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Fighting pigweed yearlong

When glyphosate resistance reared its ugly head in the Delta, Keith Baioni listened to farmers and came up with a way to help.

For his work in raising awareness of glyphosate resistance, Baioni was awarded Syngenta’s Resistance Fighter of the Year award in 2010. Baioni was the runner-up in 2009.

After assessing the problem, Baioni, the crop protection products business manager at Jimmy Sanders Inc., Cleveland, Miss., developed a seasonlong approach based on private and public research to raise awareness and change perceptions.

Key Points

Keith Baioni wins Syngenta’s Resistance Fighter award.

He developed a management plan to battle pigweed.

He advises to overlap residuals in the weed battle.


Growers in the Delta have dealt with glyphosate-resistant marestail for several years, but the recent event of Palmer amaranth and Italian ryegrass will require a more comprehensive approach to managing all three.

“You can begin to manage marestail and ryegrass in the fall, but with pigweed you have to start in the spring and fight it all seasonlong,” Baioni says.

In cotton, the lack of over-the-top postemergence chemical options makes timing critical. Pigweed grows so rapidly that it becomes out of control if not treated before 3 inches tall.

Battle plan

Considering the take-over-a-field nature of pigweed and the development of resistance to ALS chemistry and glyphosate, Baioni developed a platform he calls “F.A.R.M.’N.” The acronym stands for “Fall Applied Resistance Management Now.” The letters headline a colorful handout that Baioni created.

This Jimmy Sanders program advocates a proactive, not reactive, stance, Baioni says. “Growers need to think about seasonlong control — before planting, during the season, at harvest and after harvest.”

In developing a strategy, growers need to think about laying a blanket of protection over the field, overlapping residual chemicals “to not allow the pigweed to emerge,” Baioni says. It requires intense management.

Don’t let clean field fool you

“The grower has to know the longevity of the residual and then apply another herbicide before it runs out, even if there are no weeds in the field. Preemergent is the best option. Once the crop is up, weeds must be managed when they are very small,” he says.“There’s this perception that if I don’t have any weeds, then I’m ‘clean,’ ” Baioni says.

The question is: When does a problem become a concern? Believing that growers discover the problem is real when it begins to have financial consequences on a crop, Baioni makes a prediction. “Our growers’ livelihood and continued success are at serious risk if we are not proactive in providing educational information and access to quality programs that are focused on resistance management.”

Baioni says the awareness of the problem is now there, and the company will continue to provide awareness directly to growers through F.A.R.M.’N. programs and EyeNeed Info visual information systems and by hosting educational seminars, in collaboration with university and industry experts.

He believes growers now realize that resistance issues “need to be managed yearlong, not seasonlong. Outside of the season, before the crop, after the crop is planted, in field border and ditches and after harvest — it’s a 12-month-long process.”

“To be recognized as the Resistance Fighter of the Year is not only an acknowledgement of the problems we are having with resistance in the South, but that we are planning, implementing strategies and doing something about it,” Baioni says.

Baioni and wife Kim have three children, Brett, 20, and twins, Andrew and Anna Kathryn, 18.

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RESISTANCE FIGHTER: Keith Baioni says there are no guarantees or silver bullets to managing Palmer amaranth. The best option is to have a management plan.

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F.A.R.M.’N: Keith Baioni’s flier got the attention of Syngenta, which honored him as Resistance Fighter of the Year. Baioni is crop protection products business manager for Jimmy Sanders Inc.

This article published in the June, 2011 edition of MID-SOUTH FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2011.