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Posted 26 September 2014. PMN Crop News.

Make Your Move Against Herbicide Resistance as it Moves Toward You

Source: United Soybean Board Press Release.

Chesterfield, Missouri (September 9, 2014)--Herbicide-resistant weeds are quickly spreading throughout much of the United States and many farmers are already experiencing problems keeping them at bay. It is vitally important to keep informed of the spread of herbicide resistance and strategize a long-term weed management plan for your crops.


“When you start seeing weeds escaping your herbicide practices, it isn’t time to act, it means that it’s too late,” says agricultural consultant and weed expert Ford Baldwin. “We need to be thinking five years down the line and developing a strategy. You need to change your program before you see any escapes. That allows you to keep all your herbicide tools in the toolbox.”

When strategizing a multi-year herbicide plan, it is important to collect information from other farmers in the area, county extension agents and other sources to have the best plan for your region. A checkoff-funded program, Take Action, offers a variety of online resources for herbicide resistance, including the weed identification guide.

“In general, I recommend that farmers plan to applyvarious types of residual herbicides each year, not just one residual a year or several residuals for only one year,” Baldwin explained. “Unless we get smarter than the weeds, we’re going to run ourselves out of weed-control technology.”

For years, Roundup Ready® weed control has been the easy answer for weed-control problems. As a relatively inexpensive option that was effective at removing all weed varieties from fields, many in agriculture have little experience with farming practices that don’t include Roundup Ready crops.

“A big concern I have is that we have a generation of weed scientists, chemical company reps, county agents, farmers and the like that haven’t known anything but Roundup Ready weed control,” Baldwin explains. “Deciding that you’re not going to let a weed put you out of business is the first step with this fight.”

Herbicide-resistant weeds move quickly and can easily take over an entire field in one season if left uncontrolled.

“One herbicide-resistant weed can produce 250,000 to 1 million seeds,” Baldwin explains. “Put that in perspective to a seeding rate per acre of soybeans – they’ll just overpower you with numbers.”

There is good news however, as proactive weed-management efforts are starting to pay off for farmers who acted quickly. Farmers in the Mid-South region, which saw initial outbreaks of widespread herbicide resistance, are making advancements. Most success has been found by farmers who stack residual herbicides and spray a mix of herbicides with different sites of action almost every time he or she goes through a field. Baldwin emphasized the importance of trying new products and not being afraid to mix up existing weed-control practices.

“If you look at Arkansas the last two years, I think we’ve made a lot of progress,” Baldwin said. “It’s so important to keep mixing herbicide sites of action and make sure you get as much information as you can from unbiased sources like extension agents, weed consultants and the information available from USB and the USDA.”

To learn more about herbicide resistance or view the weed-identification guide, visit