Herbicide Resistance Action Committee, which is a committee of technical representatives from the major agrichemical companies, was created in the 1980s to deal with the rising problems of resistance to ALS and ACCase inhibitors as well as the more established triazine resistance. This committee, of which I was the chair for four years, was and still is very active in developing and publishing guidelines on managing herbicide resistance and in creating and supporting a web-based database on the instances of herbicide-resistant weeds. However, this committee is confined to technical issues and for legal reasons does not get involved in marketing issues. Industry has been criticized for acting too slowly when resistance is selected for new mechanisms of action, such as the HPPD or PPO inhibitors, but it takes time to really understand the extent of the problem and to determine how to best deal with it. Industry has been very active in urging the maintenance of registration of older herbicides that are vital tools for resistance management. With the advent of widespread glyphosate-resistant weeds, industry also is re-emphasizing the discovery of herbicides with new mechanisms of action. Industry has been supportive of regulations that actually deal with herbicide resistance, such as the addition of mechanism of action group identification to the label, but each company is reluctant to implement new strategies without the participation of all of the companies. Unilateral action can be nonproductive if it is not supported by other companies. This will continue to be an impediment for implementing best management practices and can undermine university and governmental recommendations unless industry is an active participant in developing these practices.
Prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola), courtesy of Stan Shebs (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lactuca_serriola_3.jpg).