Is it possible that the industry will make some progress on the resistant pigweed problem in 2011?
It appears that producers throughout the Belt are fully engaged and aware of how serious this issue really is. The Extension specialists and private industry have done a good job of getting the message out. Now all of us need to be ready to help the producer implement different programs and management strategies such as cultivation, deep tillage or some kind of non-chemical weed control option. I think we’ll see some progress in 2011 if we can continue to keep the momentum going.
I’m really encouraged that farmers will adopt practices to help manage resistant pigweed. However, I worry about those folks in areas where resistance isn’t a problem. I just hope they’ll take the steps necessary to manage the problem or at least delay it. We have to be proactive to handle this situation. We saw what happened with insecticide resistance. The same thing is happening with weeds.
Olive Branch, Miss.
I am very excited about the industry’s outlook on the entire weed resistance problem. Everyone seems to have come together as the problem has escalated. It’s a high priority for everybody. Farmers are paying attention when they attend meetings about resistant pigweed, and I know it’s a priority for them. I will go one step further and say that we might be turning the corner on this problem. That’s how far we’ve come in terms of awareness and aggressive attitudes about weed resistance. You might even say it’s the American way for competitors to work together on this.
For the last three years, universities and private companies have been working on this problem, and it’s definitely on the minds of producers. When they come up to me and ask specific questions about a product’s mode of action, you get a sense of how committed they are to finding answers. I am also encouraged when I see producers becoming “proactive” instead of “reactive” on this issue. We’re making good progress.
I think we’ll see some progress this year on the resistant pigweed problem. Producers need to pursue alternative modes of action, and residual herbicides are the key. From a broad industry perspective, we are seeing producers actively coming to us asking for more information, and that’s a good sign. I also am encouraged when I see all of the companies working together on this issue. When you see competitors communicating with each other and sharing ideas, it’s very encouraging. All of us want to make the right kinds of recommendations to the producer so that he can survive.
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