Agricultural practices, other than herbicide use, can affect the rate of evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds. This study examined associations of farm management practices with the occurrence of herbicide (acetyl-CoA carboxylase or acetolactate synthase inhibitor)-resistant weeds, based upon a multi-year (2001 to 2003) random survey of 370 fields/growers from the Canadian Prairies. Herbicide-resistant weeds occurred in one-quarter of the surveyed fields. The primary herbicide-resistant weed species was wild oat, with lesser occurrence of green foxtail, kochia, common chickweed, spiny sowthistle, and redroot pigweed. The risk of weed resistance was greatest in fields with cereal-based rotations and least in fields with forage crops, fallow, or where three or more crop types were grown. Weed resistance risk also was greatest in conservation-tillage systems and particularly low soil disturbance no-tillage, possibly due to greater herbicide use or weed seed bank turnover. Large farms (> 400 ha) had a greater risk of weed resistance than smaller farms, although the reason for this association was unclear. The results of this study identify cropping system diversity as the foundation of proactive weed resistance management.
Nomenclature: Common chickweed, Stellaria media (L.) Vill. STEME; green foxtail, Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv. SETVI; kochia, Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad. KSHSC; redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus L. AMARE; spiny sowthistle, Sonchus asper (L.) Hill SONAS; wild oat, Avena fatua L. AVEFA