Bayer CropScience is touring the Midwest and South again this summer urging farmers to "respect the rotation." Now entering its third year, the company’s Respect the Rotation program advocates rotating crops, herbicides and traits to keep additional herbicide options from falling victim to weed resistance.
"We know we have good technology, but it’s not going to be good long-term unless we’re good ambassadors and stewards of the technology," says David Hollinrake, vice president of Bayer’s Agricultural Commercial Operations marketing division.
Hollinrake says these types of in-field, in-season forums allow farmers to get a true "lab to field" experience to see the first-hand impacts of weed resistance. The most recent Respect the Rotation field day was held in Collinsville, Ill., on August 15 and featured a blend of company spokespeople and third-party experts, including Jason Norsworthy (University of Arkansas), Bryan Young (Southern Illinois University) and Arkansas weed consultant Ford Baldwin.
Although field day discussions tended to lean toward Liberty herbicide and the corresponding LibertyLink trait, researchers emphasized that diversity is critical to success.
"You need multiple effective herbicides in each fields," says Norsworthy, associate professor of weed science at the University of Arkansas. "If you spray just one mode of action—and it doesn’t matter which one—you’ve just selected for resistance to that mode of action."
In the video below, Ford Baldwin describes the four bullets he says farmers have left in the fight against weed resistance.