Weed Resistance Topic of West Fargo Meeting

Farmers are consistently considering options to manage weed pests. Since herbicide resistance has become a growing concern, they are more actively seeking new options to utilize in their production management system.

“I think everyone’s goal is to have a sustainable weed management program,” said Monsanto’s Weed Management TDR Ross Recker. “We are fans of implementing an integrated weed management system, meaning that farmers use all the tools in their toolbox: mechanical, biological, cultural and chemical resources available.”

Recker spoke with farmers at the first of two Weed Resistance Meetings, this one held in West Fargo to accommodate Minnesota and North Dakota farmers. Farmers also heard from Monsanto representatives and researchers about new soybean varieties and technologies, like their 2016 Xtend line, that are useful for weed management, especially against herbicide resistant weeds.

“The best time to control weeds is as they are coming out of the ground using residual herbicides. But post application used before weeds reach four inches in height is also very helpful,” said Recker.

Following their presentation, farmers heard from North Dakota State University’s Michael Christoffers, associate professor of plant sciences, on the usefulness and limitations of genetic tests for resistance. He also discussed the importance of using full-labeled rates of herbicides in order for farmers to maximize the potential for little resistant weed problems.

“Of all the messages you take home today,” said farmer Johnny Dodson of Halls, Tenn., as he gave a testimony after lunch, “I wish someone would have gotten in my face 10 years ago and told me that if you don’t change how you are doing business you are going to be in trouble with resistant weeds. Use residuals!” 

He didn’t think resistant weeds from southern Georgia would ever present a large problem on his farm. But since he has faced resistant Pigweed, his tune has changed. He also said it was important for farmers to alternate their chemistry and use different control options.

Farmers then traveled to the Dow AgroSciences plot location near Hillsboro, N.D., to wrap up the day’s activities. Experts and representatives from Dow gave farmers a lot of information on existing technologies to manage weeds in different rotations, including their new Enlist system, which they are hopeful will be a tool for farmers to utilize soon.

Overall, Dr. Christoffers summed up the day’s information with a few points on managing herbicide resistant weeds:

  1. Maximize weed control with scouting, spraying weeds when small or pre-emergence, using full recommended rates, using hand weed control and also utilizing different tools besides chemical.
  2. Use different modes and mechanisms of action in the same season.
  3. Rotate some modes and mechanisms from season to season.
  4. Reduce spread of resistant weeds as much as possible: clean equipment between fields, control and watch carefully the weeds on field perimeters and non-crop areas.
  5. Manage resistance NOW. Don’t wait for new technologies.

It was an informative day all around, made possible by the Minnesota Research & Promotion Council, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, North Dakota Soybean Council, Dow AgroSciences and Dekalb/Asgrow.

Farmers across Minnesota have one more opportunity on Aug. 12 in Olivia, Minn., to attend the Weed Resistance Meeting. Take the opportunity to learn more and register.