Herbicide-resistant weeds in turfgrass: Current status and emerging threats

James T. Brosnan, Matthew T. Elmore, Muthukumar V. Bagavathiannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Herbicide-resistant weeds pose a severe threat to sustainable vegetation management in various production systems worldwide. The majority of the herbicide resistance cases reported thus far originate from agronomic production systems where herbicide use is intensive, especially in industrialized countries. Another notable sector with heavy reliance on herbicides for weed control is managed turfgrass systems, particularly golf courses and athletic fields. Intensive use of herbicides, coupled with a lack of tillage and other mechanical tools that are options in agronomic systems, increases the risk of herbicide-resistant weeds evolving in managed turfgrass systems. Among the notable weed species at high risk for evolving resistance under managed turf systems in the United States are annual bluegrass, goosegrass, and crabgrasses. The evolution and spread of multiple herbicide resistance, an emerging threat facing the turfgrass industry, should be addressed with the use of diversified management tools. Target-site resistance has been reported commonly as a mechanism of resistance for many herbicide groups, though non-target site resistance is an emerging concern. Despite the anecdotal evidence of the mounting weed resistance issues in managed turf systems, the lack of systematic and periodic surveys at regional and national scales means that confirmed reports are very limited and sparse. Furthermore, currently available information is widely scattered in the literature. This review provides a concise summary of the current status of herbicide-resistant weeds in managed turfgrass systems in the United States and highlights key emerging threats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-430
Number of pages7
JournalWeed Technology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


  • Annual bluegrass, Poa annua L.
  • Nomenclature:
  • crabgrass, Digitaria spp.
  • goosegrass, Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn


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