What That Weed?

Inside Dakota Ag

You don’t want to see this one in fields this year. It could mean you 1-2 years away from big trouble and big dollars for weed control.

Published on: September 26, 2011

Jeff Stachler, NDSU and U of M Extension weed specialist, walked around Peterson Seed Farms field day Harwood, N.D., the other day with a four foot tall weed that drew a lot of attention.

It was a waterhemp, one he suspected that was resistant to glyphosate. He had pulled it from a soybean field, where it was sticking up through the canopy like a Christmas tree. Because he could see dead waterhemp next to it, he doubted it if his specimen (a female waterhemp, he said) was a late emerger or one that hadn’t been sprayed due to some mechanical problem with the sprayer.

Stachler is pretty concerned about the presence of waterhemp, which he saidspread a great distance through the Red River Valley this year on spring flood waters. Each female plants produces hundreds of thousands of seeds.

If farmers don’t adopt herbicide program to prevent resistant waterhemp from taking hold in their fields,  Stachler says the Valley is 1-2 years away from seeing so much resistant waterhemp that hand labor will be needed again, especially in sugarbeet fields.

“This is the last opportunity we have” to prevent an outbreak,, he said.

Some farmers in the Southern Minnesota Sugar Cooperative area hired crews this year to hoe some fields. And in a few cases, even the crews couldn’t get the fields clean, he said.


 

Jeff Stachler, right, with a friend (center) -- a possible glyphosate-resistant waterhemp plant -- that he pulled out of a Fargo-area soybean field at took to the recent Peterson Farms Seed field day.