Weed Science Society of America Advocates For Weed Controls That Protect Soybean Export Value

WSSA will promote systems approach developed by USDA-APHIS

Westminster, CO (August 27, 2018) - Experts from the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) will attend the 2018 Farm Progress show in Boone, IA, this week to highlight system-wide strategies for protecting soybean export values by reducing weed seeds in harvested soybean crops.

The United States is a major exporter of soybean, which represents more than half of the nation’s $39 billion in annual grain exports. When weed seeds are detected in exported crops, the importing country may impose additional inspections or treatments, or may reject or destroy the shipment. Recurring violations can lead authorities to suspend exports from a given region or to close their import markets entirely.

“Herbicide-resistant weeds have led to a rise in the number of weed seeds finding their way into harvested crops,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., executive director of science policy for WSSA. “We need a proactive, system-wide strategy to reverse this trend and protect economically important foreign markets.”

WSSA representatives attending the Farm Progress show will promote a system-wide approachdeveloped by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to reduce weed seeds in harvested soybean crops. WSSA is among nearly two dozen public agencies, scientific societies, industry organizations, grower groups and trade associations to endorse APHIS’ recommendations, which span weed control during planting, harvesting, storage, handling and transport.

Examples include:

  • Regularly vary management practices to eliminate weeds, avoid development of resistant weeds and discourage the buildup of any one weed type.
  • Use herbicide mixtures with multiple sites of action, including a combination of pre- and post-emergence herbicides with residual control.
  • Rotate crops to lower weed densities, increase crop yields and improve soil quality.
  • Plant with narrow spacing between rows to allow plants to form a closed canopy and out-compete weeds for sun and water.
  • Remove late-season weeds that have escaped.
  • Adjust combine settings to remove weed seeds.
  • Regularly clean storage bins, augers and legs, transport vehicles and farm equipment to prevent weed spread and cross-crop contamination.

The full list of recommended best practices is available for download at the USDA APHIS website.

During the Farm Progress event, WSSA experts will be available at the USDA Farm Service Agency booth (#817, Northeast Exhibit Field) to address grower questions and concerns about on-farm weed management practices.


The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Society 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. For more information, visit http://www.wssa.net.