Kansas State University researchers have discovered how weeds develop resistance to glyphosate, which researchers say could have broad future implications in agriculture. Researchers say they found how weeds have evolved resistance to glyphosate over a short period of time. The research shows resistance to glyphosate in Palmer amaranth “appears to have occurred very rapidly.” Researchers say glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth plants carry the glyphosate target gene in hundreds of copies, meaning even if a farmer applied an amount much higher than the recommended dose of glyphosate, the plants would not be killed.
Armed with their new knowledge, the researchers can begin work on developing strategies to combat resistance in weeds. However, in the meantime, researchers say farmers should incorporate best management strategies, such as rotating herbicides and crops, to reduce weed pressure. The study recommends that farmers “do not abuse glyphosate” so the industry doesn’t lose the option of using the herbicide in the future.