Managing Witchweed

Seed treatment and acetolactate synthase herbicide tolerance traits for managing witchweed (Striga spp.) infestations in sorghum

sorghum-witchweed.jpgWeed management is one of the most important considerations impacting sorghum production today.  In Africa, witchweed (Striga spp.) infestations are a growing menace for cereal crop producers across the continent.  One new and very promising Striga management technology involves use of herbicide tolerance traits for managing this weed.  Low-dose imazapyr or metsulfuron seed coatings applied to herbicide tolerant varieties have been shown to be highly effective in controlling Striga infestation in field and greenhouse trials.  Locally-adapted varieties that couple host-plant resistance to Striga with herbicide seed treatments are being developed to identify the combination of traits that maximizes the efficacy of control.