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Prior to the 1950s weeds were controlled by a wide variety of mechanical and cultural methods with limited use of inorganic chemicals at very high rates (100s kg ha–1). With the advent of selective carbon-based herbicides in the 1950s, herbicide weed management became the norm throughout much of the world using grams to a few kg of active ingredient per ha. However, with the benefits, there are problems. A few resistant weeds were recognized in the 1970s, but today, in 2021, 521 unique cases of resistance have been documented throughout the world. It is imperative for farmers to rethink the herbicide paradigm and for researchers to explore and provide alternative weed management methods so that today's herbicides maintain efficacy and benefits into the future. Near-term management strategies include going back to more integrated approaches, employing mechanical mechanisms, and linking to new technologies to hit weeds with ‘many little hammers’ rather than the ‘sledge hammer’ of one or multiple herbicides.

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Agronomy Journal

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