Evolution of soybean weed management in the United States
Weeds have been an unwanted nuisance since the beginning of agriculture. The processes and technologies utilized to manage this yield limiting problem have evolved over time. Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] production in the United States has experienced all of the major agriculture revolutions. This has included horse-drawn field implements, tractor power implementation, chemical era, and the most recent era of biotechnology. There has been a continuous gain in efficiencies with the discovery and introduction of new technologies to manage weeds in soybeans. A period of rapid discovery and introduction of new and novel herbicide sites of action (SOA) with improved efficacy on target weed populations was experienced. Some of the SOA utilized proved to be more prone to weed populations with herbicide-resistance. Introduction of new herbicide active ingredients, a few new SOA, and herbicide-tolerant crops has been the answer to herbicide-tolerant weed species issues as they have arisen in the past. Herbicide-tolerant weed species are on the rise and new SOA are at a standstill. Biotechnology has offered herbicide-tolerant crops to the industry allowing old chemistries to be utilized in new ways which has aided in the fight against weeds. Land managers must diversify weed management techniques encompassing all cultural, mechanical, and herbicidal methods of weed removal available to preserve the tools and technologies and manage weeds that are increasingly difficult to manage.