As weed resistance reaches the critical point, the entire cotton industry is pooling its knowledge of weed science; looking for herbicide combinations that, in many instances, cross manufacturer lines; and, when the situation calls for it, incorporating a combination of strategies to help farmers fight back.
At the National Conservation Cotton and Rice Conference held recently in Baton Rouge, La., herbicide-resistant weeds were at the top of everyone’s agenda. According to the LSU AgCenter, “Farmers from across the Mid-South, along with researchers from the LSU AgCenter and several other universities, met to share techniques and ideas.”
LSU weed scientist Daniel Stephen-son advised farmers to use herbicides with varying modes of action, not to rely on glyphosate alone and to go back to using residual herbicides.
During the conference, Stephenson also noted that farmers would be prudent to consider returning to tillage with more frequent crop rotations.
In one of the three dozen farmer presentations, Wayne Wiggins from Arkansas said herbicide-resistant pigweed rapidly appeared on his farm. He also said that it is important for farmers to talk to their neighbors about weed problems and be prepared for resistance issues.
The report from LSU AgCenter goes on to say that Wiggins uses atrazine on corn for its residual effects. He also said rice is a good rotation crop to address pigweed, but the weed must be controlled on levees.
Another Arkansas farmer, Steve Stevens, said he is working with LibertyLink cotton as an alternative to Roundup Ready crops.
University of Arkansas’s Ken Smith emphasized the severity of the pigweed problem by pointing out that one plant can produce 1.8 million seeds.
Following is a sampling of the comments that we received from Cotton Farming’s Web Poll respondents regarding strategies they intend to employ in their operations to combat weed resistance:
• “We are going back to yellow chemicals, and we broke out the worn-out moldboard plows this year. We will change chemicals during the season.”
• “I am going to break my land and plant clean after incorporating a yellow herbicide. I will be planting a Roundup Ready cotton.”
• “Rotating LibertyLink into my cropping system one year in three should keep weeds mixed up a little. Residuals will play a big part as well.”
• “We will have to use multiple strategies, crop rotation, overlaying residuals, new traits like LibertyLink and manage the pigweed seed bank. We must also be precise with the timing of our applications and manage for herbicide resistance.”
• “Multiple strategies include precision applications in conjunction with specific herbicides and different known modes of action to combat resistance.”
• “I will use residual herbicides and rotate crops and technologies.”
• “I will use herbicides with different modes of action, residuals and even make some tillage changes.”
• “I will continue to use rotation where necessary and go back to applying residual herbicides.”
In this month’s Web Poll, Cotton Farming is asking its readers if they were more inclined to purchase buy-up crop insurance in 2011 based on the Risk Management Agency’s efforts to establish a Good Performance Refund as a final rule.
Cast your vote and share your comments at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the March poll, along with reader comments, will be reported in the May issue of Cotton Farming.
Web Poll Results
In January, we asked: In combating weed resistance, what strategy do you plan to use in 2011?
• Rotate crops – 13 %
• Rotate technology – 6 %
• Apply residual herbicides – 6 %
• Use specialized spray equipment – 6 %
• Use a combination of strategies – 69 %
March Web Poll Question
Were you more inclined to purchase buy-up crop insurance in 2011 based on the Risk Management Agency’s efforts to establish a Good Performance Refund as a final rule?
(1) Opted for buy-up
(2) Stayed with required CAT
Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.
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