Taking On Resistant Weeds

About 87% of the farmers surveyed in North Dakota and South Dakota say taking action to control herbicide resistant weeds.

Published on: May 2, 2012

Eight seven percent of the Dakota farmers surveyed recently by BASF say they are making changes in their weed control programs this year.

The reason? Mostly, it's about controlling resistant weeds. Seventy-six percent said resistant weeds were causing yield losses.

More than one-third of survey respondents said they plan on using herbicides with different modes of action this year.

 "Farmers should implement general diversity strategies, looking at cultural, mechanical and chemical weed control," says Jeff Stachler, North Dakota State University Extension weed scientist. "And we need to make sure that we are rotating sites of action in the herbicides component."

Mike Grommesh, Casselton, N.D., spot sprays some weeds in a field to be planted to soybeans. They have seen some resistant ragweed in their fields and are planting Liberty Link soybeans this year.
Mike Grommesh, Casselton, N.D., spot sprays some weeds in a field to be planted to soybeans. They have seen some resistant ragweed in their fields and are planting Liberty Link soybeans this year.

Forty six percent the survey respondents said they were going apply a pre-emergence herbicide before or at planting.

Forty nine percent said they would use different post-emergence tank mixes.

Not everyone is altering their weed control programs, though. Twelve percent said they would not spend anything more to control resistant weeds. Almost 25% said they don't believe resistant weeds impact their yield.

Letting even a few resistance weeds go to seed is risky, Stachler says.

"We have gotten complacent with herbicides always working. They are not always going to work. We need to make sure that we are scouting, identifying and reacting when there are just a few plants in the field. If we add weeds that are resistant to the seed bank, we are only going to continue to have problems.".

Source: BASF