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2009: Facing The Challenges

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Recap: 2009: Facing
The Challenges


Paul Brown
Southern Ag. Services, Inc.
Perry, Ga.

Preparation for this season is an ongoing process for all growers. Some challenges they face are commodity prices, new government programs, new varieties to evaluate, glyphosate/ALS resistance, reduced supply of Telone and insect/disease control.

Cotton farming in my area has been predominately DPL 555 for the last several years, but we will be challenged to find a replacement quickly. It will be difficult to consistently fill the void DPL Triple Five has provided across varying climates, soil types and management practices. Some new varieties bring about increased cost of technology and seed, reduced efficacy of herbicide technology (due to resistant Palmer amaranth) and possibly lower yields, which makes this season particularly challenging.

On-farm trials have given me some insight into these new varieties and technologies. We will need to evaluate (on a limited acreage) new varieties and technologies for these replacements. Seeding rates, PGR rates, water requirements and fertility are several factors to consider to optimize grades/yield and minimize inputs.

Since resistant Palmer amaranth was discovered in 2004 in Macon County, Ga., I have seen the efficacy of glyphosate reduced annually in each county in which I consult. Also, resistance to ALS herbicides is becoming more widespread, and the possibility of resistance to PSII herbicides has been observed. Preventing the emergence of resistant weeds is the best herbicide program approach.

Activation of pre-plant and pre-emerge residual herbicides by incorporation is essential. Herbicide selection and varying modes of action (MOA) throughout the season are critical in extending the life of existing chemistry. One of the greatest challenges with glyphosate resistance is timing. Pigweed can grow up to two inches/day in optimal conditions. Being in your fields on a timely basis, evaluating herbicide activity and emergence of escaped weeds are more important than ever.

Effective weed control takes multiple management strategies. Some options include crop rotation, variety selection, rotating herbicide MOA, tillage practices, cultivation and hand weeding.

Good luck to each of you this season.


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