At a time when profit margins are often small, cotton producers in the Mid-South and Southeast are receiving help from chemical and seed companies in their fight against resistant pigweed.
As unlikely as it might seem in today’s competitive marketplace, companies are cooperating with each other to make sure producers receive rebates to help cut costs in weed control.
North Carolina weed scientist Alan York, who has been at the forefront in helping identify this troublesome weed in the last five years, says this approach benefits all parties.
“It gives me a good feeling when I see several companies step forward to help the producer,” he says. “In my opinion, the industry is working together fairly well on this, and it’s good to see incentives coming along to help the farmer.”
York has seen numerous examples of companies putting aside their competitiveness to offer rebates to farmers.
Important Incentive Program
For example, in Monsanto’s Performance Plus program, producers can receive as much as $20 per acre in refunds for using residual herbicides.
The program will be offered on all Genuity Roundup Ready Flex acres throughout the Delta and Southeast. In an effort to allow farmers to build the best approach for their fields, a broad choice of herbicides is offered in the rebate program.
The more residual herbicides that are used, the higher the refund. The program herbicides offered include Valor, Reflex, Cotoran, Cotton Pro, Caparol, Diuron 4L, Warrant, Dual Magnum and Gramoxone Inteon.
York says such a program becomes a win-win for all parties because it is obvious that a problem such as resistant pigweed affects chemical and seed companies as well as the farmer.
“It’s always beneficial when the industry takes the lead in helping the producer defray some of his costs in controlling something like pigweed,” he says. “But it also is good that everyone can be reminded that we have a problem that is affecting everyone, and I know the farmer appreciates the help he’s getting on something like this.”
Winning The Battle?
York, for one, believes farmers have already taken important first steps toward dealing with weed resistance by embracing the use of residual herbicides and other techniques in an effort to break the cycle. And, when those management strategies are emphasized in conjunction with a successful rebate program, the message is even more effective.
“If you talk to me in 10 years, I can give you a better answer on how much progress we’re making,” says York. “But we need to wake up and attack this before it really bites us. We just need to pay attention to what we’re actually doing.”
Dave Rhylander, southern marketing manager for Deltapine/Monsanto, says it was a case of doing the right thing for farmers and putting aside commercial considerations.
“It’s a case of Monsanto stepping up because this is such an important issue for cotton farmers,” he says. “There are nine products in this residual herbicide program, and most of them are from other companies. We just thought it was the right thing to do.”
Monsanto/Deltapine contributed information for this article.
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