Agroecological Alternatives to Herbicides

What to do when over-zealous pesticide use exacerbates pest management problems – Agroecological alternatives to herbicides Open Lecture

David MortensenThursday, March 9, 2017 at 12:20pm to 1:10pm

Emerson Hall, 135, Cornell University

Agroecological Alternatives to Herbicides: The prevailing form of agriculture performed today suffers from “lock-in” which is to say the production system has features that limit it’s ability to redirect. One such feature is genetically modified herbicide resistant crops. Widespread adoption of the package of seed and associated traits, matching herbicides and insecticide and fungicide seed treatments has resulted in significant increases in pesticide use.  Mortensen will outline how this lock-in has evolved, the downside effects of lock-in then spend the remainder of the seminar outlining recent agroecological advances that offer a glimpse to a more sustainable path forward.

Thursday, March 9, 12:20 – 1:10 pm, 135 Emerson in Ithaca

Agroecological Alternatives to Herbicides Lecture to be presented by David Mortensen, Section of Soil and Crop Sciences, Penn State University.

David Mortensen applies his background in applied plant ecology and ecologically-based pest management to improve the sustainability of land resource management. His work explores the interplay between the ecology of agricultural fields, field edges and forest fragments. His work takes a landscape approach to assessing this interplay. An example of such work assesses approaches to integrating weed management with the goal of reducing reliance on herbicide use. A summary of this work was recently published in an important paper that appeared in the journal BioScience. Dr. Mortensen has a long-standing interest in making weedy plant management more sustainable through understanding how management tactics interact. He works on methods of enhancing weedy plant invasion resistance in northeastern forests. He balances his research interests with teaching such courses as: Principles of Weed Management, Flora of the Central Appalachian Region, and Ecology of Agricultural Systems. Dr. Mortensen’s interest in local food systems drew him to the Penn State University Community Garden where he is a gardener and faculty advisor.

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