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Darwinian AgricultureHow Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture$
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R. Ford Denison

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139500

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139500.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Stop Evolution Now!

Stop Evolution Now!

(p.164) 10 Stop Evolution Now!
Darwinian Agriculture

R. Ford Denison

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers ongoing evolution, particularly as it relates to control of agricultural pests. It begins with a discussion of how weeds evolved resistance to herbicides, focusing on the case of watergrass. It then examines the high dose/refuge strategy for slowing the evolution of pesticide resistance, along with the experience of Australian cotton farmers with this approach. It shows that cooperation among Australian cotton farmers was key to the relatively successful management of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) resistance. The chapter also explores two different ways in which nature can serve as a source of ideas for improving pest control in agriculture: comparing natural ecosystems and studying the pest-defense strategies of individual wild plants.

Keywords:   evolution, pests, weeds, watergrass, refuge strategy, pesticide resistance, cotton farmers, pest control, agriculture

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