BACKGROUND: Glyphosate resistance has been confirmed in 58 populations of Lolium rigidum (Gaud.), a major weed of crops in southern Australia. Extensive use of glyphosate in conjunction with minimal soil disturbance has been identified as high risk for resistance to that herbicide. Land managers need a simple method for rapid assessment of the risk of resistance occurring as a result of past and proposed future management practices. Modelled on risk assessment nomographs, a simple calculator for indicating the risk of evolved glyphosate resistance in L. rigidum is described.RESULTS: The calculator uses the generations since first use and the frequency of use of glyphosate in combination with historical cultivation levels as critical factors for determining the risk of glyphosate resistance evolution. Based on the management history of a field, a land manager can graphically determine a glyphosate resistance risk for that field.CONCLUSION: The calculator enables the farmer or the advisor to assess the risk of a weed's population becoming resistant and modify practices accordingly to manage for sustainable glyphosate use. The risk calculator could be modified for other herbicides and different weed species. (c) 2007 Society of Chemical Industry.