WSSA To USDA: Don’t Eliminate Funding For Weed Science

Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) has issued a strong appeal to the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to protest the elimination of virtually all funding for weed science in the federal budget.

“If the budget moves forward as proposed, critical work that impacts our food and water supplies and our natural ecosystems will remain unfunded,” says WSSA president Dr. John Jachetta.

Joining WSSA in an appeal to USDA to restore the funding were the Aquatic Plant Management Society, North Central Weed Science Society, Northeastern Weed Science Society, Southern Weed Science Society, and Western Society of Weed Science.

In a letter to Dr. Roger Beachy, director, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the organizations point to some of the most urgent, near-term challenges weed science needs to address:

  • Herbicide resistance. Resistant weeds continue to evolve and will overrun long-established cropping systems unless new integrated weed management programs are developed and adopted. Integrated weed management considers all available practices – cultural, chemical, mechanical, genetic and biological – and uses the best combination for the specific problem.
  • Organic weed control. Weed control is the organic grower’s number one production cost. To meet the demand for organically produced food, farmers need new and effective tactics for managing weeds without herbicides. An over-reliance on cultivation alone can increase soil erosion, reduce soil quality and increase energy consumption.
  • Climate change. As weed species respond to our changing climate, new management tactics are needed to protect food supplies and to sustain both fiber and fuel production.
  • Protection of water supplies. Unchecked invasive weeds continue to threaten the wetlands and waterways that are vital to our potable water supply, hydroelectric power, flood control, conservation and endangered species restoration.

The letter from the societies also highlights recent reports from the National Academy of Sciences and the USDA itself that underline the critical need for weed science research.*

“Weed scientists are mystified and disappointed by USDA’s decision,” Jachetta says. “If officials consider weed management a solved problem, nothing could be further from the truth. Today, well over half of all pest-related crop losses can be attributed to weeds. Abandoning our commitment to weed science at a time when our weed management challenges are growing is a potent recipe for a crisis of national proportions.”

WSSA appealed to USDA to make three changes:

  1. Add a Foundational program within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to address weedy plant biology, ecology and management, similar to those focused on phytopathology and entomology.
  2. Reconfigure larger AFRI research programs to encompass the full breadth of the agricultural sciences. Currently, program objectives are written so narrowly as to exclude not only weed science, but many other important areas of study.
  3. Restore funding for integrated activities under the Section 406 Legislative Authority. Section 406 supports integrated weed management research through initiatives like the Regional IPM Centers, Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program, Crops at Risk and Organic Transitions Program. Funding for these programs was zeroed out in the President’s FY 2011 budget.

“We hope that reason will prevail and that funding will be restored,” Jachetta says. “Otherwise the weed science discipline may be crippled for generations to come.”

WSSA asks that letters of support for weed science funding be directed to:

The U.S. House of Representatives

The U.S. Senate

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Leave a Reply

Herbicides Stories

Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsINNVICTIS CROP CARE Introduces VANDAL MOC Soybean Herbicide
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has announced the U.S. EPA registration for VANDAL MOC, a combination of sulfentrazone plus metolachlor. VANDAL Read More
Kochia
HerbicidesINNVICTIS CROP CARE Launches STAVE Post-Emerge Broadleaf Herbicide
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has introduced STAVE as the newest addition to­ its expanding portfolio. STAVE will be a great Read More
Crop InputsWhat do Roundup and Mickey Mouse Have in Common? California Says Both Cause Cancer
April 13, 2017
(SOURCE: East Valley Times) Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and many other weed killers, is being added Read More
Waterhemp Weed
Crop InputsHerbicide Resistance: The Numbing Numbers From The Weed Wars
April 2, 2017
As in any war, the longer the conflict goes on, the higher the numbers associated with this fight grow. This Read More
Trending Articles
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
Latest News
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing…
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
BRANDT
CropLife 100Former PotashCorp COO Joins BRANDT Board
April 27, 2017
BRANDT has announced the appointment of another industry veteran to its board of directors. David Delaney, most recently EVP and Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsFortune: Inside China’s $43 Billion Bid for Food …
April 26, 2017
(Via Fortune.com) The worst famine in human history occurred in China from 1959 to 1961. An estimated 34 million people Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Changes in Board of Directors
April 26, 2017
ChemChina and Syngenta announced changes relating to the new Board of Directors of Syngenta following the closing of the ChemChina Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Introduces PerCarb Broad-Spectrum Bacte…
April 26, 2017
BioSafe Systems announces PerCarb (Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate), a new alternative to potassium bicarbonate and lime sulfur products for use in Read More
Deere Twitter
EquipmentTop 10 Twitter Pics for #Plant17
April 26, 2017
Despite some wet weather in parts of the Midwest, growers and ag retailers are working feverishly to plant this year’s Read More
Donald Trump
Crop InputsTrump Targets Agriculture with Latest Executive Order
April 26, 2017
(Via UPI.com) President Donald Trump on Tuesday took executive action in an effort to help grow the domestic agriculture industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
EquipmentAGCO Mourns Passing of Company Founder, Industry Vision…
April 25, 2017
AGCO Corp., a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, mourns the passing of founder and former President, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsINNVICTIS CROP CARE Introduces VANDAL MOC Soybean Herbi…
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has announced the U.S. EPA registration for VANDAL MOC, a combination of sulfentrazone plus metolachlor. VANDAL Read More
Kochia
HerbicidesINNVICTIS CROP CARE Launches STAVE Post-Emerge Broadlea…
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has introduced STAVE as the newest addition to­ its expanding portfolio. STAVE will be a great Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationSonny Perdue Confirmed by Senate as Next Agriculture Se…
April 25, 2017
After months without a secretary of agriculture, the Senate voted Monday evening to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to Read More
BPIA logo
Seed/BiotechBPIA Files Comments with USDA
April 24, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) has filed comments with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Read More
Eric SfiligojHope for Application Equipment Sales
April 24, 2017
The old saying goes that a “rising tide lifts all boats.” If this is indeed the case, then things may Read More
Stewardship video screenshot
ManagementNew Video Raises Awareness of 2,4-D Stewardship
April 24, 2017
A new public service video developed and produced by the 2,4-D Research Task Force, in conjunction with the American Soybean Read More
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More