Dear colleagues, 

I hope you all are in good shape after the unforgettable months dominated by the covid-19 epidemic. It certainly has affected our efforts at work and in private life. There have been strict restrictions which have been recently relaxed stepwise. Still, the corona virus situation varies between countries and continents. We are not 100% safe until the vaccine will be available. 

The EWRS has taken a very cautious stand regarding any meetings and workshops in 2020. All Working Group Meetings planned for 2020 will most likely be postponed. However, the administrative meetings need to be arranged because the EWRS General Assembly approves the planned activities and the Budget for 2021. The current tentative plan is to arrange the EWRS Board Meeting and the General Assembly in Helsinki in November 2020. The Working Groups will meet in early autumn via video conference administrated by the SciCom Officers Josef Soukup and Husrev Mennan.  

The prospects for 2021 are much brighter. Please keep yourself updated with the arrangements for the 19th EWRS Symposium 2021 in Athens. You are kindly invited to upload your contributions in the Abstract system in September. Detailed information will be available at www.ewrs2021.org.  

The EWRS will show up in Bangkok if the postponed IWSC 2020 will be organized in early December. The EWRS Education & Training Working Group will host a pre-congress workshop on herbicide resistance. Paul Neve and Roland Beffa are going to provide attendees with an overview of the steps required to identify, confirm and manage herbicide resistance. More information about the Congress and the Workshop at www.iwsc2020.com.  

We are in the middle of the field season. I hope that you, together with your technical staff, have been successful in carrying out field experiments as planned. Naturally, Finland follows little behind the other countries of Europe. We grow mainly spring-sown crops drilled typically in mid-May. Now they have reached the heading stage already. The growing conditions in June have not been optimal so far, due to lack of rain. In such conditions, Chenopodium album has typically an advantage over other annual dicots. Please keep in mind that the EWRS media channels (web, Facebook, Twitter) are designed for sharing your announcements, blogs and news on your efforts with weeds and weed management.  

We have been lucky to find funds for the national weed survey in spring cereals in 2020-2022. I feel honoured to continue the series of surveys which started in Finland in the early 1960’s. This will be the fifth follow-up over the decades and the information will support the activities of EWRS Working Group on Weed Mapping. The previous tour was during 2007-2009, partly reported in the journal Weed Research Vol. 53. There have been some challenges with the delivery of Vol. 60 but WRE is still alive with a recently released Impact Factor 2.011.  

I wish you a wonderful Summer 2020 and relaxing moments. It seems that handling the corona virus epidemic has been successful in Finland. In the words of Finnish philosopher Esa Saarinen: “In complying with the restrictions, Finns have also received help from a certain kind of social awkwardness: We are not small talk people, we are used to keep the distance.”  Keep in touch! 

Kind regards from Jokioinen, Finland, 

Jukka Salonen, EWRS President 

01-July-2020