Managing the resistance risk to retain long-term effectiveness of glyphosate for grass-weed control in UK crop rotations

Project number
Lead partner
Start Date
01 October 2015
End date
30 September 2020
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds funding

The challenge

Current changes in usage patterns of glyphosate in the UK have increased the risk of resistance development. The main threat is in annual arable crops where glyphosate provides a key role in managing grass-weeds which have developed resistance to selective herbicides. Guidance to reduce the risk of resistance development has been published by AHDB but important knowledge gaps still exist.

The project

The project will provide information for the development of more robust guidelines to reduce the risk of resistance development, in particular to quantify the four key principles: prevent survivors, maximise efficacy, use alternatives and monitor success. Specifically it will provide greater precision on how much glyphosate can safely be used and how often to avoid resistance evolving. The experimental work will involve a combination of both field and container-based methods. The main grass-weeds tested will be black-grass and Italian rye-grass and will investigate the two key risk periods of glyphosate application: 1) Stubbles/pre-drilling when multiple applications are applied and 2) Between crop rows when application will be to larger plants and not followed by other risk mitigation. Outcomes of the research will enable publication of more robust practical management guidelines. The project will be managed by ADAS with co-funding and collaborative involvement from the Glyphosate Task Force (through Monsanto) and four distributor companies (providing data and sites). The Black-grass Research Initiative (BGRI) will be represented on the steering group and close collaboration will be maintained through joint activity. CRD will be a regulator.

The benefits

The project outcome will be improved evidence leading to greater precision and detail in future management guidelines, which should significantly reduce the chances of resistance to glyphosate evolving in key grass weed species. 

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