Weed Free NC Program Making Impact

At the Joint Commodities Conference last January, the four commodity groups; NC Soybean Producers Association, NC Cotton Growers, NC Corn Growers and the National Sorghum Producers announced the Weed Free NC Program to combat resistant weeds in all crops in the state. David Heath, of Bountiful Blessings Farm in the western part of Craven County, embraced the program for soybean, cotton, corn, grain sorghum and wheat fields:

“We have been dealing with resistant weeds on our farm for about 8 years now. Everyday you learn more and more about it. We wanted to try to find a different avenue this year. We know that to get something from the lab to the farm takes about 25 years, so there won’t be a quick fix and we need to protect the chemicals that we have.”

Heath explains its been his experience that one bad year of resistant weeds takes several more years to get a handle on the problem:

“More so than the yield loss, you are just creating more problems for next year. I picked up a farm this year and it took a lot of work to get all the pig weed out that was there from last year. We figure it will take about three years to get that farm to clean up. There is more of an economic impact up front for the way I want to take care of it.”

The future of farming could be an exercise in going backwards if current technologies are not respected and resistant weeds become more resistant:

“If we lose the LIbertyLink technology, to where it is resistant to pig weed, because of over use or not using the right rates. Or if we lose the PTO inhibitors, then I don’t think that’s good for anybody.”

But, Heath says there’s been a great deal of interest in the Weed Free NC program from advertising across the state:

“There is more awareness and people are more conscious of it. People are asking what they need to do to make an impact.”

To learn more about the Weed Free NC program visit www.weedfreenc.com

Craven County’s David Heath.

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