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Weed management impacts all of society, not just those in agricultural production. Although the general public may not appreciate it, weeds cause a multitude of problems in many facets of modern life. From the homeowners with a serious dandelion problem in their lawn to the highway maintenance managers battling crabgrass in median strips, many people are familiar with the headache we call weeds.

Consider the following points adapted from statements made by the Weed Science Society of America:

  • Combined losses and costs of weeds in the U.S. exceed an estimated $20 billion per year.
  • Growers spend more than $3 billion annually for chemical weed control (herbicides) and several times this amount for other methods of weed control (tillage, etc.).
  • Allergies have been estimated to lead to nearly 100 million days of restricted activity and approximately 40 million bed-disability days each year in the U.S. - Many of these allergic reactions are triggered by weeds.

Other negative impacts weeds have on society include the following:

  • The Nature Conservancy has estimated that 79 non-native plants (e.g. leafy spurge) and animals introduced into the U.S. have cost the economy $97 billion in recent years.
  • Introduced plants that become weeds have replaced native plants in national parks.
  • Weeds lower property values.
  • Weeds lower crop yields.
  • Weeds lower crop quality.
  • Weeds contaminate crop seed.
  • Weeds may be poisonous to humans and/or animals.