Recent developments and trends in weed management are the focus of an upcoming joint meeting of two of the nation's leading weed science organizations.

The Weed Science Society of America and the Southern Weed Science Society will meet Feb. 9-13 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

The event is drawing hundreds of scientists, students, educators and professionals from public and private organizations who are interested in sustainable weed control practices. This is the 49th annual meeting for WSSA and the 62nd annual meeting for SWSS.

Keynote speaker will be Ed Knipling, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. Knipling will provide an overview of leading ARS research priorities and discuss the implications of the 2008 farm bill for enhancing USDA research, education and Extension programs relevant to weed science.

Eight conference symposia will cover:

  • Plant pathogens and the biological control of weeds
  • Emerging resistance of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) to the well-known herbicide glyphosate
  • New weed population and community modeling techniques
  • Web-accessible, invasive weed databases and volunteer weed monitoring programs
  • The impact of herbicides used at rates below those specified on product labels
  • Ethical research practices and the mentoring of new weed scientists
  • Technology innovations in weed science communication
  • Expanded uses for herbicides

To round out the program, the 9th International Bioherbicide Group will hold a concurrent workshop Feb. 8-9 with field tours of weed biocontrol sites — one for the aquatic weed hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) and the other for the pasture weed tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum).