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1 July 2016 The “Wicked” Nature of the Herbicide Resistance Problem
David R. Shaw
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Sociologists define a wicked problem as one without clear causes or solutions, and thus difficult or impossible to solve. Herbicide resistance is the epitome of a wicked problem: the causes are convoluted by myriad biological and technological factors, and are fundamentally driven by the vagaries of human decision-making. Weed scientists for decades have conducted research and developed educational programs to prevent or mitigate evolution of herbicide resistance, yet resistance is more prevalent today than ever before. If we expect to achieve success in herbicide resistance management, different approaches will be essential. The second Herbicide Resistance Summit focused on “doing something different,” bringing in rural sociologists, agricultural economists, weed scientists, and crop consultants to discuss the decision-making process itself, community-based approaches to resistance management, economics of resistance management, potential regulatory and incentive programs, new approaches to educational programs, diversification of weed management, and a call to action for everyone involved in the decision-making process.

David R. Shaw "The “Wicked” Nature of the Herbicide Resistance Problem," Weed Science 64(sp1), 552-558, (1 July 2016).
Received: 5 March 2015; Accepted: 1 February 2016; Published: 1 July 2016
Herbicide resistance
Herbicide Resistance Summit
wicked problem
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