weed management systems and decision support modeling, will play a significant role in reducing costs associated with weed control. Further, effective linkages between farmers and weed researchers will be necessary to facilitate the adoption of technological developments. To meet these challenges, priorities in research need to be determined and the education system for weed science needs to be reoriented. In respect of the latter imperative, closer collaboration between weed scientists and other disciplines can help in defining and solving the complex weed management challenges of the 21st century. This consensus will provide more versatile and diverse approaches to innovative teaching and training practices, which will be needed to prepare future weed science graduates who are capable of handling the anticipated challenges of weed science facing in contemporary agriculture. To build this capacity, mobilizing additional funding for both weed research and weed management education is essential.
Chauhan, Bhagirath S., Amar Matloob, Gulshan Mahajan, Farhena Aslam, Singarayer K. Florentine, and Prashant Jha. "Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for Education and Research in Weed Science." Frontiers in Plant Science 8 (September 2017). DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.01537.