Late-Season Seed Production in Arable Weed Communities: Management Implications Academic Article uri icon


  • Late-season weed escapes are often ignored because they rarely cause crop yield penalty. Traditional weed management recommendations are based on the economic threshold (ET) approach, wherein management is required if the predicted current-season yield loss is greater than the cost of control interventions. While ET-based weed management can reduce current-season production costs and promote farmland biodiversity, it does not consider the long-term biological and economic consequences associated with late-season weed seed production. An important concern is that late-season weed seed production will replenish the soil seedbank, ensuring future weed problems. In the context of herbicide resistance evolution, allowing late-season weed seed production can be problematic because the probabilities of occurrence of resistant mutants rise with increases in seed production. A key component of herbicide resistance mitigation and management is preventing seed production and buildup of the soil seedbank. Late-season weed management efforts constitute additional expenses to growers, which cannot be recouped in that growing season, but any such investment must be weighed against the perceived long-term benefits. It appears that management of late-season weed escapes is valuable in a number of situations, and the degree to which management interventions should be employed can be case-specific. Adoption of economic optimum thresholds (EOTs), which can be established using bio-economic models, will be useful for making management decisions for late-season weed escapes. In systems vulnerable to herbicide resistance evolution, bio-economic resistance thresholds (BERTs) will be appropriate and bio-economic resistance models (BERMs) will be helpful for establishing such thresholds for specific production scenarios. Management considerations for late-season weed escapes are discussed, and knowledge gaps for future research are identified.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Bagavathiannan, M. V., & Norsworthy, J. K.

citation count

  • 56

complete list of authors

  • Bagavathiannan, Muthukumar V||Norsworthy, Jason K

publication date

  • September 2012