Recently, we heard from Jeff Mink, Technical Crop Manager for Syngenta Crop Protection in the Southern Field Crops Business Unit about resistant Palmer Pigweed beginning to make a prominent showing in the south and southeast. Mink says being proactive is the key:
“The biggest issue a grower has is when resistance hits his farm. In that particular year he may face substantial yield losses because he did not anticipate the resistance problem. And once these weeds get any size on them then you’re basically in the situation where you have to abandon the crop or hire hoe hands to go out there and physically hoe out the weed. We don’t want to get in that situation. We’re really trying to get growers to recognize this is a huge problem, so we’re really trying to preach the message, get the word out to the growers that this problem is real and if it’s not on your farm yet it’s probably coming, so you need to be proactive now so that you do not loose income or have substantial yield losses in the year that you do experience resistance.”
When resistant Palmer Pigweed is under control, it’s not time to rest easy, there’s other noxious weeds that are showing resistance, one is a blast from the past…Johnson grass:
“In Arkansas, Johnson Grass is becoming more of an issue, and the University of Arkansas has documented resistance to glyphosate there. in the mid-south another weed that’s cropping up that’s not getting a lot of attention is Italian rye grass because that’s more of a winter weed, and we’re having problems controlling it during burn-down season if you’re using glyphosate there. so, we’ve shown where either a product like Invoke, or Dual in the fall, as a fall application can really provide effective control of this Italian Rye Grass. Johnson Grass, like I said, in Arkansas is particularly troubling because we’ve been dealing with that weed for a long time in the mid-south and we’ve developed resistance in it to several different modes of action of herbicides. So, that, Johnson Grass could really become a huge problem for growers if we don’t start immediately trying to address it right now.”
So, does this mean that we could go back to “chopping cotton”?
“I’m afraid we could. Growers have really got to be really on top of this, in the southeast and even in some areas of Tennessee and Arkansas this past year the pigweed really got ahead of some people there. Of course, because of the extremely wet weather it was difficult to be timely on herbicide applications and like I said earlier, it got size on it early and once it hits 3 to 4 inches on it, it becomes extremely difficult to control. So, that’s the reason why we’re trying to get the message out now, educating people about this, rotating modes of action of herbicides, using residual herbicides season long will protect you to a large part against having to go in and chop cotton.”
We’ll hear more from Jeff Mink next time on Today’s Topic.