We’re not completely there yet in identifying the most effective weed control program, especially for herbicide-resistant weeds, but the industry is making headway. One of the challenges is that a one-size-fits-all solution is impossible to attain because each farm and field is unique.
To be successful, everyone has to work as a team. Farmers and consultants need to consider each field’s situation, including weed spectrum and whether the field can be irrigated to take full advantage of overlapping residuals. It’s important to keep accurate records of this information, too.
University Extension and research personnel carry out small plot as well as larger on-farm trials to observe as many combinations of and approaches to weed control strategies under a plethora of environmental conditions. Then they share their findings at field days, meetings and even one-on-one.
Manufacturers also continue to put forth a variety of options and incentives from which farmers can pick and choose what best fits their particular needs. One example is Monsanto’s Performance Plus program in which producers can receive as much as $20 per acre in refunds for using residual herbicides. The trick for farmers is figuring out what combination of products works best for them.
Another example is Bayer Crop-Science’s recently approved TwinLink technology, which combines dual trait insect resistance to caterpillars and tolerance to glufosinate herbicides, such as Liberty. The company’s plan is to stack TwinLink with GlyTol, which is Bayer’s glyphosate-tolerant technology, in 2013. Once again, U.S. cotton farmers will have access to yet another weed control option.
As mentioned earlier, we are not 100 percent there yet in terms of total weed control, but farmers are becoming cautiously more confident as the next growing season nears. Following is a sampling of the comments that we received from those who participated in the February poll:
• “I am going back to pre-emerge and taking a more proactive approach to weed control.” – north Alabama
• “I’m located in the south Delta in Mississippi, and resistant pigweed is only in scattered areas now. However, we know it’s here, and I feel we’re prepared to deal with it due to the groundwork done in areas that have been dealing with this issue for several years now.”
• “I have been rotating a third of cotton and soybean acres with Liberty crops and laying Dual every three weeks. Everything has been looking good so far, but now I am seeing pigweed all around in the fields that adjoin me. I guess I will find out soon if I am doing enough.”
• “It all depends on whether we learn a lesson from this resistance problem and avoid creating more monsters with Liberty or Reflex resistance. We all need to be vigilant in rotating modes of action and scouting our fields. Our suppliers need to play a role in bringing on affordable and effective alternatives.” – Richard in central Alabama
• “Well, after last year and trying to stay ahead of this ‘monster’ pigweed in southern Virginia, we tried just about everything and then some. I’m looking at all options for 2012 in deciding on how to handle the problem. It looks like I will reduce the number of cotton acres this year to try to keep a handle on it. That way, if I come up with a good plan, I can increase my cotton acres in 2013.” – Shawn in Virginia
To participate in this month’s Web Poll, go to cottonfarming.com to cast your vote and share your comments. Please include where your farming operation is located. Results of the March poll will be reported in the April issue of Cotton Farming.
Web Poll Results
In 2012, do you feel more confident than you have in the past in your potential weed contol program, including herbicide-resistant weeds?
Yes – 48 %
No – 45 %
It depends – 7 %
March Web Poll Question
How much have smartphones, apps and tablets affected the way you run your operation and why? Please explain in the “Comments” section.
(3) Very little
(4) Not at all
Register your vote