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 some of the hottest topics in weed science today:

• 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).

The Southern Weed Science Society serves the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Members exchange ideas, experiences, opinions and information and promote better correlated and coordinated efforts on weed research and control by federal, state and local organizations, both public and private. Members include those who are directly interested in weed control through research, education, regulation, manufacturing or merchandising.

The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit professional society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Weed Science Society of America promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world.