A group of Arkansas farmers are taking a somewhat different approach to combating resistant Palmer pigweed. Bill Robertson, Manager of cotton agronomy, soils, and physiology with the National Cotton Council:
“So basically, people ran hoe-hands, they broke the hooded sprayers and even some of them got the cultivators out into the fence row to try to do a better job of controlling the pigweed. But, one thing that I think set apart that region from the others is if they saw it out in the field, if they saw pigweed growing, they wanted to make sure that the pigweed didn’t go to seed. They wanted to get it out of the field and wanted to manage the seed bank.”
Robertson explains that one reason for the success of the grass roots program is that all fields were managed as one:
“You know when you visit with the weed scientist our best way to get a handle on this situation is to manage the soil seed bank. And so their goal was just to not let anything go to seed, whether it was in their field or not. And it’s kind of a community wide risk management program, and they were very successful in that, they’re looking at expanding that.”
The catch phrase several years ago was that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, well, this is something like a village working together to control resistant weeds, according to Robertson:
“I does take a village to get his problem under control. I’ve heard a number of people say that the weed resistant issue that we’re facing right now is just as serious a threat as the boll weevil was back in it’s years.”
NRCS has taken notice of the success of the Arkansas producers and is considering a cost-share program for non-herbicide dependant resistant weed control.